How To Make Trader Joe's Orange Chicken (Copycat)
Whip up a fresher, non-packet dinner meal by recreating this rich, filling, and citrusy Trader Joe's orange chicken at home!
For Marinade and Sauce:
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1½ tsp orange zest, finely grated
- 6 tbsp white vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar, (dark or light)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1½ lb chicken thighs, or breasts, boneless, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp cornstarch, plus 2 tsp
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 8 orange peel, thin strips (optional)
For Coating and Frying:
- 3 egg whites, large
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1½ cup peanut oil
- 1½ cup canola oil
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 ¾ cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well.
Refrigerate and let marinate for 30 to 60 minutes, but no longer.
- Add the remaining mixture to a saucepan 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 the mixture to the saucepan with the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent. Remove from the heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using.
Place the egg whites in a pie plate and whisk until frothy. In a second pie plate combine the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend.
Drain the chicken of the marinade in a colander or large strainer; 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.
To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a 11- or 12-inch round 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 for about 5 minutes until golden brown, 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.
- Reheat the sauce if necessary and toss with the cooked chicken pieces. Serve over rice, if desired.
- Sugar: 31g
- Calcium: 97mg
- Calories: 2157kcal
- Carbohydrates: 75g
- Cholesterol: 167mg
- Fat: 194g
- Fiber: 4g
- Iron: 2mg
- Monounsaturated Fat: 102g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 56g
- Potassium: 677mg
- Protein: 34g
- Saturated Fat: 28g
- Sodium: 1174mg
- Trans Fat: 1g
- Vitamin A: 591IU
- Vitamin C: 60mg
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