Orange You Glad You Didn’t Order Take Out?

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Who doesn’t love the convenience of take-out food? With the increase in delivery services like Uber Eats, I am guilty of overindulging in my favorite fast food restaurants a little more than I should. At times, the budget just doesn’t allow for constantly eating at restaurants or grabbing fast food. That’s why I always love stumbling upon recipes that replicate some of my favorite dishes. This week I was blown away by this Panda Express Take Out Fake Out Orange Chicken. While this recipe was a little more challenging than I had expected, it was well worth the work. The flavors were pretty spot on and I didn’t have to leave home or incur a delivery charge!

The technique for frying the pieces of chicken thighs was a little more time consuming than I expected. Once you make the batter, the thigh meat is to soak in the batter for about a half an hour. I do not own a deep fryer, so I used a cast iron skillet. I had to fry several batches. It took forever, mostly because I wanted to ensure the poultry was completely cooked inside. It became a bit tedious, but the flavor and tenderness of the meat felt well worth the wait. I always feel a sense of gratitude and humility when a recipe requires extra patience and challenges me.

My biggest piece of advice when making the sticky orange sauce is to mix the cornstarch and water together well before adding it to the sauce to thicken. The first time I made this dish, I didn’t combine the thickening agents as well as I should have. Luckily for me, I was given a second chance. Only made the complete dish for about half of the batch of chicken. The remaining meat I put in the oven the next day to warm and made fresh sauce for my leftovers. I did a much better job on the sauce and it was definitely due to my diligence with the cornstarch the second time around. It’s all about learning and improving your dishes! Stay in tonight and still enjoy your delivery favorites without the fees!

Take Out Fake Out Orange Chicken

What You Need:DSC_0465

  • 2lb Chicken Thighs
  • Batter:
    • 1 Tbsp. salt 
    • 1 tsp. white pepper
    • 1 cup of corn starch
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • Orange Sauce:
    • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
    • 1/4 tsp. chili flakes
    • 1/2 tsp. ginger
    • 1 Tbsp garlic
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 1/4 cup vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    • A mixture of 2 Tbsp. water + 2 Tbsp. cornstarch 
    • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Instructions:
Click here to Cook With Me!

  • Cut 2 lbs. chicken thighs into 1” pieces and set aside.
  • For the batter, combine the ingredients listed above in a large bowl and whisk.
  • Add the previously cut chicken to the batter and mix well. Cover and chill for 30 min.
  • To begin cooking, Preheat oil in a skillet or deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  • Remove chicken pieces from the batter and fry for at least 6 minutes until golden brown. The chicken will darken by one shade after being removed from the oil. Then, set aside and drain any excess oil from the chicken.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the orange sauce by adding 1 tsp. vegetable oil, 1/4 tsp. chili flakes, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1 Tbsp. garlic to a saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute.
  • Now add 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and a mixture of 2 Tbsp. water + 2 Tbsp. cornstarch to the saucepan and mix. Note: You want the sauce to thicken and become the consistency of maple syrup.
  • Once thickened, add the fried chicken pieces to the saucepan and stir to coat. Add 1 tsp. sesame oil and stir.
  • Serve immediately with rice and/or vegetables.
  • Enjoy!

Cook With Me:

  • Cut 2 lbs. chicken thighs into 1” pieces and set aside. DSC_0469.JPG
  • For the batter, combine the ingredients listed above in a large bowl and whisk.
  • Add the previously cut chicken to the batter and mix well. Cover and chill for 30 min.
  • To begin cooking, Preheat oil in a skillet or deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  • Remove chicken pieces from the batter and fry for at least 6 minutes until golden brown. The chicken will darken by one shade after being removed from the oil. Then, set aside and drain any excess oil from the chicken.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the orange sauce by adding 1 tsp. vegetable oil, 1/4 tsp. chili flakes, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1 Tbsp. garlic to a saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute.DSC_0482.JPG
  • Now add 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and a mixture of 2 Tbsp. water + 2 Tbsp. cornstarch to the saucepan and mix. Note: You want the sauce to thicken and become the consistency of maple syrup.DSC_0485.JPG
  • Once thickened, add the fried chicken pieces to the saucepan and stir to coat. Add 1 tsp. sesame oil and stir.
  • Serve immediately with rice and/or vegetables.
  • Enjoy!DSC_0498

Inspired by this recipe.

One comment

  1. My fiance is more like a ghetto international cook. When it come to Chinese (my favorite), he knows pretty much knows what he’s doing. I’ll have to include one of his Chinese dishes in one of my posts one of these days. I’m more of a breast person than a thigh person. And you’re right! Your dish does look complicated, but it also looks like a lot of fun! Can’t wait to try it! Cat

    Liked by 1 person

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