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REC: Orange Chicken (aka General Tso's)

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13615 posts
Joined: Jul 17, 2006


Posted to Thread #5719 at 3:55 am on Feb 13, 2007

This is SO amazingly good, it is the only recipe I use now. The chicken is nice and crunchy, which is key for me...

Orange-Flavored Chicken (like General Tso’s)
America’s Test Kitchen, 7/23/2006

A skillet won’t work for the frying - it needs to be a large dutch oven or straight-sided pan with at least a 3 quart capacity.

Makes 4 Servings

Marinade and Sauce:
1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut in 1-1/2” pieces (an equal amount
of breast meat can also be used)
3/4 cup chicken broth [3/4 cup water + 1/2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon chicken base]
3/4 cup orange juice, plus 1-1/2 tsp. grated zest and 8 strips of orange peel
6 tbl. distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 med. cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbl.)
1 piece fresh ginger, grated (1 tbl.)
1/4 tsp. cayenne [I use oriental chili oil]
1 tbl. + 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbl. cold water
8 small whole dried red chilies (optional... for looks only)

For coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cayenne [I omitted this]
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups peanut oil [peanut oil is best for crispness, but you can use vegetable oil if needed]

1. For Marinade and Sauce: Place chicken pieces in a 1-gallon ziploc bag and set aside. Combine broth, orange juice, zest, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne in large saucepan (at least 3-quart capacity); whisk until sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out 3/4 cup of pour over chicken in bag. Press out as much air as possible and seal bag, turning to coat all pieces. Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes, but no longer.
2. Bring rest of sauce to boil in saucepan over high heat. In small bowl, stir together cornstarch in the cold water; whisk into the sauce. Turn down to simmer and stir occasionally until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in orange peel and chilies (sauce should measure 1-1/2 cups); set aside.
3. For coating: Place egg whites in pie plate; using fork, beat until frothy. In a second pie plate, whisk cornstarch, cayenne and baking soda until combined. Drain chicken in colander or large mesh strainer; thoroughly pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place half of chicken in egg whites, turning to coat; transfer pieces to cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly. Place dredged chicken pieces on wire rack set over a baking sheet, separating some so they don’t stick together; repeat with rest of chicken.
4. To fry: heat oil in 11 to 12” dutch oven over high heat until oil registers 350 deg. on deep-fry thermometer. Carefully place half of chicken in oil, one piece at a time; fry until golden brown, about 5 min.,turning with tongs to fry evenly. Transfer chicken to large plate lined with paper towels. Return oil to 350 deg. and repeat with rest of chicken.
5. To serve: Reheat sauce over med-hi heat until simmering, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and toss gently until evenly coated. Serve immediately. Hint: I generally pile the chicken in a serving bowl, then drizzle the sauce over it so it stays crunchier.

NOTE: to make green onion curls like in the picture, cut off about 3” from the top of the white part. Now slice through the green part, lengthwise, until you reach the white part. Place in ice water until it curls. You can keep it in the ice water until you’re ready to use it for garnish.

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out, but I can usually shut her up with cookies!

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