Orange chicken is made with tender, crisp, bite-size chicken pieces tossed in an authentic orange sauce. This recipe is better than take-out and it’s better for you because it’s made with ingredients you know.
Everyone’s favorite take-out menu item made in the comfort of your own home. This orange chicken recipe is made with chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces that are dredged and fried until perfectly golden and crisp, then tossed with the most amazing sweet orange sauce. Serve it over rice for a complete meal that beats Panda any day.
How to Make Orange Chicken:
Orange Sauce Ingredients:
- Orange juice: I used Simply brand 100 % orange juice. You can also use fresh squeezed or any brand of orange juice as long as it’s 100% orange juice and not from concentrate.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil adds great flavor.
- Soy sauce: I always use low sodium soy sauce. That way you get plenty of umami flavor without it being too salty.
- Brown sugar: You don’t need very much sugar because the orange juice is already sweet. You can also substitute honey for brown sugar.
- Garlic: You can use garlic powder or minced garlic cloves.
- Rice vinegar: The acidity helps to balance out the flavors.
- Chili garlic sauce: I love the flavor and mellow heat the chili garlic sauce adds. If you want a spicier sauce you can use Sambal Oelek instead, which is a chili sauce that is very spicy! Both of these are found in the Hispanic aisle near the soy sauce. Look for a small red bottle.
- Water and cornstarch: To thicken the sauce.
Make the Sauce:
In a large saucepan over medium heat whisk the sesame oil, orange juice, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and chili garlic paste. In a small bowl whisk the water and cornstarch until smooth. Add it to the sauce and continue stirring until the sauce is thick. Set aside and keep on low heat.
For the Chicken:
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces.
- Flour + cornstarch
- Salt and pepper
- Oil for frying
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the chicken, toss to coat.
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or a large ziplock bag and toss the chicken until fully coated on all sides.
- Fry the chicken: Add 2-3 inches of oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot and place over medium heat until the oil reaches 350°. *If you don’t have a fry thermometer you can check if the oil is at the right temperature by dipping a handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. The oil should bubble gently around the handle, if it bubbles violently then the oil is too hot.
- Fry the chicken in batches for 5-7 minutes each, turning occasionally.
Toss the fried chicken with the sauce and serve over rice garnished with sliced green onions.
For the Sauce:
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 and ½ cups orange juice (I used Simply Orange Juice)
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
For the Chicken
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch, bite-size pieces
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- oil for frying
Make the Sauce:
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sesame oil, orange juice, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and chili garlic sauce. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add it to the sauce and continue to stir until thickened. Set aside and keep on low heat.
Make the Fried Chicken:
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the chicken to coat.
- Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a large ziplock bag or a large bowl. Toss the chicken until coated on all sides.
- Add enough oil to fill a large, heavy-bottom pot with 3 inches of oil. Use a frying oil like vegetable, canola, or peanut oil.
- Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°. If the oil gently bubbles when a wooden spoon is dipped in then the oil is ready for frying.
- Add the chicken in batches and fry for 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally. I needed 3 batches. Remove the chicken with a slotted metal spoon and toss with the sauce to coat.
- Serve the orange chicken warm over rice and garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.