Orange Tea-Brined Chicken

All rise! Hear ye, hear ye...Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes...Now entering the arena, in honor of the presiding recipe for the month of September at the Foodie Forum created by the Left Over Queen, I hearby to enter Orange Tea-brined Chicken. You may be seated...

First, a congratulations should be offered up the the winners of August's joust:
Kittie of Kittens in the Kitchen, Nuria of Spanish Recipes and Marija of Palichinka (who also made a foursome of awesome ice cream for my blogging event)
As winner, Kittie picked whole grains (or at least they have to be whole at the start of the recipe), ginger (in any form) and citrus (any, in any form).
Whole grains are no joke. It consists of three parts: the bran--the rough, flaky outershell, the germ--the embryo or center of the wheat and the endosperm--surrounds and protects everyone else in the kernel . The word whole pertains to the grain in its entirety. Nothing is lost in the process of making whole wheat flour, so I do believe it qualifies as a whole grain! By contrast, white flour contains only the endosperm. Depending on the type of wheat (hard, soft) the gluten content of the flour changes.
The inspiration for this recipe came from here. I tweaked it to elevate it, make it my own, and to ensure it came out a winner in my kitchen. I ate the entire pan! I shared a little, but I ate every single piece of chicken in the pan for dinner that night (and was looking around for some more!) It was that good. It was banging. Bang Bang Chicken, if you will. Ha ha ha.

Orange Tea-Brined Chicken Serves 2-3

5 bags Tazo Wild Sweet Orange Tea
4 Tbsp kosher salt
2 cups water
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten with 2 Tbsp water
¼ tsp granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil, for frying
Orange Sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp orange juice
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar (I used granulated erythritol, Z Sweet)
½ teaspoon ginger root, grated
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
In a clean plastic container, add 2 cups water, 4 Tbs salt and tea bags. Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. Alternatively, add ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to boil. Let tea steep for 8-10 minutes. Squeeze bags dry and let brine completely cool. Add chicken and refrigerate a minimum of four hours, up to 24 hours.
Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Use fork to sift or mix contents together. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer , pot, wok or rondeau until completely cooked.
I got the bright idea to just shake it all in a Tupperware container. Less mess and clean up was easy. Why I'd ever thought of this before is beyond me!
Meanwhile, combine 1 cup water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice or apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic, and green onion in a wide-mouth measuring cup or directly in a medium saucepan. Blend well and bring to a boil. Slowly pour stir cornstarch mixture into sauce, turn off heat, and stir or whisk sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with fresh green onions.


Okay, one more time...

There was about1 1/2 cups sauce left over, so I plan on using it on pork later in the week.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. Oh yeah! That certainly does look great. Good Luck on the joust Nik!

  2. WHEW - my mouth is watering after seeing this. Orange tea brined chicken? WOW!


  3. This looks so delicous. I am thinking I should try this for dinner when I come back from my business trip. I love the idea of brining in tea.

  4. Nik that's beautiful! It looks like restaurant quality, and I mean AUTHENTIC Chinese, not the Americanize version.

    I think this is an awesome entry, and with a nice summer sweetness to it. You might have my vote already, unless someone gets me cash moneys :) Just kidding.

  5. you got good & creative with the three ingredients & it looks fabulous!

  6. WOHOOOOO! Nice looking dish my friend! Good luck! :)

  7. Dharm: Thanks! I can't wait to see what you turn out :)

    Darius: It was off the FOOD chain! I see you trying this to impress somebody.

    Rachel: You should! It was so easy and simple. It came together so well. I was dancing in my kitchen!

    Adam: Thanks!! Well, apparently, orange chicken is an American invention, like chop suey. Not real. Bt what IS real, is the technique.

    Oh, I have to pay out $$ for votes? Hmmm...j/k LOL

    Kat: Thanks! I can't wait to see what you do either.

    Jenn: Hey! Thanks!

  8. I was stumped wth this, but you nailed it. Me want some BANG BANG Chicken.

  9. Never heard of Bang Bang chicken, but I want some!!!

  10. Courtney: Thanks, girl! I was stumped too. I didn't know what I could possibly do. The only whole grain product I eat on the regular is Kashi cereal.

    Billy: Bang bang chicken is when you dip the chicken in a hot, sugar sauce (kindal like peking duck) and bang it with a mallet to break up the pieces. I've only seen it done once and I'm not really sure of the technique, but I remember a mallet and the result being juicy shredded chicken.

  11. Hi Nik! I found you on Left Over Queen!

    This looks husband and I were drooling at the picture! lol
    I think he's expecting me to make it now!

    Great idea about shaking it up in the tupperware...I've never thought of that either!

  12. My mouth is watering reading this recipe,and then the photos make me want to eat it right now...Yum!

  13. aggie: hello there fellow foodie! well, don't keep your man waiting too long! The expiration date on the drool might be near its end lol If you do decide to make it, I hope it turns out GREAT for you!

    elle: Thank you! That means a lot coming from you.


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