It has been confirmed by Mary, (my Chinese friend from Britain who writes Lovefoodies), that there is no such thing.
We have Panda Express and other American-style Chinese restaurants to thank for this wonderful dish; much like we have Britain to thank for the quintessential Indian dish, chicken tikka masala. If this did exist in China, it would be called Cheng Gai, but we’ll just call it orange chicken, shall we?
Like most Panda Express fans, orange chicken is a favorite. I even have the actual P.E. orange chicken sauce in my fridge, but that would be cheating.
This doesn’t taste much like P.E.’s version…it is so much better. So tangy, so orange-y, and a bit of heat. My household (and extended household-thanks Bentley’s) all declare this a winner, which makes me happy.The list of ingredients looks crazy long, but like most stir fry dishes, it’s all for the sauce and it only took about 7 minutes start to finish to get the sauce prepped and the dish took about 15 to cook, add in a couple of minutes for cutting the chicken, you have a 30 minute or so meal.
Next time I make this, I am going to toss in some onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, so I have a full meal in one bowl, veg and protein. Or you can do it for me and send me picture of how it turned out.
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast; cubed (about 3 breasts)
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup hoisin
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves; minced/grated
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp garlic chili sauce +/- to taste
- Zest from 3 oranges
- 1/4 cup green onions; divided white and green parts
- Cooked rice; optional
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- High heat oil , if needed
Cube chicken and coat with cornstarch.
Whisk the orange juice, honey, hoisin, brown sugar, garlic, white parts of the green onions, ginger, zest, and garlic chili sauce; set aside.
Heat a large pan or wok and add the sesame oil.
Once heated, add the chicken, allow it to sear in the hot oil, then stir, again, allowing a sear to form.
Cook on high heat for about 3 minutes, or until it has turned brown and looks slightly crispy. If needed, add a bit more high heat cooking oil.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, mix well.
Allow the sauce to come to a boil over high heat and stir; cooking for about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and allow the sauce to reduce and become a thick, sticky sauce; about 10 minutes.
Serve over hot cooked rice and garnish with the green part of the green onions.
I've made this recipe many times. The first time I made it, I photographed it with a lot of sauce. The video shows how to it can be made more like PE with a clinging sauce. Both ways are great. If you like a lot of sauce, increase the sauce ingredients by 50%.
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Many of you have written to me about trying to find the various pots, pans, utensils, spices, etc I use in my posts, so I’ll link to Amazon for your convenience.