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Try this Panda Express-style orange chicken recipe for dinner

Homemade Panda Express-style orange chicken.
Homemade Panda Express-style orange chicken.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times )

We all have our guilty pleasures. Chances are, Chinese fast food, eaten straight out of the container, is one of them.

Below you’ll find a recipe for crispy, sweet and spicy orange chicken inspired by the popular Panda Express dish. Our version includes orange juice, orange zest and orange marmalade for a fresh citrus flavor. 

Eat it on the couch if you must; just remember the chopsticks. 

PANDA EXPRESS-INSPIRED ORANGE CHICKEN

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Total time: 55 minutes | Makes 4 to 8 servings

ORANGE CHICKEN SAUCE

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons corn starch

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1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ginger, grated

2 1/2 teaspoons of sambal chile sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

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2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1. In a small bowl, stir together the water and corn starch to make a slurry. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, zest and marmalade along with the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chile sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, honey, pepper and salt. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to a simmer, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Whisk in the corn starch slurry and continue to cook until the sauce comes back to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. This makes about 1 cup sauce.

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FRIED CHICKEN

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced

1 1/2 cups corn starch

Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Pour the corn starch into a shallow baking dish or bowl. Toss the chicken pieces in with the corn starch to coat, then set aside for a few minutes. Toss the chicken with the corn starch a second time to coat again. Set aside.

2. Add enough oil to a large heavy pot so the oil comes about halfway up the sides. Heat the oil until a thermometer inserted reaches 350 degrees.

3. Fry the chicken pieces, a handful at a time, until the chicken is firm and the fried coating is a pale golden color. Drain on a cooling rack lined with paper towels.

ORANGE CHICKEN

1. Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add the orange chicken sauce and cook until the sauce starts to bubble, about 1 minute.

2. Add the chicken to the pan and stir until each piece is well coated with the sauce, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Each of 8 servings:

Calories 406; Protein 26 grams; Carbohydrates 35 grams; Fiber 0; Fat 17 grams; Saturated fat 2 grams; Cholesterol 83 mg; Sugar 10 grams; Sodium 553 mg

I wish I was a fortune cookie fortune writer. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @Jenn_Harris_

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