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A TIME FOR CELEBRATION

Think sweet and sour chicken with a Mandarin orange punch. It's a better-than-takeout version that doesn't require deep-frying.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1.5lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into chunks
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 egg, whisked
Zest of 4 Mandarin oranges
2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup Mandarin orange juice (4 Mandarins)
3 tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chili garlic sauce (optional)
Garnish options: toasted sesame seeds, Mandarin quarters, chopped green onions

HOW TO

1. In a large bowl, toss chicken with salt and soy sauce. Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok until hot. Toss chicken with cornstarch. Add whisked egg and stir to evenly coat.

2. Fry chicken in batches to keep it crispy, turning until browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes.

3. Save the Mandarin zest for the sauce.

4. In a bowl, stir cornstarch with 1 tbsp water until dissolved. Stir in Mandarin juice, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce (optional).

5. Wipe frying pan or wok, reserving 1 tbsp of the frying oil over medium heat. Add zest and cook for 20 seconds. Stir Mandarin sauce to incorporate. Cook, stirring until bubbling about 1 minute.

6. Add chicken and gently stir until hot.

7. Transfer onto platter and garnish with Mandarin segments and toasted sesame seeds or chopped green onions if desired.