Thursday, August 4, 2011

Orange Chicken (similar to Panda Express)

I'm not really a very adventurous eater. I like to stick with what looks safe & has ingredients that I know. This strategy doesn't always work well when you're out for Chinese food!! LOL Thankfully when I'm craving it I know I can head over to Panda Express & get my happy little serving of sweet/heat with their orange chicken (and yes, I know - calling Panda Chinese food is like calling Taco Bell authentic Mexican food! I realize that - but I like it & it makes me happy so for my purposes, it's Chinese food!!! LOL) I was so delighted to find a recipe to try it out at home! I will say that this recipe came out with a stronger orange flavor than I get at PE but I think that was mostly my fault - I didn't measure the orange zest & I think I just put too much. It was still delicious. And even if you think you don't like heat, you *must* add just a pinch of the red pepper flakes to get any sort of heat out of this dish. Just do it - you'll love it!

The ingredient list is a little long - but don't get overwhelmed! It goes quick & easily.

Diced raw chicken breast, flour, salt, pepper, an egg, water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic, green onion, corn starch & red pepper flakes - and enough oil to fry up the chicken pieces. Whew!

First get your oil heated in a large pan or wok (375 if you have a temp dial) - I did medium/high heat. Closer to medium, though.

Mix your flour, salt & pepper in a dish. Crack your egg & scramble it with a fork.

Dip the raw chicken in the egg then into the flour mixture & then plop it right into the hot oil.

Now that we've made this once, I think next time we'll put the flour mixture in a gallon zip lock bag. Then dip all the chicken in the egg at once, stirring to coat & then toss it all into the bag & give it a good shake.

Cook it 'til it's done (I did it in 3 batches). I can't really say "10 minutes" because it really depends on how big your cut your chunks & how hot your oil is. Just get it cooked through. Pull a test piece & cut into it if you need to.

While that is going we're gonna simmer up our sauce. Get your garlic & ginger diced up & zest your orange.

In a sauce pan mix water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar & soy sauce. Allow it to heat through for a few minutes then add the ginger, garlic, zest, green onions & brown sugar.

Bring it to a boil over medium heat. In the meantime, blend your cornstarch & water in a separate dish & then add it to the sauce mixture.

Chicken's done... Sauce is done.... Now mix them together!!!

Serve it up on a bed of rice (on not, I suppose!) and drizzle a little extra sauce over the top. Garnish it with some more fresh green onions and the red pepper flakes. Remember - don't go super heavy on the pepper flakes but definitely don't go without!

Mmmm...... This was seriously so yummy. I want it again right now!

We had it with brown rice & steamed broccoli & it was just perfect!!


Orange Chicken:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized cubes)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Canola or Veg oil (for frying)

1 1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger root (minced)
1/2 tsp garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp green onion (chopped)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a gallon zip lock bag. Place beaten egg into a medium-sized bowl. Dip chicken in beaten egg, stirring to coat. Put the chicken into the bag with flour mixture & shake to thoroughly coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 1/2 cups water, lemon juice, 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 onion. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken. Garnish with red pepper flakes and green onion.

Source: Tasty Kitchen by way of Portland Mama.


  1. This is going on my to try list!

  2. I made this tonight and it turned out great ! Thanks for sharing the recipe!