Monday, April 18, 2011

Annie's Orange Chicken

It’s been a day trying to get next semester’s courses figured out. My husband pointed out at lunch that I couldn’t be in two places at once, and suggested I drop a super cool food processing class.

I’m sort of glad he spotted it before I register tonight.

Sort of, because I really want to take that class. Sort of not because I need to fill the empty space, and ended up with two math classes. But I figured, to take all those fun upper level food science courses I need to get math out of the way anyway. So I’m bucking up and pretending to be brave about it.

I also figured I better take the afternoon off while I still can!

Therefore, today’s recipe is not my own. It comes from Annie at Annie’s Eats. I've noticed several foodie blogger friends talking about Annie’s Orange Chicken recently. I resisted the first time, the second, and weakened about the third post.

So deep fried goodness it was. I did serve it with brown rice, which helped justify the yummy splurge.

Annie's Orange Chicken
Printer Version

For the marinade and sauce:
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 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
1 1/2 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 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups peanut or canola oil

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 ¾ 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 an 11- or 12-inch round Dutch oven or straight-sided 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 (Not too long though, chicken can get tough and cornstarch doesn’t brown so watch it.), 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.

Recipe from Annie's Eats. Photograph by Laura Flowers.


Unknown said...

2 math classes, I force my husband to do all the adding and subtracting inour relationship! ha.

This does look so good, and I would love not to have buy my orange chicken.


Chelsea said...

Yum! Orange chicken is one of my favorite guilty foods. Good luck with your math classes! It's definitely one of my weak areas.

Unknown said...

This looks so good - and cheers for an afternoon off!

Betty @ scrambled henfruit said...

Long ago, before I loved math, I took all of my math classes in summer school to get them over quickly. :) So be can do it! Just think of all of those really cool food science courses on the other side!
And that lovely chicken? Mmmm...I've been tempted by this chicken once before, when I saw it on Annie's site. It looked good then, and it looks good now. :)

ann@ Apples and Twinkies said...

I'm going to have to try this Orange Chicken. It looks fabulous!

Mari said...

Yummy, Laura. The chicken, not the math. Good luck!

Jess @ Sugar High said...

This just makes me want to make this chicken all over again. Delicious!

natasha {schue love} said...

This looks super yummy!!! Definitely must try this soon! (Best cheese!)

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Oh goodness this looks fantastic. I love the picture, do you think I could make this with tofu?!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Meg it would be awesome with tofu!

Simones Kitchen said...

O mmm math or cooking.... Lol that's just not a fair choice I would say but I know the dilemma. This chicken looks gorgeous. I'm a big fan of citrus flavors combined with chicken!

notyet100 said...

will try this coming weekend,

The Atwoods said...

We LOVE this recipe!!! Nathan comments that it tastes just like PF Changs...I can't argue with that! :) Glad you enjoyed it too.

Krysta said...

Oh yum! I love orange chicken. Do you think I could make it with shrimp instead?

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Krysta,

This one would be really good with shrimp.


stephchows said...

mm so much better than greasy takeout!

Joanne said...

At least you made it in your own kitchen so you know it wasn't fried in MSG! And it does look delicious.

Yes, enjoy the free time while you can. I speak from experience.

Maria said...

Oh this looks so tasty! I've made orange chicken before, but it never looked this good! I'll try your recipe next time :-)

Aisha Jameel said...

wow! that looks really good

Anonymous said...

This sounds fantastic! Totally unlike math classes...not my thing at all. Best of luck!

La Bella Cooks said...

I could never pass up orange chicken so I am glad that you caved on the third go and went for it. 2 math classes? You brave woman!

Joyti said...

OO, the sounds really good. And maybe a spurge, but waaaay better than lemon chicken take-out I'm certain!

VegeCooking Club said...

Bummer aboutthe class but at least your dish look gorgeous as usual!

Sue said...

That is a long ingredient list, but I'm sure it's worth it:) The orange chicken looks wonderful! Good luck with your classes, Laura:)

Unknown said...

I love this recipe. I bet you could substitute lemon juice for the orange juice. I have only seen a few restaurants do a lemon chicken recipe.

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