We all know how delicious that orange chicken is from Panda Express. It’s so hard to resist. The downfall is that they use breaded and fried chicken. I was really excited when I saw this recipe from Just a Taste (find it here). I made very minor changes to the original recipe. I just have to say this is a winner, winner of an orange chicken meatball dinner. It’s baked so there’s not those extra calories from the frying oil. Let me tell you these babies are packed with flavor. Between the fresh ginger and garlic in the meatballs and the orange marmalade, hoisin sauce and red pepper flakes in the sauce, they’ll have your taste buds singing. You could serve them over fried rice or noodles and have a meal. Mine were just meatballs. Can you believe I said that? Just meatballs indeed. My changes were that I only used one pound of ground chicken, I didn’t have any scallions so I grated a yellow onion on my microplane after I grated the ginger and I reduced the amount of red pepper flakes. I can’t imagine how hot that sauce would be with 1 1/2 teaspoons. Holy heartburn, Batman! Mine were still mildly spicy so it’s all good. We had beer cheese soup with these so only four were eaten. I have a round two recipe I’ll share afterward. All I’m going to say is make sure you save all the sauce. You’re going to need it.
Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 lb. ground chicken
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (use a microplane grater or the smallest holes on a box grater to grate)
2 Tbs. grated yellow onion (use a microplane grater or the smallest holes on a box grater to grate)
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more if you like more heat)
3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine the milk and breadcrumbs, stir and set aside for about 5 minutes or until all the milk is absorbed. Place ginger, onion, garlic, soy sauce, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine. Add the milk/breadcrumb mixture. Stir and mix well. Add the chicken. Using your hands, combine the ingredients until evenly distributed. This will be a sticky mixture. Roll 2-3 Tbs. of meat into a ball (it doesn’t quite form a ball because it’s so sticky, but it works) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining meat. I made 14 meatballs. Place in the oven and bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking prepare the sauce. Place the oils in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. When hot, add the ginger and garlic. Stir and cook for 2 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the red pepper flakes, orange marmalade and hoisin sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s thickened and sticky. Remove the meatballs from the oven, remove them from the baking sheet and place in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Gently stir or toss them to coat all. Enjoy!
******************************** Round Two Recipe: Orange Chicken Meatball Pizza ********************************* 1 homemade pizza crust (my recipe here) or store bought
10 baked orange chicken meatballs, cut into quarters
all the leftover orange chicken sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs. shredded Dubliner or parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a pizza pan with non-stick olive oil spray. Pat crust into the pan. Spread all the remaining orange chicken sauce onto the crust. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese. Place the chicken meatball quarters evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the pizza. Evenly distribute the remaining mozzarella and the Dubliner or parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting into slices. Enjoy!
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,