A healthier version of your favorite takeout dinner, we’ll teach you how to make orange chicken at home for a simple recipe that’s kid-friendly and guaranteed to please! Serve it over rice for an easy dinner the whole family will love.
What Is Orange Chicken?
Sweet, spicy, and incredibly delicious, Orange Chicken is one of the most popular dishes you’ll find in Chinese restaurants in the United States. It is made up of pieces of fried chicken that have been coated in a sticky orange sauce full of flavor. However, contrary to popular belief, Orange Chicken isn’t actually a Chinese dish! In fact, it was invented in Hawaii by Panda Express, a popular chain restaurant.
It may sound complicated to make, but don’t worry! We’ll show you how to create a homemade orange chicken with ease.
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Simple Orange Chicken Recipe.
For this recipe, we broke the ingredients down into two parts, one for the chicken the other for the sauce. Keep reading below to find everything you’ll need!
For the Chicken
- Chicken – You can’t have Orange Chicken without the meat! We prefer to use breasts to keep this dish fairly lean.
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs of any kind will help replicate the flavor of fried chicken, giving your recipe a nice crispy, crunch.
- Flour – Used to bread the chicken, four will help create the base of the breading.
- Eggs – Used to help the flour and breadcrumbs stick to the dish, eggs also provide a richer flavor thanks to the fat.
For the Orange Sauce
- Orange Juice – For the best flavor, we recommend using a real orange to get your juice! However, in a pinch, pre-made juice will do.
- Sugar – Just a dash of sugar helps cut through the heat, creating the sweet and spicy taste we’re looking to achieve.
- Rice Wine Vinegar – A classic Asian ingredient, rice wine vinegar heightens the taste of all of the other ingredients!
- Soy Sauce – This provides a slightly salty taste without the need to use actual salt. We opt for a low-sodium option. Or, if you need your chicken to be gluten-free swap it out for coconut aminos instead.
- Garlic and Ginger – Packed full of flavor, these two minced up and mixed in with your sauce will help give you the classic spicy, tangy taste associated with Orange Chicken.
- Sriracha – Bursting with heat, a little Sriracha goes a long way to take this recipe from good to great!
- Ketchup – An easy way to provide a little sugar, ketchup also provides a bit of depth for out-of-this-world flavor.
- Cornstarch and Water – When mixed, these two will create a slurry that will thicken the sauce to perfection. Don’t worry; you won’t be able to taste it when the dish is complete!
How to Make Orange Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Dredge the chicken in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring all of the ingredients for the sauce except for the cornstarch and water to a low boil.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in water, and add it to the sauce.
- Bring it to a boil again, and simmer to thicken.
- Coat the chicken, and dig in!
Dredge Well. Make sure your chicken pieces are completely coated in the egg mixture. Otherwise, the breading won’t stick and become crisp!
Be Patient. You’ll want to be sure to wait for your orange sauce to thicken before adding the chicken. This is the key to creating sweet, sticky pieces that are loaded with flavor!
Broil. If you prefer your orange chicken to be extra crisp, place it under the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking. Just be careful not to let it burn!
Can I Use Chicken Thighs Instead of Breasts?
Yes! We prefer to use breasts because they have a more neutral flavor that takes on the taste of the sauce. However, for a super juicy Orange Chicken recipe, feel free to use thighs instead!
Once we learned how to make Orange Chicken, it quickly became a staple dish. However, to turn it into a complete meal, we love to pair it with our favorite sides, such as:
- We love to make Honey Garlic Cauliflower as a flavorful side that’s anything but boring.
- If you are looking for something that will pair well and sit lightly on the stomach, check out our Asian Cucumber Salad!
- An excellent way to spice up this dish is to use our Hot Honey. It gives any recipe a nice kick to satisfy your tastebuds.
How to Store
If a miracle occurs and you have some of this easy Orange Chicken left over, just place it in an air-tight container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. Or, keep it in the freezer for up to 3-4 months!
More Tasty Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
Looking for more easy meals? Take a look at some more of our favorite chicken recipes below!
- Chicken Shawarma is one of our favorite dishes to make. It’s hearty and flavorful, and our version of this classic recipe is simple and straightforward so you can be in and out of the kitchen in no time.
- When we have a get-together, one of the most requested items is our Crispy
Air FryerChicken Wings. These wings are crispy and full of flavor; you’ll be looking for any excuse to make them!
- If you are feeling adventurous and like some spice with your food, our Peri Peri Chicken will check all of your boxes. This east African dish will delight any food enthusiast.
- Creamy, herby, and delicious, this Creamy Herbed Chicken is a family-friendly recipe that can’t be beat!
How to Make Orange Chicken
- 1 pound boneless chicken breast (cut into 1-inch pieces (thighs can be substituted if you prefer dark meat))
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup organic unbleached flour
- 1 extra large egg (whisked)
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
- 1/4 cup granulated organic sugar
- 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced)
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 2 teaspoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
- *optional: add crushed red pepper for added heat
- Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a sheet tray with non-stick cooking spray. Dip chicken pieces in egg, then roll in flour, and then roll in bread crumbs until fully coated. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and lightly browned.
- Add all sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Bring to a low boil. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water, then add to the mixture. Stir until sauce boils again and cook just until thickens, reduce heat. Add chicken to pan and coat in the sauce. Garnish with green onions!