This recipe is different than the orange chicken recipe with orange marmalade that is SUPER popular online because the sauce in that recipe is based on a mixture of barbecue sauce and orange marmalade. While some of the pictures may look slightly similar, this Panda Express Orange Chicken is going to taste a lot different.
Looking for the ENTIRE Panda Express Recipe List? I have recreated the entire menu on the blog and have a Panda Express Recipe Index so you can easily access them! I have an entire section of the site dedicated to your favorite copycat recipes too!
ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE FOR CROCKPOT/SLOW COOKER?
I used to actually make this recipe in the slow cooker when Tyson made raw chicken tenders. I’d just put the tenders in the slow cooker with the sauce, cook on low for 3 hours, then add in a bit of cornstarch/water slurry and cook an additional hour. Now, I make small nuggets, bread them in panko then freeze them and cook them the same way. This recipe is coming soon on the blog.
HOW DO YOU MAKE AN ORANGE SAUCE?
Orange Sauce is a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, orange zest and crushed crushed red peppers that thicken in a pan with deep fried battered chicken with will help thicken the sauce, It is super easy to make.
WHAT IS IN GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN?
General Tso’s Chicken (you can find it here on the blog) is probably the closest tasting dish to Orange Chicken. Though it doesn’t contain any orange, it does have many similar ingredients including soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, cornstarch as well as dried red chili peppers and garlic. It is tossed with deep fried chicken pieces as well.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SESAME CHICKEN?
Sesame Chicken Definitely has a similar flavor profile to Orange Chicken but it is normally made with chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce and sesame oil which is cooked down in the pan to thicken before being added to the chicken.
WHAT IS IN ORANGE BEEF?
Orange Beef is the far less known version of Chinese Food with orange flavors. Since orange chicken is so popular most people don’t order the beef version. Simply purchase the best beef you are comfortable buying (I prefer ribeye, chuck roast works okay too) and freeze for 30 minutes. Slice VERY thinly against the grain and cook it just like you would the orange chicken.
Tools used in the making of this Panda Express Orange Chicken:
Wok: The best way to cook quickly and over high heat for Asian dishes, this wok is the perfect stir fry pan.
Sriracha: Quite possibly the king of all pre-made hot sauces as far as I’m concerned. Adds heat without overwhelming you and can be used in almost every cuisine. Try mixing with mayo to make a perfect spicy mayo!
Citrus Zester: This zests your citrus perfectly without getting any of the pith in the recipe.
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Panda Express Orange Chicken with tender chicken thighs fried crisp and tossed in a magical perfect-copycat sauce!
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 2 tbsp oil divided, plus more for frying
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup flour
- US Customary – Metric
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoons of rice wine
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 10 tablespoons sugar
- 10 tablespoons white vinegar
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger root minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp hot red chili pepper crushed
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
- To make the sauce combine the 1 tablespoon cornstarch, rice wine, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, white vinegar and orange zest.
- To coat the chicken add the egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil into a bowl and whisk together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup corn starch and flour and mix well.
- In a large frying pan or a wok, heat oil in a wok 375 degrees.
- Dip chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture.
- Fry the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and repeat with remaining chicken.
- When you are done with the chicken, drain most of the oil from the pan (leave about a tablespoon).
- Add the ginger, garlic and crushed red peppers, cooking for about 10 seconds.
- Add the orange sauce and bring to boil.
- Turn off the heat, and add cooked chicken and stir until well mixed.
All credit from dinnerthendessert.com