Orange Chicken (like Panda Express)

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Last weekend we celebrated our son’s 13th birthday.  In our family you get to pick your meals on your birthday.  TJ chose orange chicken for dinner (his favorite is from Panda Express).  Last year I had my husband stop by Panda Express on his way home from work, but this year I decided to make it myself.  Now, I must say, it is not EXACTLY the same as Panda’s, but it was really, really good (maybe even better in my opinion) but most importantly,  the birthday boy LOVED it:) I usually don’t make dishes that are fried, but this was a special occasion and it was fantastic!

Hey–Is anyone else going to be at the BYU Women’s Conference later this week? I am so excited, I am counting the days:)

Orange Chicken (like Panda Express)
submitted by Melanie~The Sisters Cafe

Sauce and Marinade:
1 1/2 cups water
2 TB orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 TB soy sauce
1 TB grated orange zest
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 TB chopped green onion
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

3 TB cornstarch
2 TB water

2lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite size cubes
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 TB oil
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour

oil for frying

1- Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat.  Stir in the orange zets, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10- 15 minutes.

2-  Place chicken cubes into a resealable plastic bag.  When sauce is cool, pour 1 cup of it into the bag, reserving the remainder.  Seal the bag and place in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

3-Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken cubes from marinade to a large bowl.  Stir in the egg, salt, pepper and 1 TB of oil.  Mix well.  In a seperate large shallow bowl, mix the cornstarch and flour together until well blended.  Add the chicken a few at a time to the cornstarch/f;our mixture.  Stir to coat evenly and tap off excess.

4-  Pour about 1 inch of oil in a wok or deep heavy skillet and heat to 375.  If you do not have a themometer, heat the oil until it starts to ripple in the pan.  Add the chicken cubes, a small handful at a time and fry until golden and crisp, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.When cooking the remainder batches, you may need to turn down the heat a little to keep the chicken from cooking too fast and possibly add a little more oil.

5-  Once all the chicken is cooked, return to the reserved sauce ( NOT the 1 cup used as marinade–throw that away!)  Put the sauce in a skillet and bring to a boil over meium high heat.  Mix together the cornstarch and 2 TB water, stir into the sauce.  Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring every once in a while.  Remove from heat and serve over sticky rice.  Garnish with seseame seeds and sliced green onions.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  Combination of Asian Orange Chicken from Allrecipes, and Panda-stylye Orange Chicken from Owlhaven


  1. Peggy Clyde says

    I have been looking for a good orange chicken recipe for a long time. I can’t wait to try yours. Thanks.

  2. Kimmee says

    I can’t wait to try it….looks so yummy!!!! Question: where did you get the dinner ware used in the photo?

    • Melanie says

      That is a serving bowl I bought a couple years ago at Homegoods. I love that place– you can find great deals on dishes:)

  3. Lisa says

    Thanks for the recipe! My kids love Panda Express orange chicken and they gave this two thumbs up! In fact, one of them said that they never realized that orange chicken tasted like real oranges. :)

  4. Jennifer Kaleikini says

    The sauce was delicious! The only thing I changed is that I didnt meranade the chicken in the sauce. No other recipes say to do that and I felt it wasnt necessary. It turned out so good, I will definitley make the sauce again!

  5. William says

    So I definitely am not a cook by any means so this was the most complicated recipe that I personally have made…I’m trying to stop eating out so I just recently began cooking. I must say though… the dish came out awesome! I cooked for my girlfriend – who loves orange chicken – and agreed that this was just as good and tasted “healthier” than panda express. The only problem I encountered was heating the oil. You don’t really have to wait for it to begin popping – I found this out the hard way when I waited for the oil to basically boil and then it began to smoke :) but quickly let it cool and started over. Thanks again for the recipe – I will def make it again.

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