Crispy fried boneless chicken tossed in a hot sweet n sour Asian orange sticky sauce and garnished with fresh spring onion stalk slices. This is the ultimate panda express orange chicken copycat recipe!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: chicken, copycat, dinner, orange, panda express
First, keep all the ingredients ready. That means scrape your orange skin and keep in a bowl. Juice the same orange and keep the juice at the side (with pulp it's great!).
Slice your spring onion bulbs, keep aside. Cut your spring onion stalks and keep aside in another container as well.
Next, you will prepare the chicken by cutting the boneless chicken into bite-sized pieces. Then keep two bowls or shallow plates ready. Break the egg into one bowl and scramble it. Into the other bowl add the cornflour, all-purpose flour and season with salt and pepper if you want, mix well.
Now drag each chicken piece through the egg first and then through the flour mixture so that the chicken is coated and covered on all sides with the flour mixture. Place the chicken into a plate until we fry it and do the same again with all chicken pieces.
Keep a bowl or some large container ready and place a paper kitchen towel into it. This will be the container in which we add the fried oily cooked chicken. The paper will absorb the excess oil after frying.
To deep fry use a wok because the wok can heat up the oil evenly. Pour enough cooking oil into the wok and heat up. Wait for the oil to get hot. Use a thermometer to check once the oil reaches 325-350 Fahrenheit/160-175 Celsius.
Slide your chicken carefully from the side into the hot oil so that the oil doesn't splash up. Don't overcrowd the wok/pan as this will complicate the deep frying. An overcrowded pan reduced the heat of the oil and the chicken won't fry golden but get soggy. Keep about 6 chicken pieces at a time in the pan to deep fry. Cook on all sides golden and take out each chicken piece and place on the paper towel into the container. Repeat this until you have cooked all the chicken.
For the orange chicken sauce. Mix in a bowl the following sauce ingredients together: orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, red wine vinegar and Chinese red cooking wine. It's ok if the sugar doesn't dissolve, it will dissolve in the pan.
In another small bowl mix the warm water with the cornflour to create a cornflour slur which we will need to thicken the sauce.
Now grab another pan or the same wok (but cleaned) from earlier and add your oil. Stir fry your sliced spring onion bulbs for a minute on high heat, then add the ginger and garlic and stir fry further for a moment before adding in the red chili flakes and orange zest
Then reduce the heat and pour in your mixed sauce from the bowl and stir cook for a little until all ingredients are mixed. Let the sauce simmer down for 2-3 minutes or until it has thickened a bit. Next, pour in the cornflour-water mixture slur and mix the whole sauce again and allow the sauce to thicken. The sauce consistency at the end should be sticky and thick.
Toss your crispy fried chicken pieces through the sauce so that the chicken is properly covered. Garnish with chopped green spring onion and a drizzle of sesame oil and serve hot over rice or with chow mein noodles.
Use boneless chicken breast to make it easier or if you want more flavor use boneless chicken legs.
You can skip the rice wine or rice vinegar but both do add a lot of amazing flavors to the dish.
Use only an organic/untreated orange for the scraped zest because of pesticides. use the juice from the same orange with the pulp for maximum flavor!
Use a thermometer to determine when the oil is hot enough. Don't add the chicken to the oil to fry when the oil is not hot enough or when the oil is smoking. Please read in the post how to deep fry, to gather some tips. You may skip adding the cornflour slur (cornflour+water) to the sauce at the end but cook down your sauce to a sticky consistency instead.