Panda Express Orange Chicken- A copycat chicken recipe with tender chicken thighs fried crisp and tossed in a flavorful Asian sauce! Orange Chicken is an easy and perfect budget-friendly dinner for your whole family! I bet this orange chicken recipe will be on your must-make list.
Panda Express Orange Chicken
Panda express Orange chicken is the most famous dish on the panda express menu, and I’m sure you know why! The orange chicken is tender, ultra-crispy, tangy, and tastes great with a bowl of white rice.
If you’re craving Chinese food that is easy on your budget with minimal preparations, this copycat recipe is the perfect one to try! It is packed with Asian flavor and ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
The benefit of making this dish at home is that you can easily control the ingredients and adjust them according to your taste. And also, if you are planning to cook a large batch of it, feel free to double or triple it easily.
This homemade version of orange chicken tastes just like the original one, but the sauce is tangier with a hint of sweet and sour taste. We love serving this dish with white rice or soba noodles.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- Quick and easy to make copycat restaurant-style chicken recipe
- A fresh and flavorful meal for the summertime
- A healthy dinner recipe that the whole family will enjoy!
- Warming, comforting and satisfying
- Store well as a leftover, making it a great make-ahead or meal prep
- A crowd-pleasing recipe // Kids and picky eaters approved
You can find a complete list of ingredients with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
- Chicken: I am using chicken breast for this recipe, as it’s easier to handle and generally healthy. You can also use boneless and skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
- Egg: Egg will help the breading (flour and corn starch) to stick to the chicken pieces and create a nice crust when frying.
- Breading: I use a combination of flour and cornstarch for the crispy breading.
- Vegetable oil: for frying the chicken and a bit to include in chicken breading.
For the Orange chicken sauce:
- Soy sauce: You can use any type of soy for this recipe, I have used the low sodium soy sauce. If you wish to make this a gluten-free recipe, use tamari or any certified gluten-free soy sauce.
- Vinegar: For the sour kick in the sauce.
- Sesame oil: for a nutty and warm flavor.
- Sugar: I have used granulated sugar.
- Orange juice and zest: you can use packed orange juice for this recipe; it will give a great flavor, and it does not need to be freshly squeezed.
- Ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes: The final flavor comes from the fresh ginger, garlic, and red chili flacks. Use fresh ginger and garlic for delicious results.
- Cornstarch slurry: Water and cornstarch mixture to thicken the sweet and tangy orange chicken sauce.
How to make Copycat Orange Chicken:
- Prepare the chicken: Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and keep it aside. Take a bowl, and whisk the egg with a little bit of oil. In a shallow dish, combine cornstarch and flour. Dip the chicken pieces in the gee and dredge them in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess.
- Deep fry the chicken: Next, heat oil in a large pan or frying wok to 350°F/180°C and fry the chicken pieces for about 3 to 4 minutes. Fry them in batches until cooked through, crispy and golden. Set aside once done.
- Prepare the sauce: In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients except for the ginger and garlic.
- Cook the sauce: Heat a skillet over medium to low heat, add vegetable oil, and saute the garlic and ginger for about 3 0 seconds. Add the sauce mixture and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook the sauce until it gets thickened.
- Combine everything: Remove the orange chicken sauce from the heat, add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce, and mix everything until the chicken is nicely coated. Serve over white rice and garnished with fresh chopped green onion.
FAQs for Orange Chicken
How do you make gluten-free Orange Chicken?
You can definitely make this recipe gluten-free! Simply swap the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free substitute to easily make this a GF-friendly recipe.
We recommend a rice-based flour sub for the crispiest gluten-free Panda Express Orange Chicken. Also, ensure your sauce soy is gluten-free or use low sodium tamari for the recipe.
How to Store Orange Chicken?
You can easily store the orange chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fringe. Keep in mind that the chicken will get a bit soggy in the fridge and won’t be as crispy.
You can also fry and freeze the chicken bites separately and the sauce separately for up to 3 months. When required, simply thaw and combine and enjoy!
More Chicken Recipes :
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Chicken Piccata
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Orange chicken
- Sticky sesame chicken
- Baked Buffalo Wings
For The Chicken:
- 2 pounds (900g) chicken breasts boneless and skinless (cut into equal size)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
For The Sauce:
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ½ tbsp Orange zest (optional)
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed + 1tbsp of water (Cornstarch slurry)
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and keep it aside. Take a bowl, whisk the egg with a little bit of oil. In a shallow dish, combine cornstarch and flour. Now dip the chicken pieces in the gee and then dredge them in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess.
- Next, heat oil in a large pan or frying wok to 350°F/180°C and fry the chicken pieces for about 3 to 4 minutes. Fry them in batches, until cooked through, crispy and golden. Set aside once done.
- In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients except for the ginger and garlic.
- Heat a skillet over medium to low heat, add vegetable oil, and saute the garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds.
- Add the sauce mixture and bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and cook the sauce until it gets thickened.
- Remove the orange chicken sauce from the heat, and add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce, and mix everything until the chicken is nicely coated.
- Serve over white rice and garnished with fresh chopped green onion and enjoy!