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Mash-Up Yum: Orange Fried Chicken

I was in the mood for fried chicken - my “if I was on death row” dish. But I also like some of the dishes at Panda Express, like their Orange Chicken. (On Dupont highway - have you tried it?)

So I found this dish from Chrissy Teigen who mashed them up and made Orange Fried Chicken. You can have this on a sandwich as she does or as your main protein, or in a salad. For fried chicken, it’s pretty light, and very crispy.

FOR THE CHICKEN:

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

4 (4- to 5-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs

½ cup flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup panko bread crumbs

Paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


FOR THE ORANGE SAUCE:

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

½ cup honey

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1 tablespoon Thai chili-garlic sauce

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced


Prepare the chicken: In a small glass or ceramic baking dish, medium bowl, or zippered plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, orange juice, orange zest, sesame oil, and garlic. Add the chicken and toss or smush around to coat well. Leave on the counter to marinate for 1 hour, or in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Place the flour in one shallow bowl, the eggs in another, and the panko in a third bowl. Season the flour and eggs with pinches of paprika, salt, and pepper. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dip it in the flour (shake off the excess), then the egg (let the excess drip off back into the bowl), then into the panko, pressing down so the bread crumbs stick to the chicken. Let the chicken sit while you make the sauce and slaw; this helps everything stick when you fry it!

Make the sauce: In a bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the vinegar, then stir in the honey, orange juice and zest, chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil until the honey is dissolved. In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sauce mixture, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2–3 minutes. Cover to keep warm.

Fry the chicken: Heat ½ inch of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking (a small piece of bread should fry evenly to a nice golden brown when dropped into the oil). Gently arrange the cutlets in the skillet, 2 at a time or all 4 if they can fit without touching, and fry until golden and crisp, 3 minutes per side. Place a few layers of paper towels on a platter and transfer the chicken to them to drain when ready.

Clearly, Ms. Teigen can cook. I mean, she’s also married to John Legend - how much luck can one girl have? But all the chefs I know have scars - burns on the forearm, stitches or scars on fingers, etc. But I don't see any. And from the looks of what she’s wearing, she doesn’t hide much.



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