Orange chicken is one of the most popular dishes at the Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant chain that specializes in cheesecakes and American cuisine. This dish consists of crispy fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet and tangy orange sauce, served with white rice and vegetables. It’s a delicious and satisfying meal that can easily be made at home with simple ingredients and techniques. In this blog post, we will show you how to make a copycat Cheesecake Factory orange chicken at home, with tips and tricks to achieve the best results.
What You Need to Make Cheesecake Factory Orange Chicken
To make Cheesecake Factory orange chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
- For the chicken:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- All-purpose flour
- Black pepper
- Onion powder
- Ginger powder
- Eggs, beaten
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- For the sauce:
- Orange juice, freshly squeezed
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Orange zest, grated
- Ginger, minced
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes, for some heat (optional)
- For serving:
- Cooked white rice
- Steamed broccoli or other vegetables of your choice
You will also need a large skillet or a deep-fryer, a saucepan, a whisk, a slotted spoon, a cooling rack, a large bowl, and a small bowl.
How to Make Cheesecake Factory Orange Chicken
To make Cheesecake Factory orange chicken, follow these steps:
- Prepare the chicken. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, and ginger powder. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat well. Shake off any excess flour and set aside.
- Fry the chicken. Heat oil in a large skillet or a deep-fryer over medium-high heat until it reaches 360°F. Working in batches, fry the chicken pieces for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp. Drain on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the water, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
- Coat the chicken. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil again and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and glossy. Turn off the heat and add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce. Toss gently to coat well.
- Serve and enjoy. Serve the orange chicken over cooked white rice and steamed broccoli or other vegetables of your choice. Enjoy your homemade Cheesecake Factory orange chicken!
Tips and Tricks for Making Cheesecake Factory Orange Chicken
Here are some tips and tricks for making Cheesecake Factory orange chicken:
- To get extra crispy chicken pieces that stay crunchy even after being coated in sauce, you can double-fry them. This means frying them once until lightly golden and cooked through, then letting them cool slightly on a rack before frying them again until crisp and golden.
- To make your orange sauce more flavorful and authentic, you can use fresh orange juice and zest instead of bottled or canned ones. You can also add some fresh ginger and garlic instead of using powdered ones.
- To adjust the spiciness of your orange sauce, you can add more or less red pepper flakes according to your preference. You can also use fresh red chili peppers or chili paste if you like.
- To make your orange chicken healthier or lighter, you can bake or air-fry the chicken pieces instead of deep-frying them. You can also use less sugar or use honey or maple syrup instead of brown sugar for the sauce. You can also serve your orange chicken with brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice for more fiber and nutrients.
Why You Should Try Making Cheesecake Factory Orange Chicken at Home
There are many reasons why you should try making Cheesecake Factory orange chicken at home, such as:
- It’s cheaper than ordering it from the restaurant or getting takeout. You can save money by using ingredients that you already have in your pantry or fridge or by buying them in bulk from your local grocery store.
- It’s healthier than eating it from the restaurant or getting takeout. You can control the quality and quantity of the ingredients that you use and avoid any artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or additives that might be in the restaurant version.
- It’s fun and easy to make. You don’t need any special skills or equipment to make this dish, just some basic kitchen tools and appliances. You can also involve your kids or friends in the process and have a fun time together.
- It’s delicious and satisfying. You can enjoy the same taste and texture of the Cheesecake Factory orange chicken, but with a homemade touch. You can also customize it to your liking by adding or changing some ingredients or seasonings.
The Cheesecake Factory orange chicken is a popular dish that many people love and crave. But you don’t have to go to the restaurant or get takeout to enjoy it, you can make it at home with simple ingredients and techniques. By following this blog post, you can learn how to make a copycat Cheesecake Factory orange chicken that tastes just like the original, or even better. You can also save money, eat healthier, have fun, and satisfy your taste buds with this homemade dish. So what are you waiting for? Try making Cheesecake Factory orange chicken at home today and enjoy!