December 8, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

Orange Chicken Recipe – Spoon Fork Bacon


A quick, easy and mouthwatering Orange Chicken Recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes! We guarantee the whole family will love this sweet and savory version of one of the most popular Chinese takeout dishes in the states! You’ll be asked to make it over and over again.

Orange chicken recipe in a bowl with rice on the side.

I’m not sure why its taken us so long to get an Orange Chicken Recipe up on our site, but that changes today! Orange chicken is something my friends and I ate quite a bit in jr. high. We would hang out at the mall on the weekends and head over to the food court when we got hungry. Our go to quick meal would usually be Panda Express orange chicken with some fried rice on the side, and it would hit the spot every time.

Our recipe today is so simple, delicious and satisfying. I think it tastes just like Chinese takeout versions, but even just a little bit better! Our orange chicken recipe is also a little healthier because we don’t use a thick batter to coat our chicken, we use fresh squeezed orange juice as well as less sugar overall. We’ve also added alternate instructions that don’t involve shallow frying, but pan frying instead making it a healthier option.

Is Orange Chicken and Authentic Chinese Dish?

Not exactly. Orange chicken was created by Chef Andy Kao back in the ’80s in the U.S. He was the executive chef for Panda Express at the time and developed it as a variation of General Tso Chicken, which is an authentic Chinese dish.

While you may not see orange chicken on menus around China, it’s one of the most popular Chinese takeout dishes in the states.

How to Make Our Easy Orange Chicken Recipe

Process

Orange chicken sauce ingredients on a kitchen table.

ORANGE SAUCE

  1. Pour all orange chicken sauce ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Orange sauce for orange chicken in a glass bowl whisked together.

CHICKEN

Ingredients to make our Orange Chicken recipe.
  1. Place chicken in a mixing bowl and toss together with salt and pepper. 
  2. Sprinkle cornstarch over chicken.
  1. Continue to toss together until chicken is fully and evenly coated.
  2. Preheat oil in a skillet to 350˚F. Carefully add chicken (in batches, if needed) to hot oil and shallow fry for 6 to 7minutes. Turn and continue to fry for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and transfer to a cooling rack lined with a baking sheet.
  1. Drain oil from skillet and place back over medium heat. Pour sauce mixture into skillet and simmer until mixture has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken to sauce and toss together until chicken is fully and evenly coated.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Transfer orange chicken to a platter and top with green onions. Serve with a side of steamed brown or white rice.
Orange chicken tossed in a saucepan.

White or Dark Meat for Orange Chicken?

We 100% recommend dark meat for our orange chicken recipe. One thing I can’t stand is dry chicken. Not only is dark meat more tender and juicy then white meat, but it’s also more forgiving to cook with, making it perfect for lightly dredging and frying. You don’t run the risk of the the chicken pieces drying out nearly as easily as with boneless skinless chicken breast.

If you absolutely must use white meat, make sure to adjust the cooking time to ensure your chicken is still juicy and delicious.

Why This is the BEST Orange Chicken Recipe

We know there are hundreds, if not thousands of recipes out there but we truly think our recipe is one of the best ones around!

  • We don’t use a thick/heavy batter like most recipes. We simply dredge our chicken in some cornstarch ensuring you still get that crispy outer texture, while maximizing delicious chicken in every bite!
  • Our recipe comes together in under 30 minutes! You read that right! Our recipe is not only super simple, but also comes together quickly, making it a great weeknight meal!
  • We shallow fry our chicken instead of deep frying. This uses much less oil, making cleanup way easier!
  • The recipe itself doesn’t require an hard to find ingredients and the ingredient list itself is fairly short.
  • Our sauce is jam packed with sweet and tangy orange flavor, which is what we’re lookin for in a delicious orange chicken recipe!
  • We don’t use any egg to coat our chicken, which is a plus for anyone with egg allergies!
  • We also don’t use any flour in our recipe, so if you just replace the soy sauce with tamari, you have a great gluten-free dish!
Close up on a plate of orange chicken.

