This, my friends, is what I like to call a "main dish"! I know, I know, I know....you are not used to such things from Baker Becky, with the rare exception of baked main dishes you primarily see my baked desserts. The blogging world knows me as a baker but believe it or not I make part of my living as a caterer and I really LOVE to cook! I posted this picture on Baker Becky's Facebook page and had some requests for the recipe so I decided share with you all.
I do the meal planning in my household but I like my boys to be part of that so I try to let each of them plan the menu for one night per week. This week, my youngest chose his favorite "going out" meal....Orange Chicken. I will confess that I have never made it from scratch before but I figured it couldn't really be all that hard.
After checking several recipes I decided to follow this one because if looked so easy and I figured it was best to start with an easy recipe and tweak it later if it needs it. The only change I made to the recipe was to add salt and pepper to the corn starch. Yes...you heard it....corn starch. The chicken is dredged in corn starch instead of flour, which makes for a light and crispy crust. Trust me, it will work!
Give it a try and serve with white rice and broccoli or stir fried veggies! Your kids will love it, you will too, and it will save you the money you would spend on chinese take-out!!
Orange Chicken (adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
Marinade and Sauce:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup orange juice , plus 1 1/2 teaspoons grated zest
6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 medium cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups peanut or canola oil
FOR THE MARINADE AND SAUCE:
Place chicken in 1-gallon zipper-lock bag; set aside. Combine chicken broth, orange juice, grated zest, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne in large saucepan (with at least 3-quart capacity); whisk until sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out 3/4 cup mixture and pour into bag with chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal bag, making sure that all pieces are coated with marinade. Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes, but no longer.
Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Set sauce aside.
FOR THE COATING:
Place egg whites in pie plate; using fork, beat until frothy. In second pie plate, whisk cornstarch, cayenne, salt, pepper, and baking soda until combined. Drain chicken in colander or large mesh strainer; thoroughly pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place half of chicken pieces in egg whites and turn to coat; transfer pieces to cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly. Place dredged chicken pieces on plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
TO FRY THE CHICKEN:
Heat oil in 11- to 12-inch Dutch oven or straight-sided sauté pan with at least 3-quart capacity over high heat until oil registers 350 degrees on instant-read or deep-fry thermometer. Carefully place half of chicken in oil one piece at a time; fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning each piece with tongs halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to large plate lined with paper towels. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken.
Reheat sauce over medium heat until simmering, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve immediately.
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