I can’t say I have ever been a fast food junkie, at least not in my adult life, but I have always had a soft spot for Panda Express. The usual order in my house (growing up) was orange chicken and chow mein. We did occasionally branch out to beef and broccoli:-) A while before I discovered my gluten intolerance I noticed that I didn’t feel super great after eating Panda. I attributed it to the oils and such, but now I would guess the gluten played a big part as well.The last time I remember eating Orange Chicken from Panda was about four years ago. The separation has been hard on both of us. A few weeks ago I saw somebody post a recipe for gluten-free orange chicken. My. Mind. Was. Blown. It shouldn’t have been. By now I should have figured out that there are very few things that can’t be made gluten-free. Really. Sometimes it takes more creativity, but the impossible list is very short.(I accidentally left out the agave for this picture, but here all all your sauce ingredients!)
So I decided that I wanted to make some orange chicken as well. I began doing some research. I looked at about 10 different recipes before picking one to use as my base. The original recipe is found at Delicious Obsessions. That sounds pretty good, right? I did a few changes to the sauce recipe, but nothing too huge. However, since I was going for gluten-free and healthy I did not bread my chicken before cooking it. Every recipe I looked at breads the chicken since that is the way Panda Express does it. I decided that the flavor of the sauce was the important part and breading the chicken just seemed like unnecessary carbs. When I eat carbs they should be essential to a recipe:-)I paired this chicken with some roasted broccoli and some rice. You can cook your rice plain or sometimes it is fun to add a little seasoning to it. For this batch I added, salt, garlic powder, onion salt and lots of paprika. Enjoy!
4-6 pieces of chicken, depending on size
Zest of one orange
¼ inch fresh ginger, zested
1 C broth
½ C agave
½ C rice wine vinegar
½-¾ C orange juice
1 T soy sauce
1 T lemon juice
½ t garlic, minced
Pinch of chili flakes
- Put all ingredients, except the chicken, into a large flat saucepan. Simmer on medium to medium-high for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Cut chicken into small pieces and add chicken to the sauce. Keep heat between medium and medium-high and stir frequently to prevent the sauce from burning.
- Cook chicken for approximately 20 minutes. The sauce will be very thin and light colored for the majority of the time it is cooking; towards the end the sauce will thicken and become darker. (See pictures for example.)