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Orange Chicken Recipe

This sweet and savory Orange Chicken Recipe has a delicious spicy orange flavor! It has a crunchy coating from cornstarch instead of flour which means it can be made gluten-free if needed. 

Use Fresh Oranges

If you are a fan of orange chicken, this dish is for you! It is sweet and savory, with just the right amount of orange. I love this dish year-round but make it more often during the citrus season when oranges are plentiful, flavorful, and juicy.

Best Oranges to Use

As for the best oranges to use, just use the best quality oranges you can find at your local market. I have even used tangerines for this recipe, and it was delicious! This dish will have the best flavor from freshly squeezed orange juice instead of bottled, so don’t be tempted to take a shortcut.

Make this Orange Chicken Recipe with a Helper

This recipe takes a little longer because of squeezing the orange juice from fresh oranges. I recommend using an orange juicer to squeeze the juice and save a little time. Also, try preparing this dish with a helper to speed along the prep time. Have one person work on the orange sauce and the other prepare and cook the chicken.

Zest the Oranges

You will need two tablespoons of orange zest for this recipe which takes about two oranges. Always zest the oranges before you cut them in half or squeeze out the juice. It makes zesting so much easier!

Use an Egg Dip

Cut the chicken breast into small pieces and place them into a medium-sized bowl. Add beaten eggs and stir to coat the chicken. The egg will help the cornstarch stick to the chicken.

Use a Plastic Bag to Help Coat the Chicken

Use a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag to help coat the chicken with cornstarch. Add the cornstarch, black pepper, and cayenne to the bag. Then use a fork to dip out the chicken from the bowl. The fork tines will let any extra egg drain away. Place several chicken pieces in the bag. Shake the bag to coat the chicken; then add some more chicken and repeat. Just be careful of adding too much chicken at once, or it might clump together.

Fry the Chicken Until its Lightly Browned

When chicken is cut into small pieces and fried, it can overcook quickly and become tough and chewy. Sometimes cornstarch doesn’t brown as fast as flour, and the chicken might look undercooked. The way to prevent overcooking is to use a meat thermometer with a probe and check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should be 165 degrees F in the thickest part.

Orange Sauce

The orange sauce for this recipe is simple to make. It has both sweet and savory ingredients and uses cornstarch to help thicken it. Add the cooked chicken to the pan after the sauce finishes cooking. Then stir in the zest. When you add the chicken to the hot orange sauce, it will reheat and be ready to serve.

Reheating

For the most delicious flavor, orange chicken is best served as soon as it is cooked. It will be hot and juicy, and the chicken will be tender. You can reheat the chicken, but avoid the microwave to prevent it from becoming tough and dry. I prefer reheating this dish in a skillet on the stove. It reheats quickly and does not dry out as much as when reheated in the oven.

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken Recipe

This is an easy dish to make gluten-free. The only thing you need to substitute is gluten-free tamari sauce in place of the soy sauce. There is no flour substitution because this dish uses cornstarch for breading the chicken and thickening the sauce. However, always use gluten-free chicken stock and other trusted gluten-free products.

Using Ginger

This recipe uses prepared ginger instead of fresh ginger. I like Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste in a tube found in the produce section of grocery stores. However, if you have a favorite brand of jarred ginger, use it in its place. I like prepared ginger for this recipe because it saves preparation time and tastes great. Enjoy!

Try Another Sweet and Savory Recipe

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Print Recipe
Orange Chicken Recipe
Sweet and savory chicken breast bites with a tangy orange sauce
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Chicken
Orange Sauce
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Chicken
Orange Sauce
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Chicken
  1. Place the cornstarch, black pepper, and cayenne into a gallon-size resealable bag and shake the bag to mix the contents.
  2. Add the cut-up chicken to a medium-sized bowl. Beat the eggs and pour them over the chicken. Stir to coat the chicken with egg. Add the coated chicken to the cornstarch mixture in the bag. (It is best to use a fork or slotted spoon to let the egg drips fall off the chicken before adding it to the cornstarch.) Shake the bag each time after adding several pieces of chicken. Coat the chicken with cornstarch, adding more cornstarch if needed.
  3. Pour the oil into a large skillet and heat on medium. When the oil is hot, add the coated chicken. (Be careful not to crowd the pan.) Brown the chicken on both sides until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Place the chicken on a platter covered in paper towels to drain it.
  4. Fry all the chicken, adding more oil if needed.
Orange Sauce
  1. Add the stock, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes to a large measuring cup. Stir to mix. Set aside.
  2. Add a little cooking oil to a clean skillet. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
  3. Stir the orange juice mixture and then pour it into the skillet. Cook until thickened, stirring often. Add the cooked chicken and stir to coat the pieces with sauce. Stir for a minute to reheat the chicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange zest. Garnish with sliced green onions. Serve with rice.
Recipe Notes

Gluten-Free

Use gluten-free tamari sauce instead of soy sauce to make this a gluten-free dish. Tamari sauce is found with soy sauce at the grocery store.

Ginger Paste

I recommend using Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste in a tube. It is found in the produce section at grocery stores.

Click here to see this product. You can also use minced ginger in a jar.

Reheating Leftovers

Place chicken into a skillet and cook over medium heat. Stir until heated. This dish does not reheat well in the microwave.

Variation

Add 1-2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds to the finished dish.

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