Crispy Takeout Orange Chicken
Crispy takeout style orange chicken at home can be yours.
▪1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, large diced
▪30g or 2Tbsp soy sauce
▪30g or 2Tbsp mirin
▪3g or 1tsp corn starch
▪4g or 1tsp baking soda
Cut chicken breasts into a large bite-sized dice.
In a bowl, whisk together soy, mirin, corn starch, and baking soda. Add chicken chunks and stir to coat. Marinate for 20 minutes.
BREADING AND FRYING
▪400g or 3 1/3c ap flour
▪15g or 2 1/4tsp salt
▪6g or 1 1/4tsp baking soda
▪400g or 3 1/4c corn starch
▪Additional ap flour (about 3/350g cups)
▪Neutral oil. I’m using a bout 2qt. Oil should be around 2”/5cm deep
Into a 2nd bowl, whisk together 400g ap flour, salt, baking soda and corn starch. In a 3rd bowl, add about ¼ of the dry breading mixture. To that small portion of dry breader, whisk in water, a little at a time, until you’re left with a loose pancake batter texture.
Back in bowl 2 (with dry breading only), add about 1/4c of the wet breading slurry you just made. Mix and crumble the wet into the dry, creating a dry crumbly texture.
Grab a 4th bowl and fill it with about 3 cups of AP flour. Add marinated chicken pieces. Mix to coat well on all sides.
Shake off as much of the ap flour mixture from the chicken as possible, then add chicken into the wet batter in bowl 3. Toss to coat well.
Now move pieces of wet battered chicken into the craggy dry breader mix (bowl 2). Mix to coat well. Transfer chicken pieces to a tray.
Preheat large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat with about 2qt of neutral oil (or about 2-3”/5-8cm of oil, leaving plenty of room at the top of your pot so oil doesn’t boil over when you add chicken) for 10 min or until oil reaches a temp of 300F/150C. Gently lower breaded chicken into the oil (use a spider to avoid splashing oil). Fry 4-5 min at 300F/150C.
After 4-5 min or when nuggets are a light blonde golden color, remove from oil and transfer to a wire rack to drain.
Increase heat under oil pot to medium high to increase oil temp to 350F/175C. Carefully lower once-cooked nuggets back into the oil to cook for about another 90 seconds or until they’ve taken on a nice golden brown color. Transfer onto a wire rack and keep warm in a low oven while you make your orange chicken sauce.
ORANGE CHICKEN SAUCE
▪30g or 2Tbsp neutral, high smoke point oil
▪10g or 2 cloves garlic, grated
▪10g or about a 1.5” piece ginger, grated
▪20g or 4Tbsp scallions, thinly sliced (only about bottom half/2/3 of scallions)
▪125g or 1/2c chicken stock
▪75g or 1/4c mirin
▪50g or 3Tbsp soy sauce
▪10g or 2tsp sesame oil
▪50g or 1/4c sugar
▪25g or 1.5Tbsp rice vinegar
▪Juice of 1 large orange
▪1tsp orange zest (about 8-10 healthy zests)
▪5g or 2tsp corn starch
▪Pinch Chile flake
▪Corn starch slurry if needed (2g or 3/4tsp corn starch mixed into 4g water)
To make the sauce, heat a generous squeeze of neutral oil in a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic, and scallions and cook, stirring often, for about a minute until fragrant.
Whisk together chicken stock, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, rice vin, orange zest and juice and corn starch. Add sauce to pan with ginger/garlic/scallion mixture along with a pinch of chile flakes. Bring to a simmer and reduce sauce by about half – about 2 minutes. Check consistency of sauce at this point. If it’s not thick enough to leave a trail when you run a spoon through it, stir in a splash of corn starch slurry. Bring back to a boil and check consistency again.
Add cooked nuggets into pan with sauce. Gently toss to coat, careful not to over work to loosen the breading.
Serve over rice and top with a pinch of sesame seeds and chile flakes.