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Friday, April 23, 2021

Baked Orange Chicken, a Panda Express Orange Chicken copycat

Baked Orange Chicken, a Panda Express Orange Chicken copycat! Who loves Panda Express Orange Chicken? I know I do. And now you can make this delicious recipe at home. Plus this version is baked, no deep-fryer needed...


I have made Baked Orange Chicken a couple of times now.  Once with thigh meat and once with breast meat, and we loved it each time. We are slightly split on chicken meat preferences at our dinner table, but to be fair I wanted to make it with both to see if it was better one way or the other. 

And you know what, it is not. There were no leftovers when I use the thigh meat and no leftovers when I use the breast meat. So I think it is fair to say, use the meat you prefer, when you make Baked Orange Chicken!

I know when you read through the recipe for Baked Orange Chicken and see the instructions for the dipping of the chicken pieces, the note on using a wet hand and a dry hand, you may be tempted to just say, "let's go get take-out". But I hope you don't! 

The actual dipping takes about 10 minutes at which point the chicken is popped into the oven to bake. Leaving you to make the sauce, which while it does have a few ingredients it is more delicious than you can imagine! 


Once the chicken comes out of the oven and is placed into a serving bowl, you will know that the investment of time was a good thing! Ladle the sauce over the chicken pieces, toss gently then present a delicious meal of Baked Orange Chicken to your family! Add some brown rice on one side, and steamed broccoli on the other side, and call the family to dinner...

Ingredients needed for this recipe:
  • Panko crumbs
  • eggs
  • flour, regular or whole wheat
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chicken
  • oil
  • fresh ginger
  • garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • rice wine
  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • white vinegar
  • toasted sesame oil
  • a large fresh orange
  • cornstarch
You will also need the following:
  • 10X15 baking pan
  • parchment paper
  • three small bowls
  • measuring spoons
  • kitchen knife
  • cutting board
  • citrus zester
  • citrus juicer or reamer
  • small fork 
  • tongs
Now we ready to begin!


Baked Orange Chicken
400-degree oven

1 1/4 c Panko breading crumbs
2 eggs
1 c flour - we used white whole wheat flour
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 pounds chicken thighs
1 T oil - we used avocado oil
1 1/2 T minced fresh ginger
1/4 t crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rice wine or dry white wine
3 T soy sauce
10 T (2/3 cup) sugar
10 T (2/3 cup) white vinegar
2 t toasted sesame oil
1 large orange, zest the rind and juice the fruit
2 T cornstarch

Place the Panko crumbs into a food processor, pulsing until the crumbs are reduced in size, and small like standard dry bread crumbs. Place the processed crumbs into a bowl, set them aside.

Place the flour, 1 t salt, and the pepper into a third small bowl, using the fork combine well. set aside. 

Place the two eggs into a small bowl, beat well using the fork, set aside.

Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Prepare a baking pan (a jelly roll pan works great for this) with a parchment lining, set aside. 

Breading the chicken:  You will want to use the wet-hand and dry-hand methods. I used my left hand to dip the chicken pieces into the flour and then the egg, and placing the egg-coated pieces into the Panko crumbs. I used my right hand to dip and turn the chicken pieces into the Panko crumbs and place the coated chicken pieces onto the baking tray. 


Step one, dip the chicken pieces into the flour, shake gently to remove excess. 

Step two, dip the floured chicken into the beaten egg, turning over if needed, then remove the dipped chicken piece from the egg mixture allowing the excess to drain off. 

Step three, dip the egg-coated chicken pieces into the Panko crumbs, turning over if needed. Then place on the parchment-lined baking pan. 

Spritz or brush lightly with oil. Bake for 20 minutes. 

While the chicken is baking, make the orange sauce. Zest the orange, then cut in half and ream the juice. Measure 1/3 cup orange juice, set aside for the orange sauce. Save the remaining juice (if any) for another use. 

Place the 1 T oil in the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan. Gently warm the oil, add the minced ginger, crushed red pepper. and the garlic.  Let the mixture warm over medium-low heat until fragrant. 

Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, rice wine. Bring to a boil. Stir the cornstarch into the reserved orange juice. Stir until smooth and no lumps remain. Stir into the saucepan and let the mixture come to a full boil, and thicken. Stir in the toasted sesame oil. Set cooked sauce aside. 


