Make this favorite Chinese take-out meal at home! The extra prep and cook time is totally worth the effort to make this delicious dish on occasion as a special treat.
For the marinade and sauce:
▪ .75 cup chicken broth
▪ 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
▪ Zest of 2 oranges
▪ 6 Tablespoons white vinegar
▪ .25 cup soy sauce
▪ .5 cup brown sugar
▪ 3 cloves garlic, minced
▪ 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
▪ .25 teaspoon cayenne pepper
▪ 1.5 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
▪ 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
▪ 2 Tablespoons cold water
For the coating and frying:
▪ 3 large egg whites
▪ 1 cup cornstarch
▪ .5 teaspoon baking soda
▪ .25 teaspoon cayenne pepper
▪ 3 cups oil (I used vegetable oil, but you can use canola, peanut, etc)
1. 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 about 1/3 cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag or a dish. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well. Or if using a dish, evenly coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate and let it marinate for 30 to 60 minutes. Place the saucepan with the remaining sauce 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 this mixture to the saucepan with the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. To prepare the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate or shallow bowl and whisk until frothy. In a second plate or bowl, combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend. Drain the chicken from the marinade in a colander or large strainer and 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.
3. To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a Dutch oven or straight-sided sauté pan until the oil reaches 350 degrees 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 degrees F and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
4. Reheat the sauce if necessary and toss with the cooked chicken pieces. Serve over rice and add some vegetables, if desired. Enjoy!
This recipe makes about 4-6 servings.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making/cooking the chicken yourself, you can totally buy pre-made popcorn chicken or boneless wings and toss them in this sauce for a similar dish.
Feel free to mix this up with various types of rice, noodles, and vegetables depending on what you like - it’s hard to go wrong!