Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Orange Chicken

I found this recipe over at Annie's Eats, one of my favorite cooking blogs. I didn't change much, although I did make the marinade and sauce the night before. This is still a time consuming recipe that I won't be attempting again on a weeknight. Also next time I make it I'll probably skip the cayenne pepper in the breading, it was too spicy for The Diva to eat. This was pretty awesome as leftovers too!

Marinade and Sauce:
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup orange juice
1-1/2 tsp orange zest
6 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tbsp ginger [1 tbsp fresh]
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-1/2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water
8 thin strips orange peel (optional)

Combine chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large sauce pan; whisk to blend well. Measure out 3/4 cup of mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well. Refrigerate and let marinate 30-60 minutes, but no longer.

Place the saucepan with the remaining mixture on the stove and heat over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan with the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using. (I reheated this in the microwave the night I cooked the chicken.)

Coating and Frying:
3 large egg whites (I used two whole eggs)
1 cup cornstarch (I used half flour, half cornstarch)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Heated oil - I used my electric deep fryer to better control the oil temperature.

Prepare coating by whisking egg whites to a froth in a pie plate or shallow dish. In a second pie plate (or plastic bag works well for me), combine cornstarch (and flour), baking soda and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend. Drain chicken of marinade in a colander or large strainer; pat dry with paper towels. In small batches, place chicken pieces in egg whites, coating well. Transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess.

Fry chicken until golden brown in oil heated to 350 degs F (about 5 minutes).

Toss chicken with sauce. Serve over rice.

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