Chinese Orange Chicken

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Ingredients

1½ lbs boneless skinless, chicken breast halves, diced into 1 – 1½-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest (zest of 1½ fairly large oranges)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
⅓ cup white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
⅔ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp dried ginger
2 Tbsp grated yellow onion (be sure to get some of the juices when measuring)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
Freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
1¼ cups + 2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp cold water
2 large eggs
vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
chopped green onions and sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Place chicken pieces in a gallon size resealable bag, set aside. In a medium saucepan combine chicken broth, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, granulated sugar, ginger, yellow onion, garlic, Sriracha and pepper. Whisk mixture well, then measure out 2/3 cup of the mixture and pour it over the chicken in resealable bag. Seal bag while pressing excess air out, and press chicken into marinade. Place bag in a bowl or baking dish and refrigerate 30 minutes. Meanwhile, return remaining sauce mixture over medium heat and bring mixture just to a boil, stirring frequently. In a small bowl whisk together 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water then stir mixture into sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 1 – 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until thickened, remove from heat.
Pour vegetable oil into a large cast iron dutch oven, filling pot about 1 1/2 – 2-inches deep and heat oil to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a shallow dish until well blended. Pour remaining 1 1/4 cups cornstarch into a separate shallow dish. Remove chicken from refrigerator and drain and discard marinade from chicken. Dip chicken pieces into egg followed by cornstarch and toss pieces to evenly coat in cornstarch, then carefully place 1/3 of the chicken pieces into preheated oil and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until golden, turning once during cooking. Using skimmer, remove fried chicken from oil and transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain excess oil. Repeat process with remaining chicken working in two more batches. Pour drained fried chicken into a bowl and toss with sauce. Serve warm over white or brown rice garnished with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

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