Orange Chicken (Panda Express)

This is adapted from the Original Orange Chicken by Panda Express recipe on Tasty. It’s very delicious. But in typical Tasty fashion, there were things wrong with the recipe that they don’t show in the video. Like the fact that you have to double the liquid for the batter or you’ll basically have biscuit dough. But it’s a really great recipe that I’ve made many times, gluten free and regular. I’ve even made the chicken and just served it with sweet and sour sauce for a sweet and sour chicken. And frankly the chicken is so good and salty that we have a hard time not eating it all like popcorn chicken as it comes out. I usually make a huge batch and freeze one gallon bag of leftovers because it takes quite a while to make.

If you’re making it gluten free, of course use gluten free flour and gluten free soy sauce or tamari. Luckily it fries up and tastes the same if it’s gluten free or regular.

Orange Chicken (Panda Express)

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
  • Print


Wonderful, but it takes lots of time.

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. chicken breasts, cubed into 1″ x 1″
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 c. Cornstarch
  • 3 c. Flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum)
  • 1 Egg
  • 3+ c. Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Oil
  • 6 c. Oil for frying (or however much to fill the electric skillet appropriately)

Orange Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp. Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • Pinch of ginger (optional)
  • 3/4 c. Sugar
  • 3/4 c. Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 c. Orange Juice
  • 3/4 c. White Vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (or gluten free soy sauce/tamari)
  • 1/4 c. Water
  • 1/4 c. Cornstarch

Directions

In large bowl, mix salt, pepper, cornstarch, flour. Add egg, water, and oil until it reaches consistency of pancake batter (may need to add more water). Add chicken to batter and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil to 375° in electric skillet. (You  may want to go below the max fill line because it takes longer to heat the oil and doesn’t hold the heat as well if it’s fuller, I’ve found.) Add chicken and cook 5-6 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted metal spoon or tongs and transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

For sauce, heat heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat and add oil. Once the oil shimmers, add red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Careful, the garlic turns dark quickly. Add sugars and stir to combine. Add orange juice and allow sugars to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar and soy sauce and stir to combine. In a small bowl, add cornstarch to water, and whisk to combine. Add to pan with sauce and stir (if it thickens too much, add more water). Continue to cook sauce until it’s thick like maple syrup. Spoon a little sauce over the chicken and see how strong the sauce tastes on the chicken, adding more as desired.

To freeze leftovers, keep chicken and sauce separate. Freeze the chicken in a gallon bag and the sauce in a quart bag. You can also freeze a quart bag of cooked rice and put all the bags together in a grocery bag in the freezer.

To reheat from frozen, I find that the chicken holds up the best and retains its breading best when you microwave for 2 minutes, then heat on the stove. Heat some oil in a pan and warm up the chicken. Try not to stir a lot because the breading does tend to fall off if there’s a lot of movement. Place the sealed bag of sauce in water to thaw. You may need to add some water to the chicken pan and cover with a lid to steam. Once the chicken is hot, add the desired amount of sauce and heat through. To reheat frozen rice, poke some holes in the bag with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes at a time until hot.


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