Saturday, September 12, 2009

Orange Chicken

My DB was begging to have Sweet & Sour Chicken again, but I have so many new recipes to try that I didn't want to make a duplicate recipe... so we compromised on this recipe. Another Asian chicken dish prepared similarly (as DB wants) but a NEW recipe (as I want). And this recipe didn't disappoint! This tasted EVEN BETTER THAN CHINESE TAKE-OUT! A helpful tip I learned: Zest and take the strips from the oranges first; then juice the oranges. The chicken fried up crispy, and the marinade helped enhance the flavor of the chicken. This made a lot of sauce. Next time, I will increase the chicken to 2.5-lbs. The sauce tasted homemade (and not fake)- another winner from Joelen and Cook's Illustrated. Try this instead of your next Chinese take-out!

Marinade & Sauce
1 -1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces (Used boneless, skinless chicken)
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (I used chicken stock)
3/4 cup Orange juice, plus 1-1/2 tsp grated zest from 2 oranges
6 Tbsp distilled white vinegar (Used rice vinegar)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cayenne
1 Tbsp plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 Tbsp cold water
8 strips orange peel (each about 2" long by 1/2" wide)
8 small whole dried red chiles (optional)

Coating & Frying oil
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 cups peanut oil (I used canola oil)

1. Place the chicken in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag; set aside.
2. Combine the chicken broth, orange juice, grated zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne in a large saucepan (with at least a 3 quart capacity); whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved.
3. Measure out 3/4 cup of the mixture and pour into the bag with the chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal the bag, making sure that all the pieces are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, but no longer.
4. Bring the remaining mixture in the saucepan to a boil over high heat.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold water which the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute.
6. Off the heat, stir in the orange peel and chiles, if using (the sauce should measure 1-1/2 cups); set the sauce aside.

1. Place the egg whites in a pie plate, using a fork, beat until frothy.
2. In a second pie plate, which the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne until combined.
3. Drain the chicken in a colander or large mesh strainer; thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
4. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat; transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly.
5. Place the dredged chicken pieces on a wire rack set over a baking sheet repeat with the remaining chicken.

1. Heat the oil in an 11-to 12-inch Dutch oven or straight sided sauté pan with at least a 3 quart capacity over high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees on an instant read or deep fry thermometer.
2. Carefully place half of the chicken in the oil; fry to golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning each piece with tongs halfway through cooking.
3. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the oil to 350 degrees and repeat with the remaining chicken.

1. Reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmer, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve immediately.

Source: Seen on Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, originally from Cooking at Home with America’s Test Kitchen


Melissa said...

I've made this several times, it's one of my favorite dishes...yum!

Angie said...

I'm actually making orange chicken tonight. I had a few recipes that I was debating between but I think I'll add this to the mix because that just looks freaking fantastic!

Joelen said...

This is definitely one of my fave orange chicken recipes! Glad you liked it!

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