I heart some good Chinese food. Unfortunately, I can hardly ever find some good Chinese food. When you can't find some, what do you do? Well just make your own of course!
After this recipe, I am realizing that a good Chinese recipe is better than getting take out. This isn't our first go at homemade Chinese food. I have made our family a PF Chang's Mongolian Beef knock-off before and that was Heavenly. Add orange chicken to the list and we are almost our very own Chinese restaurant...give or take a 20 recipes or so...hahaha.
I promise if you are a Chinese food lover, this recipe will not disappoint. There is a little labor involved, but it is well worth it.
Smells Like Home
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
6 tbsp. white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup brown sugar (dark or light)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (can omit if worried about little mouths)
1½ lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
coating for chicken:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups each peanut and canola oil
For the marinade/sauce, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a saucepan; whisk to blend well. Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag, or other marinating container. Add the chicken pieces to the bag. 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 cornstarch mixture to the saucepan with the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Set aside.
For the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate and whisk until frothy. In a second pie plate combine the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper (can omit if worried about little mouths); whisk to blend. Drain the chicken of the marinade in a colander or large strainer; pat dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat. Transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a saute' pan when the oil reaches 350˚ F (oil thermometer is helpful here). Carefully place half of the chicken pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through cooking. Remove from the oil with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the oil to 350˚ F and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Once all the chicken has been cooked, place in a serving dish and toss with the sauce until covered. Serve over rice. You can top with some sliced green onions. Add a side of broccoli to make yourself feel better.
ENJOY. I know you will.