Panda Express will celebrate the 2012 Chinese New Year holiday with the return of its limited-time Firecracker Chicken Breast. The menu item features chicken breast with yellow and red bell peppers cooked in a spicy black bean sauce and has only 240 calories per serving. To kick off Chinese New Year and ring in the Year of the Dragon, Panda Express will offer Facebook fans a coupon for a free single serving of Firecracker Chicken Breast on Jan. 23, the first day of the 15-day celebration.
“The Chinese New Year’s Eve feast features ingredients that carry special symbolic meaning,” said Panda Express executive chef Andy Kao. “Firecracker Chicken Breast is created with chicken because it represents prosperity and happiness, while firecrackers are a traditional part of New Year’s celebrations – according to Chinese folklore, Nian, a man-eating beast came into towns in search of people to feast upon. People used bright red decorations and firecrackers to scare Nian away to have a safe new year.”