Orange Chicken - a Popular Chinese Takeout where bite-sized Chunks of Chicken Breasts is breaded and deep-fried until crispy and golden. This Fried Chicken is coated in a sweet and spicy Orange Chili Sauce. It is best served with rice.
Seriously, there is nothing as good as Orange Chicken. I mean I like Sesame Chicken, Honey Garlic Chicken, Honey Mustard Chicken, Coca-Cola Chicken, and General Tso's Chicken but Orange Chicken is just another level.
The zesty, juicy, tangy, and fresh Oranges pairs beautifully with Crispy Fried Chicken. The magic lies in the divine Orange Chili Sauce. The sauce is quite different from General Tso's Chicken. This has a light color and is slightly spicier than General Tso's Chicken or Sweet and Sour Chicken.
What is Orange Chicken?
Chinese Orange Chicken is made using Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. Chicken Breasts is cut into small bite-sized chunks. It is dredged and then deep-fried in hot oil until crispy and golden brown. Finally, it is stirred in a Sweet and Spicy Orange Sauce.
This Orange sauce is the main essence of this Recipe. It is made with Orange Juice, Brown Sugar, Rice Vinegar, Garlic, Ginger, Soy Sauce, Red Chili flakes, and some Orange zest. This Orange sauce thickens and coats the Chicken almost like a caramel layer and makes it sticky and so good!
What is Orange Chicken Sauce?
Orange Chicken Sauce is the sauce in which chopped, battered and fried chicken breast pieces are tossed. This sauce has a thick texture and is both sweet and spicy.
It is made up of Orange Juice, Brown Sugar, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Minced Garlic, Chopped Ginger, and of course - Red Chili Flakes.
It is red chili flakes that make the difference. Red Chili Flakes brings a spicy touch to this otherwise sweet Orange Sauce. This is the reason sometimes, this Orange Chicken Sauce is sometimes referred to as Orange Chili Sauce.
Is Mandarin Chicken the same as Orange Chicken?
Many People confuse between Mandarin Chicken and Orange Chicken. The Major difference between the two lies in the sauce. While making Orange Chili sauce there is a distinct use of red chili flakes and therefore it is spicy. But, while making Mandarin Chicken, there is no use of Red Chili Flakes or any other spicy ingredient. And, that's the only possible explanation that can help you differentiate between the two.
Now, let me tell you that Orange Chicken is not Chinese Food. Did you know that until now? Well, even I didn't know about it until I researched. Yup, you cannot find Orange Chicken in any Authentic Chinese Restaurants in China.
If it is Not Chinese then what it is? Well, the answer is pretty simple and a bit emotional. It is Panda Express' gift to the people of America and especially American Chinese Food. Doesn't that sound emotional to you??
How to Make Chinese Orange Chicken?
- Coat Chicken in batter: The batter is divided into two parts. One part is of Cornflour, Salt & pepper. And the Second part of beaten eggs. Chunks of Chicken breasts are coated in the batter and then it is deep-fried until crispy.
- Deep Fry Chicken: Battered Chicken breasts are deep-fried in hot oil until they are crispy and golden brown on the outside.
- Make Orange Sauce: The Orange Sauce is made up of Orange Juice, Rice Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce, Ginger, Garlic, Orange Zest, and Red Chili Flakes.
- Toss Chicken in Sauce: Finally, Chicken is tossed in this sweet and Spicy Orange Sauce. It is served with rice.
Is Orange Chicken Unhealthy?
Well, definitely Yes. I won't lie to you. One serving of Orange Chicken contains 490 calories. We are talking about deep-fried chicken here. And, the sauce is loaded with sugar. However, if you want some healthy Chicken recipes, you can try: Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts or Broccoli Chicken.
Good Side Dishes for Orange Chicken?
Orange Chicken is an excellent main course recipe. But, it is better when served with some side dish. I would highly recommend you to choose from any of the following sides:
- Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fried Carrot Fries
- Southern Fried Corn
- Creamed Broccoli with Crispy Bacon
- Crispy Fried Green Beans in Air-Fryer
- Garlic Butter Sauteed Green Beans with Parmesan
- Maple Mustard Glazed Green Beans
Other recipes to try:
- Crispiest Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken Recipe with Buttermilk
- Easy Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken Recipe (step by step photo) + video
- Oven-Fried Crispy Honey Lemon Popcorn Chicken
- Spicy Hot Creamed Corn with Crispy Chicken
If you are making this recipe, then please leave a rating below. Also, please take some time to take a snap and share it on Instagram with #recipemagik. Tag me @recipemagik so that I can see how it turned out.
Orange Chicken Recipe
- 3 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 Large Eggs beaten
- ⅔ Cup Cornstarch
- Salt and Pepper As per Taste
For Orange Chicken Sauce:
- ¾ Cup Orange Juice 180ml
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar 110grams or 3.88 oz
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar or White Vinegar
- 1½ Tablespoon Soy Sauce or Tamari to make this recipe Gluten-free
- ½ inch Ginger finely chopped
- 7-8 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- ⅙ Teaspoon Orange Zest
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- Green Onions
- Orange Zest & Orange Peel OPTIONAL
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl combine Cornstarch, Salt, and Pepper.
- Beat Eggs: In another Medium-sized bowl beat two eggs with a spatula or a spoon or a wired whisk.
- Heat some Oil: Heat about 2-3 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. The Oil should be hot enough to deep fry chicken.
- Dredge Chicken & Deep Fry: Dip each Chicken Piece in Egg Mixture and then in your flour mixture, and place them directly into the pot with hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry them in batches. Cover the pot with a glass lid so that it cooks faster and the oil doesn't splatter around. Keep an eye and don't let it burn.Flip over and fry the other side as well. Cook until thoroughly cooked and golden brown on the outside. Check with a meat thermometer. If it reads 165°F then it is cooked or else cook for some more time.Take it out on a paper towel. Fry the next batch.
Making Orange Sauce
- Making Orange Sauce: Heat a separate pan over low heat. Pour Orange Juice, Rice Vinegar, and Soy Sauce. Add in Brown Sugar, Red Chili Flakes, finely chopped Ginger, and minced Garlic. Cook Ginger & Garlic until the raw smell goes off. This takes about 2-minutes. In the meantime combine 1 Tablespoon of Cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of Water. Stir well until smooth.Pour your cornstarch slurry into your Orange Sauce. Let the sauce thicken for about 4-5 minutes. Take it off the heat and grate some Orange Zest. Do not cook after adding Orange zest or else it might turn bitter. Taste your sauce and see if it tastes good. If not, adjust it accordingly.
Coat Chicken in Orange Chili Sauce
- Add Chicken in Sauce: Finally, add Deep Fried Golden Brown Chicken Breasts into this aromatic and spicy Orange Chili Sauce. Stir well to coat each chicken piece in the sauce. Garnish with Green Onions, Orange Zest, and Orange Peel. Serve with rice.
- Do not add too much Orange Zest or else your Orange Chicken will become bitter.