This Panda Express Orange Chicken recipe is to die for! Pair it with Garlic Butter rice, and your meal will be complete. You can make a whole Panda Express meal right at home. If you like orange chicken, I’m sure you will love Sweet Hawaiian chicken and Honey Garlic Wings as well.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
To make Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
For the chicken and batter:
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil
For the orange sauce:
- Sesame seed oil
- Minced garlic
- Grated ginger
- Brown sugar
- Orange juice (no pulp)
- White vinegar
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce
If you don’t like dark meat, you can use chicken breasts, and if you are feeding this to kids you probably want to avoid using Sriracha.
How To Make Panda Express Orange Chicken?
To make this amazing Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe, follow these steps:
Prepare the batter:
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper, egg, water, and vegetable oil. It should resemble pancake batter.
- Add the chicken thigh cubes and let rest for 30 minutes
- In a large skillet, heat the oil until it sizzles when you drop a bit of batter.
- Working in batches and using tongs, remove the excess batter from the chicken cubes and fry until brown on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm.
Make the sauce:
- In a small saucepan, heat the sesame oil and cook the garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the orange juice, white vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha, and brown sugar. Cook until the brown sugar melts.
- Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water and add it to the simmering sauce. Cook until thick and the consistency resembles that of honey.
- Wipe the skillet to remove the excess oil and return the chicken. Pour in the sauce and cook until heated through and all the chicken pieces are well coated with the sauce.
How to Reheat Orange Chicken?
You can reheat it in the microwave, in a 350F oven, or in a skillet on the stovetop. If you were reheating homemade chicken nuggets, I would do it in the oven, but since these have a surgery sauce, I prefer the stovetop method, although you can do it in the oven just keep an eye on it.
Take the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, for about 30 minutes. Place it in a skillet and reheat on medium-low until hot. Add a bit of water if you feel it is becoming too sticky and might burn.
How to Store Orange Chicken?
To store any leftovers, let your copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken come to room temperature and store it in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 4 months.
Other copycat recipes you might enjoy:
- Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli
- Popeye’s Fried Chicken
- Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi
- Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Panda Express Orange Chicken (Copycat)
For the chicken and batter
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
For the sauce:
- ½ tbsp sesame seed oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup orange juice (pulp-free)
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp sriracha (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- Sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish
For the chicken and batter:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, flour, egg, water, oil, salt, and pepper. The mixture should resemble pancake batter. Mix in the chicken pieces, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 mins.
- Heat enough oil to cover one inch up the skillet and brown the chicken pieces in batches, using tongs. Remove any excess batter before carefully placing them in the oil. Transfer to a paper-lined plate and keep warm.
Make the sauce:
- In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the sesame oil and cook the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and pour in the orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and sriracha. Bring to a simmer. Slowly add the cornstarch/water mixture and cook until thick and its consistency resembles that of honey.
- Wipe the skillet clean and return the cooked chicken. Pour in the sauce and cook until heated through and all the pieces are well coated with the sauce.