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Review of InnovAsian Orange Chicken

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Finn lives in California's central valley. He enjoys writing food reviews.

InnovAsian Orange Chicken

InnovAsian Orange Chicken

Brief History of Orange Chicken

According to many online resources, orange chicken is not a dish that you will find in mainland China. Rather, it is an Americanized version of sweet and sour chicken, which is a popular mainland dish. According to my research, orange chicken was developed in the United States by a chef from the Panda Express restaurant chain in 1987.

Today, many Chinese restaurants in the United States carry the dish because of its wide popularity. Many of these restaurants also offer lemon chicken, a similar dish using fried chicken pieces dipped in a semi-sweet, sometimes spicy, glaze.

Either way, most everyone who is reading this is probably familiar with the dish in one form or another. InnovAsian Orange Chicken, found in the frozen food section of your local grocery store, is something that you can cook up at home and prepare rather quickly. With the family-size box, you can feed an entire family.

Orange Chicken: An American Invention

Chef Andy Kao is credited with inventing orange chicken in 1987. He was classically trained in French cuisine and worked as Panda Express' executive chef. He's retired now, and travelling in Taiwan, where he was born.

— NPR

Nutritional information panel

Nutritional information panel

Is It Healthy?

Overall, the health benefits seem to be fairly adequate. The sodium content may cause some concern, but I am guessing most of that is due to the sauce.

The protein content seems pretty good, and the calories are probably what you would expect for this type of dish—typical of any TV dinner.

The dish contains some vitamins, as well. They are in relatively minimal amounts, but they are there, nonetheless.

Depending on whether you serve these with vegetables, which I recommend, and what type of rice you use, the total nutrition profile will vary.

I should note that if you are the type of person who is careful about your diet, you may wish to avoid frozen food altogether.

But if you are in a rush, and want something kind of fancy, this is a good choice.

Packaging

Packaging

What's Inside the Package?

Many restaurants that offer orange chicken use dark meat. Dark meat is less expensive, and many people believe that it is more moist, making it juicier. Many people prefer white meat, however. This brand has the advantage of using white meat.

Inside the package you will find a packet of pre-battered nuggets and a packet of sauce.

It's pretty simple actually. You just heat up the nuggets, warm up the sauce, and mix. Viola!

Easy to Prepare

The directions say that you can bake these in the oven if you wish. Some of you might. Others might want to try to fry them on the stove top. This method works, but you have to constantly stir and make sure they don't burn.

I chose to use my air fryer, which is now my preferred method of cooking most of what I eat. Air fryers are great for frozen food because they mimic an oven and help the meal retain its crispy exterior.

They end up browning pretty well. I heated the sauce in the microwave and then mixed the chicken in the warmed sauce.

It's pretty simple overall.

How Does It Taste?

The one good thing (or bad depending on your perspective) is that the sauce lacks a lot of the spice many of you might be accustomed to. The package says to add sriracha, but you could probably also just add some pepper flakes to give you the flavor temperature that you desire.

The blandness of the orange sauce will appeal to families with children, who might be put off by the spiciness found in the restaurant varieties of this dish. In addition, there are people with sensitive stomachs who find hotter foods unappealing.

Overall, this is great dish and I recommend it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Finn