Sticky and Crispy Orange Chicken
Orange Chicken – Sticky and crispy Chicken coated in the most addictive orange chicken sauce. It makes a delicious weeknight dinner that’s budget friendly and kid approved. So skip the takeout and try this Homemade Orange Chicken recipe!
Orange Chicken is one of the most popular Chinese food in North America. It’s sweet, savory and balanced with tangy flavor. A perfect quick and easy dish that your whole family will love.
EASY ORANGE CHICKEN
Orange Chicken is loaded with sticky and crispy chicken that’s tender and flavorful. This recipe rivals Panda Express Orange Chicken, and you can serve it with rice and broccoli for an easy weeknight meal!
CHICKEN THIGHS OR CHICKEN BREASTS
Both Chicken thighs and chicken breast work for this recipe. I like chicken thighs more as they are more flavorful and moister. It’s important to cut your chicken into 1-inch cubes so that they can get cooked quickly with a crispy coating.
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE CHICKEN
This orange chicken is crispy and sticky. I will share with you a few secrets and tricks so that you can make it even better than takeout.
CRISPY ORANGE CHICKEN
In a medium-large bowl, mix together cornstarch, flour and salt & pepper. Add the egg, oil and water. Whisk until smooth. Then add the chicken cubes to the mixture and marinate for 30-60 minutes in the fridge. (If you are in a rush, you can marinate the chicken for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce.)
Heat the oil to 350˚F in a medium-large saucepan. Add the marinated chicken cubes in batches and deep fry them for about 5 minutes until they turn golden brown. Remove and drain oil. Place them on a paper towel lined plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Note: Don’t OVER-CROWD the pan. You can cook the chicken in batches if needed.
ORANGE CHICKEN SAUCE
Orange Chicken Sauce is sweet, savory and tangy. It’s so simple with a few ingredients you already have in your pantry.
- Orange (orange juice + orange zest)
- Soy Sauce
- Rice Vinegar (or White Vinegar)
- Brown Sugar
- Minced Garlic
- Corn Starch
In a small bowl, mix together orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and orange zest. Heat a skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add oil. Then add garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant. Add in the mixture, stir to combine. Mix the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl, and then add the mixture (slurry) to the pan to thicken the sauce. Stir until mixture is smooth and thick (about 5 minutes). The sauce will turn into a glossy glaze.
Add back the fried chicken and toss to coat completely!
Note: It’s important to let the sauce come to a low boil. It will start to thicken quickly once it begins to boil.
TIPS AND SECRETS FOR MAKING CHINESE ORANGE CHICKEN
- You can use dark meat from chicken thighs or chicken legs or a combination instead of white meat for additional flavor.
- Cut your chicken into 1-inch cubes, so that you can cook them quickly with a crispier coating.
- Don’t over-crowd the chicken when you deep fry them. Cook in batches if needed.
- Fresh squeezed orange juice will always give the best flavor, but any decent quality orange juice will do.
- Taste-test your orange chicken sauce before you add cornstarch and water mixture. Adjust the sugar, soy sauce and vinegar amount according to your personal taste.
- For healthier options, you can fry the chicken instead of deep-frying them. It will still taste great, although not as crispy.
- This recipe makes enough sauce so that you can add it onto rice and vegetables for extra flavor.
HOW TO SERVE ORANGE CHICKEN
You can garnish your Orange Chicken with sesame seeds and sliced green onions. You can also sprinkle some red pepper flakes if you want it to be slightly spicy. I usually serve it with steamed rice and broccoli and my family absolutely love this dish!
Sticky and Crispy Orange Chicken
- 2 large chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoons oil
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 3-4 cups oil , for frying depending on the size of your pan
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ cups rice vinegar, or white vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Cut chicken thighs or chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.
- In a medium-large bowl, mix together cornstarch, flour and salt & pepper.
- Add the egg, oil and water. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the chicken cubes to the mixture and marinate for 30-60 minutes in the fridge.
- In a medium-large saucepan, heat the oil to 350˚F (177˚C).
- Add the marinated chicken cubes in batches and deep fry them for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- In a small bowl, mix together orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and orange zest.
- Heat a skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add oil. Then add garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add in the sauce mixture and stir to combine.
- Mix the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl, and then add the mixture (slurry) to the pan to thicken the sauce. Stir until mixture is smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
- Add back the fried chicken and toss to coat completely!
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve and enjoy!
- Chicken thighs will give you tender and moister meat with more flavor. Make sure to cut them into 1-inch cubes for the best results.
- Don’t over-crowd the pan when frying your chicken. Cook in batches if needed.
- Be sure that your oil is hot enough (350 F degrees) before you add the chicken so that you can get the crispy texture. The oil temperature will drop immediately when you add the chicken. Bring the temperature back between batches.
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Editor Note: Post updated 7/31/2018 with additional details.
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