Orange-Flavored Chicken

From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Asian Chicken Classics

Why this recipe works:

To upgrade the classic but often lackluster orange-flavored chicken recipe, we marinated the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, vinegar, fresh orange juice, and chicken broth, reserving some marinade to become the base for the final sauce. We created a tender-crisp… read more

To upgrade the classic but often lackluster orange-flavored chicken recipe, we marinated the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, vinegar, fresh orange juice, and chicken broth, reserving some marinade to become the base for the final sauce. We created a tender-crisp coating for our orange chicken recipe by dunking the marinated chicken first in egg white, then cornstarch. The egg white created a thin sheath of protein beneath the cornstarch that kept the chicken dry, helping it brown more readily than a wet, gluey coating would.

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Serves 4

We prefer the flavor and texture of thigh meat for this recipe, though an equal amount of boneless skinless chicken breasts can be used. It is easiest to grate the orange zest and remove the strips of orange peel before juicing the oranges; use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the strips. For extra spiciness, increase the cayenne added to the sauce to 1/2 teaspoon. The whole dried chiles are added for appearance, not for flavor, and can be omitted. To fry the chicken, use a Dutch oven or a straight-sided sauté pan (with at least 3-quart capacity); do not use a 12-inch skillet with sloped sides, as it will be too small to contain the oil once the chicken is added. White rice and steamed broccoli are good accompaniments.

Ingredients

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