Whenever we go to the mall, which isn't often, we make a stop at Panda Express. I love their orange chicken, and I get it every time. When we got home last time, I decided to look for a copycat version online. I knew I wouldn't have to look farther than my favorites list. I found this at My Kitchen Cafe.
12" dutch oven
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2″ cubes
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons green onion
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
In a shallow dish combine the flour, garlic powder and pepper. Dip each piece of chicken in flour mixture and coat evenly. Pour oil (or melt butter and pour) in your dutch oven. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I used 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom or 14 coals on top and 10 on the bottom
Meanwhile, in a 10" dutch oven, combine water, fresh orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, orange zest and whisk over medium heat for a few minutes. I used as many coals as I could fit under my dutch oven. Then stir in brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and green onion and let it come to a boil. Combine cornstarch with water and let it dissolve and add it to the sauce until thickened.
After chicken has baked the 30 minutes, turn each piece over and pour the sauce mixture evenly over chicken. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes basting frequently. Serve over rice. Serves 4-6.
The Finished Product
This mountain of food was on my 15 year old son's plate. He still complained about being hungry!
We loved this!! I mean, we really loved this! The only place I ever eat Orange Chicken is Panda Express in the mall. And the mall is quite a drive for me since we live in "hickville". I'm glad to be able to make it at home. Is this as good as Panda Express? Probably not, but I'm still going to make this version as many times as possible. It was sweet and tangy and the chicken was fork tender. It was also super easy to put together. You really should make this...soon! Grade A.