Orange Chicken

You may have heard this once or twice...but I'm a huge fan of the Pioneer Woman. I love watching her show and taste testing her recipes. Her site is one of my go to destinations for new recipes; they are consistently delicious and packed with flavor. A year ago, I was lucky enough to go to a live cooking demonstration and meet her at a book signing! 

Ever since she announced her new cookbook was coming out, I've been anticipating its arrival! The cookbook came out in October and I eagerly flipped through the pages and started marking all the recipes I couldn't wait to try. Among my favorites was an orange chicken recipe. We love Chinese food, but have never attempted an orange chicken before. 

This recipe also gave us a chance to try out our small deep fryer that we recently purchased. We do not fry very often, but this makes it easier. Also, since we have a glass flat top stove and didn't want to use our extremely heavy cast iron dutch oven for frying the chicken.

This dish is quite tasty! The sauce is full of citrus flavor, a hint of sweetness, and a slight kick of heat from the red pepper. I love the addition of orange zest along with the juice, it gave it a freshness and enhanced the flavor.

Orange Chicken ingredients:
  • Peanut oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 2 - 2 1/2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • Dash of Kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbs of additional cornstarch for slurry
  • 1/4 cup water for slurry
  • 2 green onions
Orange Chicken instructions:
  • Heat oil at medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot (or in a deep fryer) until it registers 350F
  • Cut chicken breasts into bite sized pieces
  • Whisk together egg whites and 2 tbs of corn starch until foamy
  • Place chicken in egg mixture and sit for 5-10 minutes
  • Whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and orange zest in a skillet
  • Create a slurry with the 1 tbs of cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; place to the side
  • Heat orange juice mixture to a boil over medium-high heat
  • Add slurry mixture and combined
  • Cook sauce for 1 minute, or until thick (add water if it gets too thick)
  • Cook chicken in batches in the oil (don't clump together) for 2-2 1/2 minutes until light golden brown and cooked through
  • Remove chicken from oil and let drain on a paper towel
  • Cook the chicken for a second time for 1 minute per batch
  • Remove them and drain on another paper towel
  • Warm the sauce back up and add some water if too thick
  • Place chicken in sauce and toss it
  • Grate additional orange zest
  • Serve with rice and some green onions for garnish

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