Intro: Dorm Room Orange Chicken
I am one of the lucky few college students that has a kitchen in their dorm room, but most college students are stuck with a microwave as their kitchen. However, that doesn't mean you can't cook something besides ramen for dinner! Using only a microwave and some readily available, inexpensive ingredients, you can cook some better-than-delivery orange chicken in the comfort of your dorm.
Step 1: Ingredients
- Storage Container
- Plastic Wrap
- 1 Chicken Breast
- Optional: 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Found at my Dining Hall:
- 1 orange (Juice and Zest of One Orange)
- 4 packets (1 tbls) honey or sugar
- 2 packets (1/4 tsp) black pepper
- 4 packets (2 tbls) soy sauce
To make the sauce, all of the ingredients I got from my dining hall. At my college, they have oranges you can grab to take for a snack, as well as condiment packets. This can really cut down on cost for the dish, especially if you don't frequently cook and wouldn't use a whole container of honey/black pepper/soy sauce.
Step 2: Cube the Chicken
Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized cubes.
Step 3: Microwave the Chicken
Put the cubed chicken into the container and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir the chicken halfway through cooking.
The chicken sticks together when cooked in the microwave, leaving spots that are raw. Stirring the chicken halfway during the cooking process will assure that the chicken gets cooked evenly.
Step 4: Set Chicken Aside
Drain the chicken and set it aside on a paper towel. Rinse out the container to prepare the sauce in.
Step 5: Make the Sauce
Add the orange zest, orange juice, pepper, honey/sugar, and soy sauce to the container. Microwave the sauce uncovered to warm, about 2 minutes.
Optional: Before microwaving, add the cornstarch to the sauce, stirring until completely incorporated. Microwave the sauce uncovered until it thickens, about 3 minutes.
Cornstarch is purely optional for this recipe, because I realize it's an ingredient that most college students won't use frequently. The purpose of the cornstarch is to thicken the sauce, but it doesn't change the flavor whatsoever. If thicker sauce is desired, then I highly recommend using cornstarch in this recipe.
Step 6: Combine the Chicken and Sauce
After heating the sauce, return the chicken to the container with the sauce. Stir the chicken until each piece is coated with sauce.