Feb 12, 2010

orange chicken

OK! Finnnnnnnallllyyyyy I got to make orange chicken! I'm not really sure how I feel about this recipe. I mean, it was tasty, but I didn't love it. Dan on the other hand, loved it and ate his portion and half of mine. (My eyes were significantly larger than my stomach) So I think it's just me. Also, I messed up a few things because I am careless and I work to fast (That was for you dad, yes I know I should work more slowly) but it still turned out delicious. So! Here's how you do it.

for the marinade and sauce
1 1/2-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
8 thin strips of orange peel (optional, it's just for decoration)
6 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh grates ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water
for the coating and frying
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups canola oil (or any other frying oil--not olive!)

Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. (This took me forever! Well I was watching tv at the same time, but still. Took forever.) Put the pieces in a ziplock bag and set aside while you make the marinade. In a saucepan combine the chicken broth, orange juice, zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne. Now this is where I had to make a few changes. I was a bit to hasty in throwing away the oranges after I juiced them, so there was no zest. I also couldn't find the cayenne, which I swear we have, and so I used some chili powder instead. I also didn't have fresh ginger because I'm cheap and saw that the bottled kind was cheaper. But in retrospect, I should have used fresh. If you are using the bottled kind like me, don't use a whole tbsp, use maybe half. Anyway, when that's all combined whisk it together over med-heat until the sugar is dissolved. Put 3/4 cup of the marinade in the ziplock bag with the chicken. Seal and remove any extra air. Put the chicken in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

With the rest of the sauce, put it back over med-heat and bring to a boil. In a bowl combine the water and cornstarch. Put the cornstarch mixture in the sauce and whisk it together. It'll get thick really fast, so keep stirring. Let it simmer for about a minute more and then set it aside until the chicken is done marinating.
When the chicken is ready, grab two pie plates or cake pans. In one, crack and separate the eggs. Then beat them until frothy. In the other, combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and cayenne. Drain the chicken in a colander and pat them dry with paper towels. In batches, put the chicken in the egg whites and flip them around so they get thoroughly coated. Then transfer them to the cornstarch mixture and get them coated in that too. Put them on another plate until you have all the chicken pieces dredged.

Heat oil in a large straight edge pan over high heat until the oil reaches 350. (remember my trick? throw water in it, and if it bounces all over then place, it's ready.) Put the chicken in the oil in batches. They should fry for about 5 minutes, you might want to cut one open and see if it's done.

transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Keep going until all the chicken is cooked. Doesn't that look tasty? Even without the sauce, this chicken was soooo tasty.

When that is all done, reheat the sauce. It maybe have congealed a little, but once you heat it up, it'll be ok. Add the chicken and toss gently until it is all coated.
We had this with a side of rice, which was delicious with the sauce on it.

Hope you enjoy!

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