This is the BEST Orange Chicken Recipe on the internet!
If you’re a fan of the famous Panda Express Orange Chicken, then this homemade version is going to bring a smile to your face.
Juicy chicken thighs are battered in a quick cornstarch mixture and lightly friend until crisp, then tossed in a sweet and delicious orange sauce.
How To Make Best Orange Chicken Recipe:
- Start by marinating cut up chicken thighs in a mixture of cornstarch, egg, soy sauce and sesame oil.
- You can fry the chicken pieces in a heavy bottomed skillet or quickly in a deep fryer set at 375 degrees F.
- While the chicken is cooking you can quickly make the delicious orange chicken sauce.
Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce Recipe:
You’ll be blown away at how delicious this copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce is! The sauce starts with fresh ginger and garlic, and uses fresh orange zest and orange juice. You can give it an extra hint of spice by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes, but I usually leave this out as it can be too spicy for my kids.
The sauce calls for dry sherry, but if you’re not a fan of using that, you can also substitute it for more chicken broth. The sauce is sweet and slightly spicy with a perfect balance of orange. It’s not a gritty sauce, but rather smooth in texture, and when you toss the chicken in it, it sticks and gives the chicken a gorgeous shine.
I won’t tell you how many times I went back to Panda Express to make sure I was getting all the right components of their sauce.
It was all in the name of research I tell you!
The crispy coated chicken and sweet, sticky sauce make this one AMAZING dinner! My kids were literally licking their plates clean.
What To Serve with Orange Chicken?
Orange Chicken is fantastic over a bed of hot rice, but here are some simple recipes that can make it a complete meal!
You’re going to love this super simple Orange Chicken Recipe!
Orange Chicken Recipe
- Canola Oil for frying
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
For the Sauce:
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, or dry sherry
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
For the Garnish:
- sliced green onions
- orange slices
- Pour 1 to 2 inches of canola oil in a small deep fryer or heavy bottomed pot and heat to 375 degrees F.*
- In a large bowl combine the sesame oil, egg, 3 tbsp soy sauce and 1/3 cup corn starch until a thin batter forms. Toss in the chicken pieces and let sit for a few minutes while the oil heats up. Fry the chicken in batches and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
For the Sauce:
- Combine the orange zest, orange juice, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp water, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar (or dry sherry), 1/3 cup chicken broth and 2 tbsp corn starch in a bowl and set aside.
- Once chicken is finished cooking, heat 1 tsp canola oil in a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Toss in the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Once thickened (about 3 to 4 minutes) add the chicken to the wok and stir to coat with sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions and orange slices and serve over hot steamed rice if desired. Enjoy!