Monday, August 15, 2011

Orange Chicken

You know when you read an email and can't respond because you need to look further into something or need to talk to someone first or because you need to wait for something else to get planned first.  But then it gets to be a week...two weeks...a month later and it is just awkward to respond so late.  I feel like that is how this blog is right now.  So this is me, writing back, saying "Sorry it took me so long to get back to you!"

I moved.  I don't live in Boulder, CO anymore.  :(  I am now an East Coaster (job -> re-locay).  :)  Scot, Copper and I are now living in a world of bagels, delis, diners, pizza and donuts.  We are also getting used to the random humidity and rain.  It is fun.  But Boulder and all the wonderful people there took a piece of my heart.  There is also a pretty good chance that I am getting fat.  ter.  

My little sister has been visiting, like she does every summer.  Read more about her here.  When we picked her up from Laguardia, we spent the afternoon in the city.  As we were walking around, I asked her what she was hungry for.  She said "sandwiches or Asian".  I got excited and told her she could get any Asian food she wanted in NYC.  And good stuff too.  So I asked, "do you like real Asian or American Asian."  She said, "probably American Asian".  

After crying, I told her to forget about it.  Ughs-ies.  If there is anything I hate more than American Asian food, it would have to be the devil or Taco Bell.  Don't get me wrong, I went through the Sesame Chicken phase in high school.  I did that.  I went there.  BUT, it ain't right.  We all know that.

Anyways, if she wants "Chinese" food, I will make it from scratch.  I am not afraid of a little frying.  At least this way, I know what is in it.  Make sure to serve it with some steamed vegetables. NEED to serve veggies with this.  It is the only way to get out of this situation alive.  

Orange Chicken
from Cooking at Home in America’s Test Kitchen via Annie’s Eats

For the marinade and sauce:
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
11/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
6 tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
11/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
8 thin strips orange peel (optional)

For the coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups peanut or canola oil (I like a combination)

To make the marinade and sauce, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large saucepan; whisk to blend well. Measure out 3/4 cup of the 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 the heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using.

To prepare 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; 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 11- or 12-inch round Dutch oven or straightsided sauté pan until the oil reaches 350° F. 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.

Reheat the sauce if necessary and toss with the cooked chicken pieces. Serve over rice, if desired.

(Servings: 4, Prep time: 1 hr., Cook time: 45 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  6/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Cindy (taste):  9/10
Effort:  4/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5


  1. congrats on your move! im going to need a list of food hot spots for our visit next month. that means you should be doing some heavy research ;) k thanks!

  2. Yay for new recipes! I moved into my sister and Curt's house last week (moving sucks!) and made them your african chicken soup, which everyone loved, obviously. This post is excellent, I need to feed K and C more wonderful Shanon recipes before they leave for Denmark.
    I seriously doubt you or Scott could ever really be fat!!!
    Miss you two :(

  3. Congratulations on your move! Now we can miss CO together! This looks amazing, and I can totally relate to family desiring American versions of Asian staples. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I'm eager to try it out on my own. I love visiting your blog before my work day. I need to begin with a smile :-) Have a wonderful rest of your week!