One (of my many) guilty pleasures is cheap Chinese takeaway. I love real amazing Chinese food, but sometimes nothing else will do but crispy friend chunks of chicken in a slightly sweet sauce with enough chilli to make it interesting.

This dish might seem to have a lot going on but it’s dead easy, just a few things to keep an eye on. Using precooked chicken also makes is very quick. It’s been a busy week and we’re both ill so all meals this week are from the “quick and satisfying” category.

You will need

  • A couple of handfuls of cooked chicken, chopped into inch sized chunks (I stripped off the skin)
  • A pepper. I used the end of some green, yellow and red ones I had knocking about.
  • 3 spring onions
  • An egg
  • 2 teaspoons of cornflour
  • A heaped spoonful of marmalade
  • A heaped teaspoon of mixed ginger and garlic (the cheaty stuff from a jar)
  • A slug of light soy
  • A slug of toasted sesame oil
  • A whole red chilli
  • About half a pint of sunflower oil
  • a mug full of rice

Do

This has lots of things going but this order should be right.

  1. Separate green top of the spring onions and finely slice, keep to one side
  2. Slice the body of the remaining spring onion along it’s length and then slice into inch long pieces
  3. Slice the peppers and reserve with the onions.
  4. Whisk the whole egg with the cornflour
  5. Put the rice and twice the amount of water into a pan with a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then pop a lid on and reduce heat right down. Rice is cooked once all the water is adsorbed and rice is fluffy (probably about ten minutes). It will keep for ages with the heat off and the lid on.
  6. Start the peppers and bodies of the onions gently cooking in a wok with a touch of oil.
  7. Stick all chicken into the egg mix and give it a cook stir round.
  8. Bring the oil to super hot. Make sure you’ve got plenty of gap between the oil top and the top of the pan. I used a small saucepan so I had plenty of depth.
  9. Once the stir-fried veg is nearly done it’s time to fry the chicken. Drop it into the oil in mall batches and lift it out and only kitchen roll once it’s golden. Because the chicken is already cooked you’re just crisping the batter.
  10. Bring it all together - push the veg to one side of the wok, turn the heat up and tilt so you’ve got a free corner on the heat to work with.
  11. Add the ginger/garlic, fine diced chilli, sesame oil, soy and marmalade into the hot corner and give it a good stir so it starts to bubble.
  12. Add the fried chicken into the bubbling corner and stir it round so everything is coated. Then stir the veg in.
  13. Serve on top of the rice. A splash of soy and a drip of chilli oil might be desirable.

Result

Crispy, sweet, hot, sour and 20 minutes from idea to plate. Does involve more washing up than I’d normally like. Sadly no in-progress photos as it was all hands to the deck once this got started.

Finished cheats orange chicken hitting the plate