What Makes a Great Frozen Orange Chicken Entrée?

A high-quality frozen orange chicken entrée should lead with “orange” (may be a dried orange or tangerine peel character) and chicken notes. There will also be an expected fried dough or batter note present. There may also be supporting notes of vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce, vegetal, garlic, ginger, caramelization, oil and black pepper. There should not be a musty note present.

The texture of the batter will have some expected level of chewiness, but it should not be overly soggy or hard. The chicken should be moist and tender. The sauce will have some expected level of stickiness, but should not be overly gelatinous. The entrée overall will have some adhesiveness, but should not be overly cohesive. There may also be some heat intensity present.

The taste profile should lead with sweetness and sourness, balanced by saltiness. There may be some minimal bitterness present.
The sauce of the entrée should appear to cover the chicken. The orange and brown color is stylistic.

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Tasting terms

  • adhesiveness

    The degree to which some foods stick to the tongue, teeth or upper palate; not to be confused with "cohesiveness," which is the degree to which food sticks together. Example: Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; white bread sticking to the teeth.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • heat

    The intensity of spiciness or the perceived warmth of food in the mouth. Example: Hot sauce has a distinct flavor, but it also possesses a heat component that warms the mouth.