Tips and Tricks for Orange Chicken Success

  • Use dark meat chicken! I really can’t stress this enough. It’s way more forgiving and you’re almost always guaranteed to have tender, juicy chicken in the end!
  • Apply a thin, but even coating of cornstarch to the chicken. Don’t skip on this! the cornstarch will add a thin, crispy texture around the chicken as well as help hold onto the delicious sauce! Without a little bit of coating around the chicken the sauce will slip right off.
  • Shallow fry the chicken to make clean up mush easier.
  • Use Use fresh orange juice (from freshly squeezed oranges). I really think it makes a huge difference in the fresh, clean flavor of the dish!
  • We highly recommend using a spider strainer to remove the chicken from the oil and then transfer it to a cooling rack lined with a rimmed baking sheet. This type of strainer allows you to lift a lot of chicken up at once and drains the oil very well. Using a cooling rack, lined with a baking dish is also much more efficient at draining even more excess oil from the chicken pieces, without making them soggy (like when drained on a paper towel).
  • Boost the orange flavor even more by grating some orange zest into the sauce.
  • Want spicy kick in this dish? Just stir 1-2 teaspoons Sambal (chili paste), Sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes into the sauce!
Orange chicken in a bowl with rice on the side.

Want to Make A Healthier Orange Chicken Recipe?

Our orange chicken recipe can be made a little healthier by pan frying the chicken in a few tablespoons of oil instead of shallowing frying. You will still end up with a delicious dish where sauce nicely coats the chicken. The only thing you’ll be missing out on by doing this is the crispy outer texture you would get from shallow frying.

You can also scale down on the brown sugar by about half or even replace it with honey or agave. The sauce itself can also be halved. This will give the chicken a very light coating of sauce, that’s still packed with great flavor!

Some of Our Favorite Veggies to Serve with This Dish

Orange chicken recipe on a plate with rice on the side.

More Delicious Chinese Takeout Recipes You Will Love

Orange chicken recipe up close with rice on the side.

Orange Chicken Recipe

PRINT RECIPE Pin Recipe

A quick, easy and mouthwatering Orange Chicken Recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes! We guarantee the whole family will love this sweet and savory version of one of the most popular Chinese takeout dishes in the states! You’ll be asked to make it over and over again.

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Servings: 4

  INGREDIENTS  

  INSTRUCTIONS  

Chicken

  • Place chicken in a mixing bowl and toss together with salt and pepper. 

  • Sprinkle cornstarch over chicken and continue to toss together until chicken is fully and evenly coated.

  • Preheat oil in a skillet to 350˚F.

  • Carefully add chicken (in batches, if needed) to hot oil and shallow fry for 6 to 7minutes. Turn and continue to fry for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and transfer to a cooling rack lined with a baking sheet.

  • Drain oil from skillet and place back over medium heat.

  • Pour sauce mixture into skillet and simmer until mixture has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add chicken to sauce and toss together until chicken is fully and evenly coated.

  NOTES  

Tips and Tricks for Orange Chicken Success
  • Use dark meat chicken! I really can’t stress this enough. It’s way more forgiving and you’re almost always guaranteed to have tender, juicy chicken in the end!
  • Apply a thin, but even coating of cornstarch to the chicken. Don’t skip on this! the cornstarch will add a thin, crispy texture around the chicken as well as help hold onto the delicious sauce! Without a little bit of coating around the chicken the sauce will slip right off.
  • Shallow fry the chicken to make clean up mush easier.
  • Use freeze squeezed orange juice. I really think it makes a huge difference in the fresh flavor of the dish!
  • We highly recommend using a spider strainer to remove the chicken from the oil and then transfer it to a cooling rack lined with a rimmed baking sheet. This type of strainer allows you to lift a lot of chicken up at once and drains the oil very well. Using a cooling rack, lined with a baking dish is also much more efficient at draining even more excess oil from the chicken pieces, without making them soggy (like when drained on a paper towel).
  • Boost the orange flavor even more by grating some orange zest into the sauce.
  • Want spicy kick in this dish? Just stir 1-2 teaspoons Sambal (chili paste), Sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes into the sauce!
Want to Make Our Dish Healthier? – You Got It! Our orange chicken recipe can be made a little healthier by pan frying the chicken in a few tablespoons of oil instead of shallowing frying. You will still end up with a delicious dish where sauce nicely coats the chicken. The only thing you’ll be missing out on by doing this is the crispy outer texture you would get from shallow frying.

Calories: 469kcal Carbohydrates: 35g Protein: 34g Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g Monounsaturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 162mg Sodium: 1243mg Potassium: 603mg Fiber: 0.5g Sugar: 23g Vitamin A: 196IU Vitamin C: 32mg Calcium: 46mg Iron: 2mg

CUISINE: Chinese-American

COURSE: dinner, lunch, Main Course