Step 1 Remove the zest from the oranges: Run a zester from the top to bottom of the orange, cutting the zest into thin strips (avoid the pith). Repeat with the remaining fruit. Reserve fruit for another use.
Step 2 In a medium, heavy saucepan, cook the water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the zest, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook at a gentle simmer until the zest strips become tender and semi-translucent, about 30 minutes.
Step 3Remove from the heat and pour into a heat-proof container. Cool completely, then store the zest in the cooking syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. You should have about one-half cup (3 ounces) of candied zest.