When chicken is baked, using tongs, remove the chicken from the parchment paper and place it into a serving bowl. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, tossing if needed to make sure each piece is coated with the sauce, and serve.

Storage options for Baked Orange Chicken. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe, due to a loss in quality of texture. (but you won't have leftovers...)


UPDATE:  For your convenience, a "copy and paste" version of Baked Orange Chicken has been included below. 

Featured recipe at: 
Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household featured at Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Link-up!
Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household featured at Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Link Party!


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Printable "copy and paste" version:


Baked Orange Chicken
inspired by dinner then dessert
400-degree oven

1 1/4 c Panko breading crumbs
2 eggs
1 c flour - we used white whole wheat flour
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 pounds chicken thighs
1 T oil - we used avocado oil
1 1/2 T minced fresh ginger
1/4 t crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rice wine or dry white wine
3 T soy sauce
10 T (2/3 cup) sugar
10 T (2/3 cup) white vinegar
2 t toasted sesame oil
1 large orange, zest the rind and juice the fruit
2 T cornstarch

Place the Panko crumbs into a food processor, pulsing until the crumbs are reduced in size, and small like standard dry bread crumbs. Place the processed crumbs into a bowl, set aside.

Place the flour, 1 t salt, and the pepper into a third small bowl, using the fork combine well. set aside. 

Place the two eggs into a small bowl, beat well using the fork, set aside.

Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Prepare a baking pan (a jelly roll pan works great for this) with a parchment lining, set aside. 

Breading the chicken:  You will want to use the wet-hand and dry-hand method. I used my left hand to dip the chicken pieces into the flour and then the egg, and placing the egg-coated pieces into the Panko crumbs. I used my right hand to dip and turn the chicken pieces into the Panko crumbs and place the coated chicken pieces onto the baking tray. 

Step one, dip the chicken pieces into the flour, shake gently to remove excess. 

Step two, dip the floured chicken into the beaten egg, turning over if needed, then remove the dipped chicken piece from the egg mixture allowing the excess to drain off. 

Step three, dip the egg-coated chicken pieces into the Panko crumbs, turning over if needed. Then place on the parchment-lined baking pan. 

Spritz or brush lightly with oil. Bake for 20 minutes. 

While the chicken is baking, make the orange sauce. Zest the orange, then cut in half and ream the juice. Measure 1/3 cup orange juice, set aside for the orange sauce. Save the remaining juice (if any) for another use. 

Place the 1 T oil in the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan. Gently warm the oil, add the minced ginger, crushed red pepper. and the garlic.  Let the mixture warm over medium-low heat until fragrant. 

Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, rice wine. Bring to a boil. Stir the cornstarch into the reserved orange juice. Stir until smooth and no lumps remain. Stir into the saucepan and let the mixture come to a full boil, and thicken. Stir in the toasted sesame oil. Set cooked sauce aside. 

When chicken is baked, using tongs, remove the chicken from the parchment paper and place it into a serving bowl. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, tossing if needed to make sure each piece is coated with the sauce, and serve.

Storage options for Baked Orange Chicken. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe, due to a loss in quality of texture. (but you won't have leftovers...)

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I've never eaten at Panda Express (not sure there's one in my area), but I do like orange chicken. I like the idea of baking instead of frying. I wonder if this could be made in a air-fryer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’ve not had the Panda Express chicken but the orange chicken at Trader Joe’s is pretty amazing. Great knockoff recipe. Glad you shared it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ironically I have never had the Trader Joe's brand! But this one is real close to Panda and real tasty! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. When my son lived in the US for a couple of years he used to love this meal from Panda Express.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we lived in WA state, we ate at Panda so it was great fun to come across this recipe! Their Orange Chicken was one of my favorites, and this recipe is really really close! I prefer this baked version however for many reasons, like calories! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  4. This looks and sounds delicious, I've had lemon chicken before but never orange chicken, will be trying this on my family for sure. #SundaysOnSilverado

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure, you will love it! I have made it with oranges and once with tangerine juice and zest, both were outstanding. I tend to cook with what I have, hence the tangerines!

      Delete
  5. Orange chicken is our favorite from Panda, the one from TJ's isn't bad but not the same. Love the idea of baking instead of frying. Thank you for bringing it to Fiesta Friday.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks better than Panda's!! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party - Have a fabulous week.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks good. Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 25. Pinned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, thanks for hosting The Unlimited Link Party.

      Delete

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