August 23, 2012

Almost Panda Express Orange Chicken

I was shopping at Costco last month and feeling a bit stressed and also tired of always telling myself no when I want to buy things (probably not a good combination), when I ran across something amazing--Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce!  And it was only like $5 for a huge bottle.  I couldn't resist.  I bought it.

After looking at several recipes online, here's what I tried out and found to be super tasty and probably as close to the real thing as I'm going to get here at home.  Knock-off Panda goodness!

Almost Panda Express Orange Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1/4 cup oil for frying (although, I suppose it could be baked instead...)
Panda Express Orange Sauce

1. Start preheating a large skillet (or, ideally, a wok) over medium-high heat.
2. In a shallow dish or large ziploc/bread/plastic bag, combine the flour and cornstarch.  Dip or shake the chicken in the flour until it is evenly coated.  Shake off the excess flour.  If you want to be healthy and be finished with the breading, skip to the next step now.  For the rest of us, beat the egg in a shallow dish.  Dip in the floured chicken in the egg and then back into the flour mixture again.  Double breading equals double deliciousness!  
3. Pour enough oil into the pan to cover the bottom, then throw in the chicken.  Don't overcrowd the pan or the chicken will start to steam itself, rather than stir-fry, which will make the breading soggy.  If you have too much chicken to fit in at once, do it in shifts and keep the cooked chicken warm on a cooling rack in a warm oven.  Also, if you're using a stainless steel pan, give it a minute to cook before you try to stir it all around.  If you flip them too early, the breading could stick to the pan, rather than the chicken.  Once the chicken is cooked through, pour on as much orange chicken sauce as you'd like and toss to evenly coat it.
4.  Serve it immediately over cooked white rice and break out the chop sticks.  Panda at home!

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