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Better than Panda Express Orange Chicken.
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5 from 2 votes

Better Than Panda Express Orange Flavored Chicken!

Orange Chicken recipe from Cook's Illustrated magazine. The chiles are merely for decoration. They shouldn't be eaten, and are optional.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4
Author: Cynthia


  • Marinade and sauce:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup orange juice 1 1/2 teaspoons grated zest, and 8 strips of orange peel (each about 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide) from 2 oranges.
  • 6 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced, about 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 piece ginger (about 1 inch) minced, about 1 Tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water
  • 8 small whole dried red chiles optional
  • Coating and frying:
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups peanut oil


  • For the marinade: mix broth, juice, zest vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Measure out 3/4 cup of marinade and pour over chicken pieces. Set aside for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • While chicken is marinating, place remaining 1 1/2 cups marinade in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, stir together cold water and cornstarch.
  • Whisk cornstarch mixture into sauce and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally until sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chiles and orange peel.
  • For the coating:
  • In one pie plate, whisk egg whites. In a second pie plate mix cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
  • Drain the chicken and discard marinade. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Dip each chicken piece in egg whites and then in cornstarch mixture. Set chicken on wire rack until ready to fry.
  • To fry the chicken:
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven, fry baby or electric skillet to 350 degrees F. (Use a clip on thermometer if you don't have an electric fryer.)
  • Carefully place chicken pieces in hot oil, one piece at a time, and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side, frying about 1/4 of the chicken at a time.
  • Drain pieces on a paper towel lined platter or baking sheet.
  • Finishing:
  • Reheat orange sauce over medium heat until simmering. Add chicken and gently toss until even coated and heated through. Serve immediately.