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Orange Chicken

close up overhead shot of a plate of Orange Chicken served over a bed of white rice
This tasty Chinese chicken dish consists of crispy fried chicken in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. Serve it over fried rice for an authentic Asian takeout experience. 
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Table of Contents
  1. ORANGE CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

We think that our homemade orange chicken recipe is even better than takeout! This tasty Chinese chicken dish consists of crispy fried chicken in a sweet and spicy orange sauce, perfect to serve over rice for a delicious meal.

Love this? We have many more tasty recipes including our bourbon chicken and kung pao chicken.

ORANGE CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

For the Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder

PRO TIP:

You can find sesame oil in two places at the grocery store. It can be found in the baking aisle in the oil section. You can also find it with Asian foods as well. It is usually cheaper if you pick the oil that is in with the Asian foods.

For the Orange Sauce

  • 1 cup of pulp-free orange juice
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1½ tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons of water

To Garnish

  • 5 green onions
  • Sesame seeds
  • Orange zest

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BROCCOLI: Add cooked broccoli to the sauce with the chicken to make this copycat takeout dish a little healthier.

MEAT ALTERNATIVE: This dish is super-easy to make vegetarian or vegan. You can switch the chicken for extra-firm tofu or your favorite brand of mock chicken. Instead of egg, use aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas.

CHICKEN: You could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe if you prefer.

RED PEPPER FLAKES: If you don’t like spicy food, leave out the red pepper flakes.

GARNISH: Green onion and sesame seeds are optional as a garnish

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HOW TO MAKE THIS ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE

For the Sauce

PRO TIP:

This recipe makes a little bit of extra sauce that can be used to pour over the rice when serving. 

STEP ONE: Place the orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder and orange zest into a medium saucepan and whisk together. Turn the heat to medium and boil gently for three or four minutes, stirring regularly.

STEP TWO: In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water until no lumps remain. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan of sauce and whisk together. Boil for one to two minutes more before removing from the heat.

STEP THREE: Taste the sauce and add red pepper flakes until the desired level of spice is achieved. Set aside.

PRO TIP:

This recipe is very “spicy” if the optional red pepper flakes are added. I suggest tasting the sauce before adding the optional red pepper flakes.

For the Chicken

STEP ONE: Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat with a whisk

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, place the flour, salt, ground white pepper, onion powder, cumin and chili powder. Whisk together to combine.

STEP THREE: On a cutting board, slice each boneless skinless chicken breast into one-inch pieces. Take each piece and dip it into the egg and then into the flour mixture until fully coated.

STEP FOUR: Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coated chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook chicken for two to three minutes, turning often until golden brown.

STEP FIVE: Once cooked, remove the pieces of chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and place them onto paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

STEP SIX: Place the chicken into a large bowl and pour three-quarters of the sauce over the top. Use tongs or a large spoon to coat all the chicken in the sauce.

STEP SEVEN: Serve these tender bites of chicken over rice and garnish with chopped green onions, sesame seeds and orange zest.

HOW TO SERVE

Serve this tender chicken on top of white rice or cauliflower rice or add fried rice for a delicious Asian-inspired meal. If you’d like to add a bit of green on the side, try our broccoli slaw or Caesar salad.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: This crispy orange chicken can be kept for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze cooked chicken safely for up to three months. Defrost before reheating by using the defrost setting on the microwave or leave overnight in the refrigerator.

This easy orange chicken recipe is so quick to make for an easy weeknight dinner. The sweet orange sauce can be made sweet or spicy, depending on your preferences. So, if you’re cooking this meal for the whole family, it’s really easy to make one version for the kids and another one for the adults with the addition of red pepper flakes.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of hot oil is best for deep frying?

Fry only with oils that have a high smoking point. The smoking point is the temperature it takes for the oil to start to break down and smoke. Once it smokes, it’s not good for frying. Good oils to use are sesame oil, peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, or vegetable oil. Olive oil, on the other hand, is not a good oil to fry in.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts in this recipe?

Chicken thighs would also be delicious in this orange chicken recipe.

Is this recipe spicy?

If you decide to add the optional red pepper flakes, then it will be a spicy dish. You can opt to leave the red pepper flakes out and it will still be delicious and flavorful.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up overhead shot of a plate of Orange Chicken served over a bed of white rice

Orange Chicken

5 from 1 vote
This tasty Chinese chicken dish consists of crispy fried chicken in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. Serve it over fried rice for an authentic Asian takeout experience. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

Sauce

  • 1 cup orange juice pulp free
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 orange zested
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili flakes optional
  • tablespoons corn starch
  • tablespoons water

Garnish

  • 5 green onions chopped
  • sesame seeds
  • orange zest

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, add eggs and beat together with a whisk.
  • In a medium bowl add flour, salt, ground white pepper, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Whisk together to combine.
  • Take each piece of chicken and dip it in egg mixture, then dip in flour mixture to coat all sides of the chicken pieces. Set coated chicken on a plate until ready to put in the skillet.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat add sesame oil. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add coated chicken to the skillet, one piece at a time.
  • Once all chicken is added to the skillet and has browned on the bottom, individually turn each piece of chicken over and allow it to cook and brown on the other side. Once chicken is done cooking and browned on both sides remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Sauce

  • While the chicken is cooking add orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, zest from 1 orange, and red pepper flakes to a medium saucepan. Whisk together to combine. Turn heat to medium and allow sauce toboil 3 to 4 minutes, whisking often.
  • In a separate small bowl add the cornstarch and water. Mix together until no lumps remain. Pour into boiling sauce mixture and whisk together. Continue to boil 1 to 2 additional minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to thicken as it sits.
  • Place the browned chicken in a large mixing bowl and pour ¾ of the sauce over the top. Use tongs or a large spoon to gently toss and coat all chicken in sauce.
  • Serve immediately over rice and garnish with green onions. Use extra sauce to pour over rice when serving.

Video

Notes

TIP: You can find sesame oil in two places at the grocery store. It can be found in the baking aisle in the oil section. You can also find it with Asian foods as well. It is usually cheaper if you pick the oil that is in with the Asian foods. 
TIP: This recipe makes a little bit of extra sauce that can be used to pour over the rice when serving. 
TIP: This recipe is very “spicy” if the optional red pepper flakes are added. I suggest tasting the sauce before adding the optional red pepper flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 639kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 983mg | Potassium: 781mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 674IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 4mg
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