When I first discovered Panda Express many years ago, I couldn't get enough of their Orange Chicken. Even now, although I've cut back drastically on "fast food", every time I go to Panda, I get the Orange Chicken. I'm sure there are other things on their menu but I don't see beyond their signature dish. Once again thanks to pinterest, I came across this recipe for orange chicken that looked reasonably easy enough for me to try so I did. I wasn't consciously trying to make an orange chicken dish a la Panda Express. But it turns out, true to its recipe name, this was even better than that.
The most important thing about this recipe is to make sure you have your mise en place ready. I would put together the sauce first so you can boil it a bit longer and let it reduce and thicken before relying on the cornstarch to do the job. Once you do the prep work of cutting up the chicken, getting the bowls of cornstarch, beaten eggs and panko crumbs ready, everything goes very quickly. While your sauce is simmering, you can be frying the chicken pieces and by the time you get all the frying done, your sauce should be good to go.
This dish is best served immediately. The panko coating on the chicken remains crisp even after you first pour the sauce over it and the taste is divine. A true orange flavor comes out. Best of all, the breading isn't very thick so you can enjoy more chicken than breading. Thumbs up on the recipe from The Noshery.
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-1/2” cubes
1 ½ cups corn starch
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)
1 ½ cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root, minced
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
- Combine corn starch, salt, and pepper. Prepare a bowl with beaten eggs, another with panko bread crumbs and another with corn starch. Dip chicken in egg mixture, dredge in cornstarch, then again in the eggs and finally in the panko bread crumbs, set aside. Heat pan with vegetable oil to 375 degrees, fry chicken in batches until completely cooked.
- In a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.
- Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired garnish with green onions.