Asian Orange Chicken

I’m not much of a fast-food type gal. But, every once in a while I’ll strategically plan my errands around lunchtime in the area of a local Panda Express. I justify that it’s healthier than a hamburger, but it’s probably not. At least I’m getting veggies, right?

I have one son who is allergic to soy, so I don’t make chinese-style food all that often at home, but the rest of us love it, especially this recipe I happened upon thanks to allrecipes. It is one of our favorites. I pull some of the chicken aside before toss it in the sauce for my non-soy kiddo. Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make the sauce ahead of time and freeze it. This tastes the best with fresh squeezed juice from real oranges and lemons (one orange and 2-3 lemons).


1 1/2 cups water
2 TBS fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS grated orange zest
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS green onion, snipped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS cold water

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBS seasoned salt
2 eggs
oil for frying

Make sauce by combining everything except the cornstarch and 2 TBS water in a saucepan. Combine well and bring to a boil over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 TBS cold water well. Pour the cornstarch/water mixture into the saucepan. Stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Prepare the chicken by placing two bowls side by side. Crack the eggs into one bowl and whisk well. In the second bowl, combine flour and seasoned salt. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot to 350-375 degrees. I usually throw a little piece of chicken in to see if it immediately starts bubbling around the food, that’s how you know it’s ready. Oil at a correct temp leaves less oil on the food, so it’s fried, but not greasy. If you put your food in too early, it will soak up oil before getting fried, leading to greasy food and higher calories. When your oil is ready, dip chicken in the eggs, then coat in flour and place in the oil. Do not over crowd the pan. At this point, I typically turn my heat down to medium. Your heat will changed based on how much you put in the oil and your stove. Watch how quickly they are browning and change your heat level as needed. Brown on each side. Check the first couple you pull out to make sure they are cooked through. Remove them to paper towels until all the chicken is finished browning. Toss in the sauce and serve with rice.

REAL food alert: Check the ingredients of your seasoned salt for MSG. Look for soy sauce that lists “soybeans”, not “hydrolyzed soy protein“.
ALLERGEN alert: make this gluten-free by using gluten-free flour and gluten-free soy sauce.
HEALTH alert: make this healthier by oven cooking your chicken.

printable version

9 thoughts on “Asian Orange Chicken

  1. Looks good, but I would love to find a recipe for orange chicken where the chicken isn’t fried first. I think the sauce would need to be more subtle in that case.

    • Yes, I agree. You can always do oven “fried” chicken pieces. I’ll post a recipe for those in the next few weeks. I think the sauce would taste just fine over non-fried chicken. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Thanks for sharing this one. It is a hit here. The first time I made this I followed the recipe exactly. The next time I made this one with out flouring or frying the chicken, my kids didn’t even notice the difference. I don’t think it was as good but it was still really good. I just sauteed the chicken and let it finish cooking in the sauce. I also quadrupled the sauce, we ate one batch then froze three batches of uncooked chicken in the marinade along with 3 sauce packets. We will see how those turn out. Hopefully it will make for quick meals.

  3. If you pre-soak your cut up chicken in baking soda for 10-15 minutes, then rinse well and pat dry before beginning, it will be much tastier and more tender. That’s a Chinese restaurant trick, works for pork, too. I’ve never tried it on beef.

    You can marinate it for 15-20 minutes after that in a bit of rice wine, a pinch sugar, corn starch, and a splash of soy sauce, and stir fry it before tossing it with the sauce for non-fried version. A little grated ginger or ginger powder in the marinade is good too.

  4. Pingback: Baked Orange Chicken « wafoodie

  5. This recipe is delicious! I didn’t have any corn starch, so I just added a hand full of flour a pinch at a time and whisked it in. Turned out great; even my super picky 3 year old couldn’t get enough of it!

  6. I love your recipe, tho I tend to go lighter on the zest to avoid bitterness. For a soy-esque flavor, have you tried coconut aminos? I hear it’s basically braggs, but coconut based instead of soy based.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s