This Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken is super easy to make for a weeknight dinner! Grab this easy recipe today!
What is orange chicken?
Orange chicken is a Chinese-American dish that consists of deep-fried chunks of chicken tossed in a sweet and savory orange sauce. It is traditionally served with steamed white rice, or sometimes noodles.
This Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken recipe includes all the traditional ingredients you know and love – juicy chicken breast, a light batter for coating, and a sweet and tangy orange sauce. The batter comes together quickly with just a few ingredients, including cornstarch and egg white for that classic crispy texture. The orange sauce is made from freshly squeezed oranges, garlic, oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and other seasonings.
This Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken is perfect for a weeknight dinner or a potluck. You can also serve it as an appetizer with toothpicks! Get this easy recipe today and make your own mouthwatering orange chicken in no time!
How did it become so popular?
Orange chicken has become popular in the United States due to its sweet and savory flavor, as well as its accessibility. It is widely available at Chinese restaurants, fast food chains such as Panda Express, and even grocery stores.
This dish is also often used in fusion cuisine with other flavors such as Thai or Mexican. With its popularity growing every day, it’s no wonder that so many people are making their own version of this classic dish!
What are the different ways to make it at home?
Making orange chicken at home is easier than you may think! You can deep-fry the chicken for a classic texture, or you can bake it in the oven.
The batter and orange sauce come together quickly and easily, so you can be sure your homemade version will taste just as delicious as Panda Express’s. If you don’t want to make the sauce from scratch, you can also use store-bought orange marmalade or any other prepared sweet and tangy sauce.
What are the ingredients needed for this recipe?
- 1 pound chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 + 1⁄2 cups flour for coating
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup oil for pan frying or 3 cups oil for deep frying
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- spring onions for decoration
What are the steps involved in making it?
1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until they are mixed evenly.
2. In another medium sized bowl put 1+1⁄2 cup of the flour.
3. Salt chicken cubes dip them first in the eggs then coat the pieces with the flour.
4. Put 1 cup oil in to a large pan, heat it and pan-fry the chicken until both sides are golden brown
for like 3-5 minutes.
5. Make the sauce; in a small saucepan, heat sesame oil, add minced garlic and ginger and fry for
6. Add orange juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and rice wine vinegar.
7. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch with some water and add this mixture to the sauce.
8. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens.
9. Coat the fried chicken with the sauce you prepared.
10. Serve with rice and decorate with spring onions.
What are some tips for making it taste like the real thing?
• Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the sauce. It will make a big difference in flavor and texture!
• For an even crispier coating, add baking soda to the egg wash before dipping the chicken into it.
• Make sure to fry the chicken until golden brown before adding it to the sauce – this will help lock in all the flavor and give it a nice crispy texture.
• Adjust the seasonings to your taste – use more or less garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, etc.
• For added sweetness, try adding a bit of honey to the sauce.
• For extra crunch and flavor, top with crushed peanuts before serving.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when making orange chicken?
• Not marinating the chicken long enough- it’s important to let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes so that it has time to absorb all of the flavors.
• Overcooking the chicken- this will make it tough and chewy. The chicken should be crispy on the outside but still juicy and tender on the inside.
• Not using enough oil for deep frying- if you are going to deep fry your chicken, make sure that the oil is at least two inches deep in the pan.
• Not adjusting the seasonings- taste and adjust as you go! This will ensure that your orange chicken tastes exactly how you want it to.
• Not whisking the sauce well enough- this will result in a lumpy and uneven sauce. Be sure to whisk until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.
• Not letting the sauce simmer long enough- it is important to let the sauce simmer for at least 5 minutes so that all of the flavors can come together and develop.
• Not adding the chicken to the sauce while it is still hot- this will help ensure that all of the flavors are absorbed into the chicken and create a juicy, flavorful dish.
What are some ways to make orange chicken healthier?
• Use less oil when pan-frying or deep frying the chicken. You can also bake the chicken in a preheated oven at 425°F for about 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking time.
• Substitute plain yogurt for eggs and use 1/2 cup of low fat milk instead of the oil when coating the chicken pieces.
• Reduce the amount of sugar in the sauce or replace it with an alternative sweetener like honey or agave nectar.
• Use light soy sauce instead of dark soy sauce, and use reduced-sodium versions if you can find them.
• Replace white rice with brown rice for a healthier option.
• Use fresh vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms for added nutrition and flavor.
• Add some extra spices to the sauce for a bit of kick, like chili powder or cayenne pepper.
• Serve with steamed broccoli or asparagus on the side.
What are some other fun copycat recipes to try?
- Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks
- Easy Copycat Taco Bell Enchrito Recipe
- Easy Copycat Raising Canes Texas Toast
- The Best Copycat Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza Recipe
- Air Fryer Copycat Cheesy Gordita Crunch Recipe
If you are looking for some more amazing copycat recipes be sure to check out this amazing list! 35 Of The Best Copycat Restaurant Recipes To Try At Home
The Best Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken
This copycat orange chicken recipe is so good and easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Serve with white rice and/or vegetables!
- • 1 pound chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
- • 1 + 1⁄2 cups flour for coating
- • 2 eggs
- • 1 cup oil for pan frying
- • 1 cup orange juice
- • 1 tbsp cornstarch
- • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- • 2 garlic cloves, minced
- • 2 tbsp brown sugar
- • 2 tbsp soy sauce
- • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- • salt and pepper to taste
- • spring onions for decoration
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs until they are mixed evenly.
- In another medium sized bowl put 1+1⁄2 cup of the flour.
- Salt chicken cubes dip them first in the eggs then coat the pieces with the flour.
- Put 1 cup oil in to a large pan, heat it and pan-fry the chicken until both sides are golden brown
for like 3-5 minutes.
- Make the sauce; in a small saucepan, heat sesame oil, add minced garlic and ginger and fry for
- Add orange juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and rice wine vinegar.
- In a small bowl, dissolve corn starch with some water and add this mixture to the sauce.
- Keep whisking until the sauce thickens.
- Coat the fried chicken with the sauce you prepared.
- Serve with rice and decorate with spring onions.
Amount Per Serving Calories 513Total Fat 43gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 36gCholesterol 136mgSodium 429mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 0gSugar 6gProtein 19g
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