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Orange Chicken

I like to cook items that not only I personally like, but also that appeal to my culinary style. Being from the south I never really liked traditional southern cuisine , but I tried to find ways to make them more enjoyable. One thing is that I like to fuse asian flavor profiles and ingredients into southern cooking, Combine that love, plus the love of take-out and I came up with this recipe.

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Orange Chicken is one of my favorites when ordering take out.  While it is not very traditional in Asian Cuisine it is something that you can find on almost every take out menu in America.  The best thing about this dish to me is that with the sweet from the orange you can kick up the heat and not overpower the dish. It can be served by itself or paired with rice for a complete meal.

  1. Heat 3 cups of oil (vegetable, or any high temp oil) in dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour buttermilk into one container or bowl & put flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into a second container.
  3. Mince garlic gloves and add to buttermilk as well as zest from 2 oranges.
  4. In a medium saucepan add orange juice, brown sugar, honey, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, and zest from remaining 2 oranges and turn on low-med heat to reduce.  Keep an eye and stir as needed, after reduction reaches 1/2 turn off heat.
  5. Divide paprika, onion powder, and black pepper evenly in buttermilk mixture and flour mixture.  Add 3 tsp of cayenne pepper to buttermilk mixture and 2 tsp to flour mixture.  Add 2 tbsp of kosher salt to buttermilk mixture and 1 tbsp to flour mixture. Juice all 4 oranges and add to buttermilk mixture, take whisks and mix both mixtures well in their separate bowls.
  6. Cut chicken into small pieces (4in x 4in) and add to buttermilk mixture. Let sit at least 15 mins, and check temp of oil before proceeding.
  7. In batches, take pieces of chicken from buttermilk mixture and toss in flour mixture and fry until golden brown and temp reaches 160 degrees.  
  8. When done move cooked chicken into separate bowl and toss with reduced orange sauce.  Serve over rice or alone on a plate while hot.
  9. Cut up green onions and garnish, optional garnish could be white & black sesame seeds as well. 

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