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Orange Chicken
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5 from 2 votes

Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

Orange Chicken patterned after Panda Express' signature dish is easy to make, amazingly delicious and definitely a restaurant quality meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 582kcal
Author: Chula King

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of all fat (See Tip 1)
  • 1 cup (5-ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2-ounces) corn starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) water
  • 4 cups vegetable oil (See Tip 2)

Orange Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup (1.75-ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.875-ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2-ounces) orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (2-ounces) white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons (1-ounce) soy sauce (See Tip 3)

Instructions

Chicken

  • Cut chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces.
  • Whisk together flour, corn starch and salt. Add egg, oil and water. Whisk until the batter is smooth and the consistency of pancake batter. (See Tip 4)
  • Add chicken pieces to batter; stir to coat chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a wok or a heavy bottom pan to 375°F. Add chicken, allowing excess batter to drip, to hot oil in batches. Cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Cook remaining chicken.

Orange Sauce

  • Combine water and corn starch in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil to wok or pan over medium-high heat. Add crushed red pepper, ginger and garlic; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar; stir to combine. Add orange juice; cook until sugars are dissolved, a minute or two.
  • Add vinegar and soy sauce; stir to combine. Heat to boiling. Stirring constantly, add corn starch slurry in stages until consistency of a syrup is reached. (See Tip 5)
  • Add cooked chicken; stir to completely coat chicken. Heat for several minutes until chicken is heated throughout.
  • Yield: 4 servings.

Notes

  1. Chicken thighs work best in this recipe because of their tenderness and moisture. Chicken breasts tend to dry out.
  2. I like to use peanut oil when cooking the chicken because of its high-heat tolerance. If you don't have peanut oil, you can use vegetable oil. However, I would definitely not recommend using olive oil.
  3. I use low-sodium soy sauce.
  4. If necessary, add more water or flour to achieve the desired consistency of the batter.
  5. If the orange sauce is too thick, add additional orange juice to achieve the desired consistency. If the orange sauce is not thick enough, add additional corn starch slurry.

Nutrition

Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 1292mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 3mg