Arguably the best item at Panda Express is its fried chicken pieces smothered in the famous chili-orange sauce. The Chinese Kitchen shared its homemade version of the recipe with us, which begins by making a "pancake-like batter" to coat the chicken in. Yum! The chicken pieces fry up in six minutes, so this isn't the most labor-intensive recipe. Serve it up with some steamed rice and stir-fried broccoli for the complete Panda experience. Or wrap everything up in a large tortilla, like the newly released Panda Express Orange Chicken Burrito. We won't judge!
- For chicken preparation:
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless dark meat chicken
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 egg
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups water, as needed
- For orange sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- For cooking:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon chili (red pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine or sherry
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- For chicken preparation: Cut chicken into 1"x1" cubes; set aside and refrigerate.
- In a medium-size bowl, mix salt, ground white pepper, cornstarch, and AP flour. Add egg, 2 tablespoons oil, and water until you have achieved a pancake-batter consistency. Mix chicken with batter and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- For the orange sauce: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and hold to the side.
- For cooking: Heat 2 cups oil in a wok or heavy-bottom pan to 350ºF. Gently drop chicken piece by piece in the oil and let cook for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Remove chicken using a spider or a strainer and set aside on paper towels to drain. Safely dispense fry oil when cool.
- Bring a separate pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Then quickly add ginger, garlic, chili, and cooking wine. Note: be careful not to burn the garlic. Add orange sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch and water together and add to the pan and stir until sauce thickens. Add chicken and mix thoroughly with the sauce. Add sesame oil at the end.
- Main Dishes
- Serves 4