When you feel like Chinese takeout, do one better for your family and make this orange chicken recipe. My family never orders it from our local Chinese restaurant anymore because they love this homemade Chinese orange chicken version best. The sauce is sweet, savory, and just a hint of spice to satisfy on every level!
Best Orange Chicken Recipe
Congratulations! You’ve just found the best orange chicken recipe around! Made with wholesome ingredients I know you’ve already got at home, you can even make this tonight. Steam some rice and let’s get started!
Easy Orange Chicken Recipe
In the amount of time it takes everyone to bicker about the takeout menu for your local Chinese restaurant, you can steal away into the kitchen and make this easy orange chicken recipe. Made with fresh ingredients that aren’t sitting under a warmer, you can feel good dishing this one up to your family. Prep will happen in a snap and before you know it, you’ll be serving it up.
Orange Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken breast – If you like orange chicken but aren’t a fan of dark meat, this recipe is definitely for you!
- Coating – To get that signature texture, your chicken needs to be coated with eggs, cornstarch, and flour for the perfect crispness!
- Oil – for frying of course, and it’s way less than what they use to make it at the takeout place!
- Orange chicken sauce recipe – All you need is orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, minced garlic, water, orange zest, cornstarch, red chili flakes, and water for this sauce you’ll crave fortnightly!
How do you Make Orange Chicken from Scratch
A simple orange chicken recipe from scratch starts with making the sauce. You’ll heat it over the stove and thicken it with cornstarch giving it that signature texture. Then you’ll coat the chicken and fry it. You’ll sop up the excess oil, then toss it in the sauce and serve. That sauce is pure heaven on steamed white rice!
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Orange Chicken Every Time
- You can use dark meat if you prefer. In my family, the kids are more enthusiastic about white meat, but dark meat works great here too. Just cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- You can also turn this into a gluten-free dish. If you miss Chinese food because you’re gluten-free, making it at home is the best way to get your fix. In this recipe, you’ll just use gluten-free all-purpose flour instead.
- Mince the garlic fresh. It gives this dish even more flavor than that pre-minced jarred stuff.
- Use fresh ginger too. It’s the secret of Asian cuisine, lending the perfect aromatics and flavors.
How to Cook Orange Chicken
Orange chicken is a dish you’ll make on the stove top. You’ll make the sauce first, then fry your chicken, drain it, and then combine the chicken with the sauce. Almost like an orange chicken stir fry, it’s so easy!
What is orange chicken sauce made of?
The orange chicken sauce recipe is made with orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fresh ginger, minced garlic, red chili flakes, water, cornstarch, and orange zest.
What is the difference between sweet and sour chicken and orange chicken?
While they both look similar and use chicken, they’re quite different dishes. Orange chicken has a crisper texture and lighter breading. It also has more of an orange flavor. Sweet and sour chicken has a thicker breading and much more contrast of sweet and sour flavors, plus an unmistakable red hue.
Is orange peel chicken the same as orange chicken?
Orange peel chicken is famed PF Chang’s version of orange chicken. Their version is both sweet and spicy, using tomato sauce, brown sugar, and sriracha as notable differences from traditional orange chicken.
A chicken may cross the road, but nobody crosses the chicken.
Is orange chicken dark meat?
Traditionally, orange chicken is made with dark meat. This recipe calls for using white meat, however, if you prefer dark meat, you can certainly make it that way when you follow this recipe by swapping in your preferred meat.
What is a good side dish for orange chicken?
We love steamed white rice with this dish to soak up that glorious sauce. Orange chicken and rice are an excellent pairing. I also make a nice vegetable stir-fry to go with it so we all get more veggies. You can keep it simple with an Asian-style coleslaw or cabbage salad, asparagus seared with soy sauce and sesame seeds, or even steamed broccoli with garlic.
How to Store Orange Chicken
Orange chicken should be put in the fridge after it cools and everyone is full. Tuck it in an airtight container for leftovers.
How Long Does Orange Chicken Last?
Once in your fridge, you can enjoy your orange chicken leftovers for up to 5 days. Don’t let it go to waste though. You can freeze anything beyond that point for a speedy meal prep.
Can You Freeze Orange Chicken?
Yes, you can freeze orange chicken. Make sure it’s sealed airtight and use it up within 3 months.
How to Reheat Orange Chicken?
Simply let it thaw in your fridge overnight and then bake it in the oven at 350F or until heated. This will bring back the crispiness of the chicken.
Orange Chicken Recipe
- 4 chicken breasts (boneless/skinless, cut into bite-size pieces)
- 4 eggs (whisked)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup flour
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- salt (to taste)
Orange Chicken Sauce
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 tsp red chili flakes (add more or less for spice preference)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 orange (for zest)
- 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- scallions (green onions) (for garnish)
- First, make the orange sauce. Add orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and red chili flakes to a medium pot. Allow to heat through on medium heat for about 3 minutes. While the sauce is heating up, whisk a tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to make a paste, then add to the orange sauce and combine. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and add in the orange zest.
- Once the sauce has been made it’s time to make the chicken. Place the flour and cornstarch in a shallow dish and whisk together, then add a pinch or 2 of salt. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then flour mixture. Heat about 3 inches of frying oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Fry the chicken in batches, cooking for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Place the fried chicken pieces on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Once all of the chicken has been fried, toss it in the orange sauce over low heat in the same skillet. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.
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