Creating This Homemade Orange Chicken Recipe
I love sauces. I love dipping sauces, marinating meats in sauces, and more. It’s just so delicious. A few weeks back, we hosted my brother-in-law’s birthday bash at our house. It was so much fun and there was so much good food.
His family has an Chinese orange chicken recipe that all of the kids just love, but it has nothing orange in it, so I decided to make a real orange chicken. We actually ended up loving both the pretend orange chicken and the real deal so both recipes were keepers!
Chinese Orange Chicken Ingredients
Don’t let the ingredients list intimidate you, this orange chicken recipe is incredibly easy to make! For the homemade orange chicken itself, you’ll need boneless skinless chicken breasts, all-purpose flour, an egg, salt and pepper, and oil for frying the chicken in.
Where this Chinese orange chicken gets all of its flavor is the orange chicken sauce. For the sauce, you’ll need orange juice and zest, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, fresh ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, cornstarch, and water.
The orange chicken sauce isn’t hard to make at all. It’s so saucy and goes so well with chicken. In fact, it’s so good I’m starting to think that salmon might be a great way to go as well. Has anyone tried that?
How to Make Orange Chicken
Although homemade orange chicken involves deep frying, it’s not complicated to make and takes less than an hour to finish. Here are the basic steps for making orange chicken at home:
- Dredge the diced chicken pieces in beaten egg, then seasoned flour.
- Deep fry the chicken in oil that’s 375ºF.
- In a small saucepan, combine all of the orange chicken sauce ingredients but the water and cornstarch and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, create a cornstarch slurry and mix it into the orange chicken sauce to thicken it.
- Pour the sauce over the deep fried chicken pieces and enjoy!
Can You Bake Orange Chicken?
You can bake Asian orange chicken, but you’ll want to omit the flour breading since it doesn’t turn out as well when it’s baked instead of fried. Instead, if you want to bake our easy orange chicken just use the breading on our Sesame Chicken recipe and proceed with the orange chicken sauce as normal.
How to Reheat Orange Chicken
If you have leftover homemade orange chicken, do NOT reheat it in the microwave. That will make the chicken rubbery and the breading will lose its crispness. Instead, reheat the orange chicken in a skillet with a little olive or canola oil over medium heat. It won’t taste quite as good as when you first made it, but it’ll still be tasty!
Can You Freeze Orange Chicken?
If you’re using the baked recipe, you can freeze orange chicken. Make sure you freeze it in a single layer on a pan before putting it in a freezer-safe bag. As always, we really do prefer to use our Food Saver that we got off of Amazon with the starter kit. It sucks out all of the air and the food stays so fresh you can’t tell it was frozen.
When you’re ready to reheat, just defrost the chicken on a dish in the fridge with plastic wrap laid over the top, then bake with a little drizzle of oil over the tops of the chicken. Remember, this is just for the chicken, not the sauce.
To freeze the orange chicken sauce, let it cool completely before placing it in a freezer bag and pressing out any air. Lay it on a flat surface, not a surface with a wire rack, otherwise you need to use a pan under it as it will sink into the bars and then freeze making it super hard to remove from the freezer.
Can I Use a Skillet Instead of a Wok?
Also note that you don’t need a deep fryer or a wok to make this recipe. A regular skillet with tall sides will work too. To test when the oil is hot enough, stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil; if tiny bubbles immediately form around the wood, the oil is the right temperature.
What to Serve With Orange Chicken
Don’t worry if you’re wondering what to serve your Chinese orange chicken with, I’ve got you covered! A few of our favorite sides to serve with this homemade orange chicken include:
Tips for Making the Best Orange Chicken
For the best flavor, I highly recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice for this orange chicken recipe. Since you’ll be using orange zest as well, you might as well buy a few extra oranges and use their juice for this Chinese chicken recipe.
If you really can’t be bothered to squeeze all the juice out by hand, a good alternative is Simply Orange Juice. It’s made with real fruit juice and contains no additional sweeteners.
Lastly, you may have extra orange chicken sauce (it really just depends on how saucy you like your chicken). If you wind up with leftover sauce, you can reuse it on baked chicken, seafood, and more! It’s really versatile and tastes good on almost any protein.
More Easy Asian Recipes:
- 15-Minute Chicken Stir Fry
- Simple Asian Shrimp Noodles
- Asian Chicken Skewers with Honey Garlic Sauce
- Pork Dumplings
- Easy Cashew Chicken
- Teriyaki Chicken Noodles
- Sweet and Spicy Orange Salmon
- Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Peanut Sauce Noodles with Chicken
- …All of Our Asian Recipes!
Easy Asian Orange Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-1/2” cubes
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Oil for frying
- 1 ½ cups orange juice and zest from one orange
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ginger root minced
- ½ teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- Combine flour, salt, and pepper.
- Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat.
- Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.
- Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger and garlic. Bring to a boil.
- Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly.
- Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens.
- Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes.