Panda Express Orange Flavored Chicken
This one comes from a fast-growing chain of take-out Chinese food restaurants, which, in February, celebrated its 300th store opening in Las Vegas, Nevada. As far as Chinese food goes, I think the stuff they throw together in the sizzling woks at this chain is surprisingly tasty. And many of you seem to think so too; I’ve received many a request for this dish. It’s a twist on the traditional sweet and sour chicken so commonly found at Chinese restaurants over the years. However, this popular menu item has a delicious, citrus-laced, tangy-sweet sauce with a spicy nip the regulars find truly addictive. The chain claims to cook all of its food in woks, including the sauces. But this home-grown version will work fine — whether you go for a wok, or not.
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced water chestnuts
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 rounded teaspoon chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons arrowroot
4 chicken breast fillets
1 cup ice water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsifted cake flour
2-4 cups vegetable oil
1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients — except the corn starch and arrowroot — in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir often while bringing mixture to a boil. When sauce reaches a boil, remove it from heat and allow it to cool a bit, uncovered.
2. Slice chicken breasts into bite-size chunks. Remove exactly 1 cup of the marinade from the pan and pour it over the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag or other container which allows the chicken to be completely covered with the marinade. Chicken should marinate for at least a couple hours. Cover remaining sauce and leave it to cool until the chicken is ready.
3. When chicken has marinated, preheat 2-inches of vegetable oil in a wok or skillet to 350 degrees.
4. Combine corn starch with arrowroot in a small bowl, then add 3 tablespoons of water. Stir until corn starch and arrowroot have dissolved. Pour this mixture into the sauce and set the pan over high heat. When sauce begins to bubble and thickens cover and remove from heat.
5. Beat together the ice water and egg in a medium bowl. Add baking soda and salt.
6. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and stir with a fork just until the flour in blended into the mixture. The batter should still be lumpy.
7. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of flour on top of the batter and mix with only one or two strokes. Most of this flour will still floating on top of the mixture. Put the remaining flour (1/2 cup) into a medium bowl.
8. Dip each piece of chicken first into the flour, then into the batter. Let some of the batter drip off and then slide the chicken into the oil. Fry up to 1/2 of the chicken pieces at a time for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the chicken over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the chicken to a rack or paper towels to drain.
9. As the chicken cooks, reheat the sauce left covered on the stove. Stir occasionally.
10. When all of the chicken is done, pour it into a large bowl, and cover with the thickened sauce. Stir gently until all of the pieces are well coated. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)