Orange chicken is a beloved dish known for its sweet and tangy flavors, often found at bustling Chinese restaurants. But what if you could recreate this delectable meal in your very own kitchen? For lovers of Chinese cuisine, it’s an enticing proposition. In this post, I'll guide you through an easy-to-follow recipe that will satisfy your cravings for orange chicken without the need to pick up the phone. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned home cook, this simple yet flavor-packed recipe will surely impress your household and maybe even convince you to host your Chinese cuisine night.

Easy Orange Chicken Recipe

Ingredients List

To begin, let's gather the essentials. You'll need:

  • 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup of flour, for dredging the chicken
  • 1 cup of cornstarch, for the batter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish (optional): sliced green onions, sesame seeds, orange slices

The beauty of this list is its simplicity, ensuring that every ingredient plays a crucial role in the harmony of flavors that orange chicken is known for.

Cooking Instructions


Begin by setting up your workstation. You'll need three separate bowls – one for the flour, one for the batter (mix the cornstarch, eggs, and a pinch of salt together), and one for the dredged chicken. Dredging is the process of coating food in flour or breadcrumbs before cooking, in this case, it's our chicken.

Next, it's time to prepare the sauce. In a separate bowl, combine the orange juice, zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and hot sauce. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved, and all the flavors have melded.

Cooking Process

Now, onto the heart of the recipe – cooking the chicken. In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken pieces in flour, dip them in the batter, and carefully slide them into the hot oil. You'll want to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lower the oil temperature and make the chicken soggy instead of crispy.

Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per batch, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. It's important to cook the chicken in batches at the right temperature. Too low and it'll take longer, affecting the texture; too high, and you risk burning the batter before the chicken is cooked.

Finishing Touches

Once all the chicken is cooked, give your orange sauce a good stir and pour it into the skillet. Cook the sauce with any remaining oil from frying the chicken until it thickens slightly, which should take about 3-4 minutes.

Return the fried chicken to the skillet and toss it in the sauce until each piece is thoroughly coated. This step shouldn't take too long – just enough to make sure the chicken is nicely glazed.

Garnish your orange chicken with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and perhaps some extra orange zest for a burst of color and flavor. Serve it immediately, and you're ready to enjoy your homemade orange chicken!

Tips and Variations

While the core of the recipe remains steadfast, there are several ways to put a personal spin on your orange chicken:

  • Crispier Chicken: For an extra-crispy texture, double-dip the chicken by coating it in the batter once more after the first dip.
  • Healthier Option: If you're looking to cut back on frying, try baking the chicken in the oven until crispy and then toss it in the orange sauce.
  • Gluten-Free Choice: Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative, and ensure your soy sauce is gluten-free too.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian Twist: Swap the chicken for tofu or your favorite meat substitute, and use a plant-based egg and vegetable broth to create that thick batter and sticky sauce.
  • Orange Peel: Some cooks prefer using candied orange peels or rehydrated dried ones for the orange flavor. It adds texture and a concentrated orange taste.

Remember to adjust any additional seasoning to your taste, and don't be afraid to experiment with the levels of sweetness, tanginess, and heat in the sauce to find what's perfect for you.

Nutritional Benefits

While we often enjoy orange chicken for its taste, it's valuable to consider the dish's nutritional benefits too. A serving of this homemade orange chicken recipe is rich in protein, which is essential for cell repair and growth. The orange juice and zest provide a dose of vitamin C, crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system, while the use of sesame oil contributes heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Though the sugar content is something to be mindful of, it’s a balanced part of the dish's flavor profile.

Orange chicken is a dish that exudes comfort and adventure in a single bite, and with this simple recipe, you now have the tools to bring it to life in your kitchen. I encourage you to try it out, make it your own, and share your experiences.

Cooking is an art that constantly evolves, and the enthusiasm you bring to your kitchen can lead to discoveries and creations that are uniquely yours.

Whether you're hosting a dinner for loved ones or simply satisfying your culinary aspirations, this easy orange chicken recipe will surely have a place in your cookbook.

If you've enjoyed this recipe, there's a whole world of delightful dishes waiting for you to explore, right here on the blog. Don't hesitate to browse and find more culinary gems that match your taste and skill level.

Now, go forth and cook with zest – both literally and figuratively! Your home-cooked orange chicken masterpiece awaits. 

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