Panda Specific’ White Whale

Panda Express New Original Orange Chicken Sandwich

Picture: Panda Specific

Not recognized for its handhelds however positively recognized for its Orange Rooster, Panda Specific appears to be hell-bent on delivering a rooster sandwich to clients, regardless of how late within the pattern it could be. In accordance with a press launch despatched to The Takeout, Panda Specific is at the moment testing a brand new model of its Unique Orange Rooster Sandwich in its Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, California from by means of October twenty sixth.

Though that is the second iteration of the model’s Unique Orange Rooster Sandwich, it’s truly not the second try by the model to good a rooster sandwich providing—it’s not less than the third.

A short historical past of Panda Specific rooster sandwiches

The rooster sandwich craze could have began all the best way again in 2019 (seems like many years in the past), however Panda Specific entered the sport in 2021 and has apparently been making up for misplaced time by tirelessly attempting to determine methods to current its Orange Rooster in a approach that greatest lends itself to a sandwich format.

First, the quick meals chain examined the Unique Orange Rooster Sandwich completely in its Innovation Kitchen. This preliminary sandwich product consisted of a breaded chicken rooster breast topped with each orange rooster sauce and a spicy aioli sauce, paired with shredded cabbage and crinkle-cut bread-and-butter pickles, served up on a candy King’s Hawaiian bun. The sandwich offered for $5.95 and had a restricted run.

After that, Panda Specific put a distinct (and for my part, extra inventive) spin on its sandwich. Meals Community reported in March of this 12 months that the model was testing out a smaller model of the unique sandwich, this time served on a bao bun. This new toasted bao sandwich included a crispy rooster strip coated in orange rooster sauce, topped with sliced pickles and drizzled with a sriracha aioli. (No cabbage this time.)

In an electronic mail to the Meals Community on the time, Chef Jimmy Wang, Govt Director of Culinary Innovation at Panda Specific, mentioned the providing was impressed by bao, a Chinese language handheld road meals merchandise with which the latest sandwich shared an identical dimension and format. The chef known as it a “quintessential American Chinese language mashup.”

Each the unique Panda rooster sandwich and the later bao mashup have but to see a nationwide launch, however that doesn’t imply they by no means will. Within the meantime, Panda Specific is testing one more orange rooster sandwich. This New Unique Rooster Sandwich model 2.0 swaps out the candy King’s Hawaiian bun for a brioche bun, glazes all the crispy rooster strip with Orange Rooster sauce as an alternative of simply topping it, and omits the shredded cabbage because the bao did. Nonetheless, a lot to my disappointment, the bread-and-butter pickles stay the identical, and as does the spicy aioili. (They’re simply too candy for my style.)

With all these rooster assessments restricted to Pasadena, it’s arduous to evaluate what clients are responding to, and what precisely Panda Specific is attempting to nail down earlier than releasing a sandwich nationwide. We are able to solely hope that with every check, these of us exterior Pasadena get nearer to tasting the providing for ourselves. My vote goes to the bao, as a result of not less than that stands out from the ocean of brioche-swaddled sandwiches already in the marketplace.


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