Panda Express orange chicken is amazing, isn’t it? Well, we think that this homemade orange chicken recipe is even better! It’s a win-win. This tasty Chinese chicken dish consists of crispy fried chicken in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. Plus, it’s so quick and easy to make that you can cook it in less time than it takes to dial for a takeout.
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INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THIS ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE
For the chicken:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 4 or 5 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cups of flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- ½ teaspoon of chili powder
For the orange sauce:
- 1 cup of pulp-free orange juice
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Zest from 1 orange
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ tablespoons of corn starch
- 1 ½ tablespoons of water
- 5 green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Orange zest
INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS & ADDITIONS
BROCOLLI: Add cooked broccoli to the sauce with the chicken to make this copycat takeout dish a little healthier.
MEAT ALTERNATIVE: Thisdish issuper-easy to make vegetarian or vegan. You can switch the chicken for extra-firm tofu or your favourite brand of mock chicken. Instead of egg, use aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas.
RED PEPPER FLAKES: If youdon’t like spicy food, leave out the red pepper flakes.
GARNISH: Green onions and sesame seeds are optional as a garnish
HOW TO MAKE THIS ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE
STEP ONE: Place the orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder and orange zest into a medium saucepan and whisk together. Turn the heat to medium and boil gently for three or four minutes, stirring regularly.
STEP TWO: In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water until no lumps remain. Add to the pan of sauce and whisk together. Boil for one to two minutes more before removing from the heat.
STEP THREE: Taste the sauce and add red pepper flakes until the desired level of spice is achieved. Set aside.
STEP ONE: Crack theeggs into a small bowl and beat with a whisk
STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, place the flour, salt, ground white pepper, onion powder, cumin and chili powder. Whisk together to combine.
STEP THREE: Slice the chicken breasts into one-inch pieces. Take each piece and dip it into the egg and then into the flour mixture until fully-coated.
STEP FOUR: Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the coated chicken to the hot oil and cook for two to three minutes, turning often until golden brown. (Sesame oil can often be found in two paces at the grocery store – in the baking aisle and with the Asian foods. The oil in the Asian foods section is usually much cheaper.)
STEP FIVE: Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and place onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
STEP SIX: Place the chicken into a large mixing bowl and pour three quarters of the sauce over the top. Use tongs or a large spoon to coat all the chicken in the sauce.
STEP SEVEN: Serve over rice and garnish with chopped green onions, sesame seeds and orange zest.
IN THE FRIDGE: Cooked chicken can be kept for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze cooked chicken safely for up to three months. Defrost before reheating by using the defrost setting on the microwave or leave overnight in the refrigerator.
This easy orange chicken recipe is so quick to make for an easy weeknight dinner. The orange glaze sauce can be made sweet or spicy, depending on your preferences. So, if you’re cooking this meal for a family, it’s really easy to make one version for the kids and another one for the adults with the addition of red pepper flakes.
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- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4-5 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup orange juice, pulp free (I used Simply Orange Pulp Free)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 orange, zested
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili flakes optional
- 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 5 green onions, chopped
- sesame seeds
- orange zest
- In a small bowl, add eggs and beat together with a whisk.
- In a medium bowl add flour, salt, ground white pepper, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Whisk together to combine.
- Take each piece of chicken and dip it in egg mixture, then dip in flour mixture to coat all sides of the chicken pieces. Set coated chicken on a plate until ready to put in the skillet.
- In a large skillet over medium heat add sesame oil. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add coated chicken to the skillet, one piece at a time.
- Once all chicken is added to the skillet and has browned on the bottom, individually turn each piece of chicken over and allow it to cook and brown on the other side. Once chicken is done cooking and browned on both sides remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- While the chicken is cooking add orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, zest from 1 orange, and red pepper flakes to a medium saucepan. Whisk together to combine. Turn heat to medium and allow sauce toboil 3-4 minutes, whisking often.
- In a separate small bowl add the cornstarch and water. Mix together until no lumps remain. Pour into boiling sauce mixture and whisk together. Continue to boil 1-2 additional minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to thicken as it sits.
- Place the browned chicken in a large mixing bowl and pour ¾ of the sauce over the top. Use tongs or a large spoon to gently toss and coat all chicken in sauce.
- Serve immediately over rice and garnish with green onions. Use extra sauce to pour over rice when serving.