Indulge in the irresistible flavors of this homemade Orange Chicken! Crispy, tangy, and oh-so-delicious, this Asian-inspired dish will tantalize your taste buds. The juicy chicken coated in a zesty orange glaze is a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Easy to make, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Get ready to savor every delectable bite!
Origin and history
The origin of Orange Chicken is traced back to the United States in the mid-20th century. It is believed to have been invented by Chinese immigrants who settled in California. The dish was inspired by traditional Chinese flavors, combining the sweet and tangy taste of oranges with crispy fried chicken.
One of the early pioneers of Orange Chicken is credited to Panda Express, a popular American-Chinese fast-food chain. In the 1980s, Panda Express introduced its version of Orange Chicken, which quickly became a hit and contributed to the dish’s popularity across the nation.
Over the years, Orange Chicken has become a staple in Chinese-American cuisine, appreciated for its bold flavors and enticing combination of textures. It has since become a beloved dish, not only in the United States but also around the world, gracing the menus of various Chinese restaurants and gaining a loyal following among food enthusiasts.
Tips and notes
To ensure a successful Orange Chicken recipe, consider the following tips and notes:
- Use fresh and high-quality chicken, including tender boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
- The best size to cut the chicken is into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes or chunks. This size is convenient for cooking and allows the chicken to cook through while retaining its tenderness. It also makes it easier to coat the chicken in the delicious orange sauce, ensuring each piece is coated evenly for maximum flavor.
- You can marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings to infuse it with delicious flavors and ensure tenderness. In our recipe. we’ve skipped this step to save time. But you should definitely do it at least 2 hours before frying the chicken.
- For the tempura, we’ve used egg, water, oil, and a mix of cornstarch and flour. You could use only cornstarch or only flour but keep in mind that cornstarch is all starch, which will give extra crunch as well as a nice golden color.
- Coat the chicken with tempura before frying to create a crispy texture and prevent the chicken from becoming soggy.
- Fry the chicken in batches and avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure even cooking and achieve a golden-brown and crispy exterior.
- Prepare the orange sauce separately, striking the right balance of sweet and tangy flavors using orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, and chili flakes. For the vinegar, we’ve used balsamic vinegar but you could replace it with rice vinegar or any other at hand. You could also replace sugar with honey, maple syrup, or cornstarch syrup, … Feel free to adjust the level of sweetness or spiciness according to personal preference or add other seasonings such as lemon juice, hot chili sauce, hoisin sauce, …
- It’s best to use fresh grated garlic and ginger. Since we didn’t have any we’ve used the powdered version.
- Gently toss the fried chicken in the orange sauce, allowing it to coat the pieces evenly, creating a glossy and delicious glaze.
- Add a finishing touch by garnishing the dish with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, or orange zest to enhance its visual appeal and add extra flavor.
- Orange Chicken tastes best when served immediately, retaining its crispy texture and flavorful taste.
Orange Chicken is a versatile and delicious dish that can be served in various ways. It can be as the main dish, accompanied by steamed rice or noodles. The flavorful chicken coated in a sweet and tangy orange glaze makes for a satisfying and hearty meal.
It can be served as an appetizer by cutting the Orange Chicken into bite-sized pieces and served at parties or gatherings. Offer toothpicks or skewers for easy and elegant serving.
You can create a wholesome and flavorful bowl by combining Orange Chicken with a bed of mixed greens, quinoa or rice, and your favorite veggies. Drizzle with extra sauce for an extra burst of flavor.
It can also be served in sandwiches, wraps, salads, tacos, … etc.
- General Tso’s Chicken;
- Kung Pao Chicken;
- Korean Fried Chicken;
- Chicken nuggets;
- Brazilian Coxinha;
- Malaysian Ayam Goreng;
- Hat Yai Fried Chicken;
- Mexican Milanesa de Pollo;
- Pininyahang manok;
- French Lemon Chicken (Poulet au citron);
Tangy and Tempting: Orange Chicken Recipe to Satisfy Your Cravings
- 500 g chicken breasts (or thighs)
- 40 g cornstarch (⅓ cup)
- 40 g flour (⅓ cup)
- 1 egg
- 180 ml water (¾ cup)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 l oil, for frying (4 cups)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp fresh orange juice (60 ml)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (15 ml)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (30 ml)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (15 ml)
- ½ tsp chili flake
- 1 tsp powdered garlic (or minced garlic)
- ½ tsp ground ginger (or minced ginger)
- 1 tsp sesame oil (30 ml)
- orange zest
- green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Gather all ingredients and start by cutting the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes or chunks.
- In a large mixing bowl, prepare the tempura by combining cornstarch, all-purpose flour, salt, and black pepper. Then, add egg, oil, and water.
- Dip the chicken pieces into the prepared tempura and coat them generously, shaking off any excess.
- In a deep skillet or wok, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry the coated chicken pieces in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per batch. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
- In a saucepan, add vegetable oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add ground garlic, ground ginger, hot chili flakes, sugar, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and orange juice until smooth. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the simmering sauce, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce and toss to coat evenly, for about 3 minutes.
- Finally, add sesame oil.
- Garnish the Orange Chicken with sliced green onions and sesame seeds for a fresh and vibrant touch.
Stainless Steel Tongs
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