themoodyfoody - August 15th 2020

Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken

Man I love Panda Express. But the reality is, a lot of that food has so much processed sugar and MSG and so I try to avoid it at all costs. Buttttt.... a girl was craving some orange chicken, so I made it from scratch. Clean ingredients, way healthier, and you won't feel lethargic or tired after. Surpassingly, this recipe took me about 30 minutes to execute, way faster than most of the stuff I make. 

FOLLOW THE RECIPE (don't deviate) 

Non-negotiableI actually played around with several recipes before coming up with my own rendition. When frying, measurements need to be exact. If you add too much of this, or too little of that, you may ruin the entire dish (No pressure though)

Don't make too much, this doesn't taste that great day 2

Non-Negotiable Make enough for one serving. Like most fried foods, the chicken won't be crunchy on day two. It's best to make no more than you need, IMO

Hit up your asian supermarket! 

Negotiable. If you have an asian supermarket near you, hit them up! They will have everything you need for this recipe at a GREAT price point. I do a lot of my shopping at asian supermarkets because the produce and meats are not only super affordable, but very fresh. 99 ranch and H MART are my go-to's!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

This recipe serves 4 people (respectively) but if you're greedy like me, it serves 2!
PREP TIME: 10 MIN 
COOK TIME: 20 MIN
TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
EST PRICE: $6 PER PERSON

For the CHICKEN BATTER
1.5 lb of chicken thighs cut into 1' pieces
2 cups of flour
2 cups of water
1 cup of cornstarch 
1 egg
2 TBSP of vegetable oil
1 TBSP of salt
1 TBSP of pepper

FOR THE  ORANGE SAUCE
1/4 cup or orange juice
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 TBSP of soy sauce
1 TBSP of sesame oil
1 TBSP of minced garlic
1 TBSP of minced ginger
1 TSP of red pepper flakes

TO FRY
4 cups of vegetable oil


FOR THE CURRY CHICKEN
Step 1. WASH YOUR CHICKEN with vinegar/lemon mixture 
Step 2. Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper evenly into a large bowl
Step 3. Whisk in one egg, oil, and your water. Batter should be smooth. (whisk quickly) Whisk for 2-3 minutes (NO LUMPS)
Step 4. Add chicken into batter and fully coat,  let chicken sit and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step 5. In a large skillet, add 4 cups of vegetable oil ON HIGH.
Step 6. Drop your chicken into the hot oil, cook for six minutes.
Step 7. Rest on a cooling rack. 

NOTE: YOUR CHICKEN WILL BE LIGHT! ITS OKAY !!!!! THE SAUCE WILL GIVE IT COLOR!
FOR THE SAUCE
Step 1
. Add sesame oil into sauce pan and mix in minced ginger, garlic and pepper flakes
Step 2. Add sugars, orange juice, vinegar, soysauce (whisk quickly)
Step 3. Mix 2TBSP of corn starch with 2 TBSP of water and add this mixture into your sauce (this is to thicken your sauce) make sure the mixture is silky smooth like MILK
Step 4. Whisk, and toss chicken into sauce, fully coating. Add sesame seeds and green onion for garnish.


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