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Orange Chicken

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Would you believe that you can make Orange Chicken just as good, if not better, than Panda Express.....and it is gluten free? Seriously, this is that good. I was so excited to find this recipe and learn this method of preparing and cooking chicken. My kids BEG me to make this a lot more than I actually do.....moderation in all things, right? It is most definitely a family favorite that comes up often for birthday dinners or other special nights. It's just perfect.


Orange Chicken

Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

4 egg whites

3/4 cup orange juice, divided

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

dash of kosher salt

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, minced

1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

zest of 1 orange

vegetable oil for frying

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat until 350°F. In a bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and egg whites until frothy. Add the chicken pieces and let them sit while you prepare the sauce. For the sauce, in a skillet, combine 1/2 cup orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. Add the orange zest and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/4 cup orange juice to make a slurry. Pour into the sauce and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside. To fry chicken, in batches drop chicken one piece at a time into the hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes or until light brown, moving around as they cook. Using a slotted spatula, remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken. After frying all the chicken, make sure the oil is back to 350°F, then return the chicken in batches to cook for another minute to crisp up and get a little more brown. Remove and drain on new paper towels. Immediately throw the chicken into sauce (warm if too cooled) and toss to coat. Serve with a little more orange zest.


Step-by-step tutorial:

Gather your ingredients. You will need 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cornstarch, 4 eggs, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, an orange for zesting, and fresh ginger.

In a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 4 egg whites. Save the yolks for another recipe (homemade ice cream!).

Whisk until frothy.

Add the chicken pieces and stir them around to coat. Let them sit while you prepare the sauce and heat the oil.

For the sauce, in a large skillet add 1/2 cup orange juice and 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and one garlic clove, minced.

Grate in the ginger and orange zest. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup orange juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch to make a slurry. Pour into the sauce while stirring.

Continue to stir the sauce until thickened. Set aside.

Bring your oil to 350°F. Are you ready for an awesome way to fry breaded chicken that is naturally gluten free? You can use this method for other recipes too!

In small batches, drop the chicken pieces into the oil one by one. Fry the chicken for about 2 minutes or until light brown, moving the chicken around a few times. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with all chicken pieces.

Check that your oil stays around 350°F. Do another round of frying to crisp the chicken and get it an even golden brown. This time you can do more chicken at once and only fry for a minute. Drain on paper towels.

Reheat the sauce if needed, then pour chicken immediately into the sauce and stir to coat. Sprinkle with a little more orange zest. Oh yes!! Even better than takeout!

Recipe Source: Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks - Dinnertime


Did you try this recipe?  I'd love to hear from you!  Please rate and leave a comment!

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