Whip together simple kitchen ingredients to easily make one of the most popular (and loved!) takeout dishes at home! Get all the secrets to super juicy chicken with a crispy crust and mouthwatering sweet and tangy orange sauce. Dishes will be easy tonight because they’ll be licked clean with this simple orange chicken recipe!
Making orange chicken is really easy to put together at home. It’ll also be the BEST because you can adjust it to your taste buds! I also love knowing exactly what goes in my food 🙂
- Oranges: To get a punch of orange flavor, it’s important to use fresh orange juice AND zest. Using just orange juice is not enough to get that burst of tangy flavor you’re looking for.
- Chicken: For super juicy chicken, I highly recommend using chicken thigh.
- Cornstarch & All-Purpose Flour: A mixture of cornstarch and all-purpose flour creates a crispy crust while keeping the chicken juices locked in!
- Seltzer Water: This simple ingredient makes a world of difference! COLD seltzer water makes the batter light and airy, instead of thick and heavy.
- Hoisin Sauce: Hoisin sauce adds sweetness, umami, and savoriness! You can find it easily in Asian markets and has become so popular it’s often at Walmart too.
- Chicken Broth: Chicken broth is an easy way to add more flavor to your sauce, however, you can opt for water.
How to Make It
The two main components to making better than takeout orange chicken are: the sauce and the chicken.
The Iconic Orange Sauce
Here’s how to make the iconic sweet and tangy orange sauce.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients except garlic, ginger, cornstarch, and water.
- Heat a small pot on medium-high heat, then add oil. Saute the garlic and ginger for a few seconds, then pour in the sauce ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low to simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Make a slurry with cornstarch and water. Gradually pour it into the pot and stir until you get your desired sauce consistency. Turn off the heat and cover.
Crispy & Juicy Chicken
- Make the batter by first combining an egg with all the dry ingredients, then pour in cold seltzer water. Don’t over mix once the seltzer water is added so the batter stays light and airy.
- Toss in the chicken the batter and coat well.
- Heat a large pan or wok on medium-high heat, then add enough out for frying. Fry chicken for about 3 minutes, working in batches to prevent overcrowding. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate.
- Double fry chicken for another minute an extra crispy exterior. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate.
- Allow chicken to cool for about 5 minutes before tossing it in the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired, and serve with steamy hot rice!
Why Making It at Home is Better Than Takeout
Making this simple orange chicken recipe at home is that you can adjust it to your taste buds!
Don’t like your sauce too sweet? Reduce the honey. Love extra zesty tangy sauce? Add in more orange zest.
This will be the BEST orange chicken because you can make it exactly how you love it!
Why do they call it Orange Chicken?
This popular Chinese dish is crispy chicken coated in an addictive sweet and tangy sauce. The sauce is made of orange zest and juice that gives the sauce a burst of fruity flavor.
What is the sauce orange chicken is made of?
This simple orange chicken recipe creates a sticky zesty orange sauce that’ll have you licking your fingers!
Make the orange chicken sauce by combining fresh orange juice, orange zest and, white vinegar for tang. Round out the sauce with sweet and savory flavors by adding soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, and chicken broth.
More Easy & Popular Chicken Recipes You'll Love!
- 10-Minute Veggie Fried Rice (Simple & Easy!)
- Bok Choy with Garlic Sauce (Restaurant Quality Made Easy!)
- 10-Minute Chili Garlic Noodles (Fast & Easy Meal!)
- Sesame Balls (All the Tips & Tricks for this Popular Dessert!)
- Beijing Beef (Better Than Takeout!)
Let's Get Cooking!
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Easy Orange Chicken Recipe
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon orange zest grated
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger grated
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons cold seltzer water
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into 1-inch cubes
Cook the Sauce
- In a bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients, except for the garlic, ginger, cornstarch, and water. Set aside.
- Heat a small pot on medium-high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil, then add in garlic and ginger. Saute for a few seconds, or until fragrant.
- Pour in sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the sharp vinegar taste has cooked off.
- In a small bowl, create a slurry by mixing together the cornstarch and water. Gradually pour it into the sauce until it’s you’re desired consistency. Turn off heat and cover.
Cook the Crispy Chicken
- In a large bowl, combine the egg, soy sauce, black pepper, and all-purpose flour until well combined.
- Pour in cold seltzer water and stir until just combined - don’t over mix! Then add in chicken and coat them well in the batter.
- Heat a large pan or wok on medium-high heat, then add enough oil for deep fry. Once the oil is hot, add chicken in batches to prevent overcrowding. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack. Repeat for remaining chicken.
- Optional, but recommended: Double Fry. Allow the chicken to rest for about 5 minutes while reheating the pan with oil. Add chicken back in batches for a flash fry - cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack and repeat for the remaining chicken. Allow chicken to cool for 3 - 5 minutes.
Finish Chicken for Serving
- In a large bowl, combine the crispy chicken and sauce. Toss until every piece of chicken is well coated in the sauce. Sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately with steamy hot rice. Enjoy!
- Crispy Coating: Combine cornstarch and all-purpose flour for a juicy, crispy chicken crust.
- Seltzer Water: Cold seltzer water transforms batter into light and airy.
- Double Fry for Extra Crisp: Fry chicken a second time for another minute for an irresistibly crispy exterior.
- Rest on Wire Rack: Transfer chicken to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to preserve its crispiness.
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.