Back when I was in college, I had a pretty unhealthy obsession with Panda Express, namely their Orange Chicken. My office was right by the UCLA Panda location and when I was killing time by getting work done in between classes, that was my go to meal to tide me over until dinner time. Horrible, I know. Having looked more into what’s actually in their orange chicken, let’s just say that I no longer crave it nearly as much.
Realistically, as much as I know how unhealthy the Panda Express goodness is, I really can’t help myself from giving in every now and again… and trust me, I know I shouldn’t. This is why I’ve taken to making my own version that is relatively low on the guilt scale and tastes just as delicious. This dish is super quick to whip together and I even allowed my boyfriend to help in the kitchen this time. (He was relegated to chicken breading).
I adapted this recipe from A Dash of Sanity.
for the chicken:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 4 eggs
for the sauce:
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1″ slice ginger root
- green onions
- sesame seeds
Kitchen Tools: baking sheet, small saucepan, non-stick spray.
Preheat oven to 400*F. Measure out cornstarch, panko, and eggs into three separate bowls. Whisk eggs. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and spray baking sheet with non-stick spray. Dip each piece of chicken in cornstarch, eggs, then breadcrumbs (making sure they get fully coated) then arrange on baking sheet.
Mince garlic and finely chop ginger for sauce.
Bake chicken for about 20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. While chicken is baking, combine all ingredients except cornstarch into your saucepan and heat until bubbling. Spoon out a few tbsp of the sauce into a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch to make a slurry. Whisk mixture back into sauce and heat for another 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. (This keeps you from getting cornstarch chunks in your sauce).
Once chicken is finished cooking, toss it in the sauce and serve with sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired.