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Old 02-27-2007, 11:43 PM   #1
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How to keep the coating from falling off the chicken

I have an awesome recipe for orange chicken. It tastes just like something you would get at your favorite chinese food place. My only problem is that whenever I make it, the coating on the chicken softens up and falls off the chicken once I put it in the sauce. I have tried baking it, frying it with various coatings of eggs and flour but no matter what, after a few minutes in the sauce, the coating falls off the meat. It doesn't do this when you get it in a chinese food restaurant. What do they do to keep the chicken really crispy underneath the sauce? Anyone know? I appreciate any suggestions and help! Thanks so much!
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:24 AM   #2
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What's the coating recipe you are using?
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:30 AM   #3
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not knowing what coating you are using
considering a regular coating --do you dip the chix in flour first and then your egg mix and then flour coating ?
Then don't put in right in the oil - let it dry for about 5 min. Then fry it
I love the orange chix-- please share the recipe with us
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:03 AM   #4
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Another possibility is the temperature of frying oil being too low. The batter cooked in an oil not very hot tend to end up being soggy and tend to fall off easily. If you don't have a proper fryer that would give you the indication, try dropping a small piece of batter in the oil for a test. If it sinks and stay at the bottom, the oil is not hot enough. If it comes right up to the surface bubbling, the oil is ready.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:36 PM   #5
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Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated orange
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh
ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

2 boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1.Pour into saucepan 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce; and set over medium-high heat. Stir in orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chopped onion. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool 10 to 15 minutes.2.Place chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve remaining sauce. Seal bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.3.In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add marinated chicken pieces, and shake to coat.4.Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in skillet, and brown on both sides. Remove to paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.5.Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water, and stir into sauce. Reduce heat to medium low; stir in chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
__________________________________________________ ___
I must say it's not my own, I got it off another website but don't know if I should or am allowed to give credit to the person who this recipes belongs to. Please advise as I am new to this site.

As for how I prepared it, I tried doing it exactly as the recipe said. I tried the method of flour, egg, flour. I tried just egg and flour. I also tried just flour. None of those methods worked. I appreciate your suggestions and help! Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:28 PM   #6
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First of all, let me ask you how thick is the coating is? It looks to me that it’s missing something. It should be batter like consistency, but what you have there sounds nearly dry. So how is it?
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Old 02-28-2007, 03:42 PM   #7
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I think the coating of the chicken needs to be more of a batter than a simple flour coating. Adding a little liquid such as water or milk to the flour may make a difference. Personally, for my sweet and sour chicken I usually don't coat the chicken, just sear the pieces first then add to the sauce. I don't think the coating on the chicken really makes a big difference. The sauce is the thing that makes or breaks the dish IMO. You might try a tempura batter for this dish if you really want a coating on the chicken.
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Old 02-28-2007, 04:44 PM   #8
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In making a fried product like chicken with a more dureable crust, I usually follow your recipe. The oil in your pan should be 1/4" deep. (the measurement of 3tbsp is just an estimate for recipe purposes only)

Once you have your chicken in the hot oil and it is frying, place a lid on and turn the temp down to medium. It takes a little longer but the crust cooks more from the steam heat and absorbs less oil which is what you want if you are going to garnish it with a sauce.
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Old 02-28-2007, 05:34 PM   #9
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I took me many years to learn letscook's advice, after coating allow the meat to sit for a bit (I usually do it for 15 minutes or so). My guess is the flour in the coating mixture mixes with the juices from the meat forming a batter of sorts, and there is binding (entirely unscientific suggestion). I learned that techique from a James Beard recipe, I forget which one. But it sure does help with everything from eggplant parm to chicken fried steak.

Most Chinese recipes I have seen toss cornstarch into their coating mixtures, might try a mixture of that and flour. Would probably use a bit more of the cornstarch than flour. Could add a bit of water, I suppose.

Also agree that you need more heat and probably more oil. Would almost deep fry the chicken pieces. Then take them out, let them rest a bit, and toss them back briefly. After that I doubt the sauce will take off the coating.

It may not be the product you expect however.

Just a few ideas. Good luck.
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:36 PM   #10
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1. I suggest you pat your chicken pieces very dry after marinating, before placing into the bag of flour mix to dredge.

2. Don't stir the fried chicken pieces into the sauce to simmer. Rather, plate up the just-fried chicken pieces then pour the simmering sauce on top (just to glaze, not to soak the chicken). Timing is important: add hot glaze to hot chicken pieces.

This is my Lemon Chicken recipe that doesn't require marinating. Rather, the chicken pieces are 'dry-rubbed' with custard powder and kept overnight. The lemon can be subbed with orange.

Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:51 PM   #11
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Another problem is in the recipe itself, where the original directs you to cover the cooked chicken with aluminum foil. This traps the steam released by the chicken after it's cooked, which will create a soggy crust. When we fry food at work, and store it in a "hot box" for service at a later time, we never cover the pan.

I also like to follow one of Alton Brown's tips for fried foods. After the food is cooked, and removed from the oil, NEVER PLACE IT ON PAPER PRODUCTS TO DRAIN! Use a cake rack, on a sheet pan or jelly-roll pan instead. Paper towels, or other absorbent material keep the food in contact with the oil, and the food will become soggy anyways.
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:51 AM   #12
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does the rule of letting the meat sit for awhile after battering apply to fish as well? I've been throwing fish right in the oil after battering, and wouldn't mind a slightly firmer coating.
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