Orange Chicken

This is one of those Asian dishes that probably isn’t authentic or even originally Asian…but even still, we’ve all devoured take-out versions of this dish before and relished every last bite. Now some of you might wonder, why on earth would you go to the trouble trying to recreate something you could easily get via takeout? Well, then you wouldn’t have eaten some of the awful food near where I live, lol! Even if your options are better than mine, its also kind of fun–trying to recreate something you enjoy and making it a whole lot better. Plus, you can skip the stuff you don’t like (I never enjoyed all the broccoli this is normally served with…yea, I’m gonna be a great dad! lol). Anyways, whatever your reason, back to the food: Orange Chicken!

Orange Chicken

I’ve been enjoying over-indulging in oranges (winter is citrus season in Florida), so it seemed like a happy coincidence when I saw the original inspiration for this recipe over at Lauren’s Kitchen Endeavours (go check her out!).

So how’d it come out? Much better than take out and it tasted delicious–the familiar orange chicken flavor at the core with a great hit of extra spice and heat. The sauce came out a little on the thick side, but with a little bit of tossing the chicken around in the sauce, the problem was solved.

  • ~2 lbs chicken thighs
  • Batter
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 cup water
    • 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
    • ~2/3 Tbsp baking powder
    • salt
    • pepper
    • 1 egg
  • Sauce
    • 1 star anise
    • 3 whole cloves
    • 1 shallot
    • 8 cloves garlic
    • 1-2 inch knob ginger
    • 2 habaneros
    • 3 dried chilis
    • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 1/3 cup chicken broth
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
    • 1/3 cup rice wine
    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp hoisin
    • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
    • 2 tsp corn starch

Deep fry the battered chicken

Begin by preparing the batter. Simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until homogenous. In a sturdy pot, heat up a good bit of vegetable (or canola) oil over medium high heat for ~5-10 minutes.

While you wait, cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Coat with batter, and working in batches so as to prevent crowding (which would also drop the oil temperature), deep fry the chicken pieces until crisp and golden all over (figure ~10+ minutes per batch), flipping as necessary. Remove from the oil and let drain.

Cook the sauce and toss the chicken in it

With the chicken fried, on to the sauce. Begin by frying the whole spices and dried chilis in the oil for a minute or two. Then sauté the finely minced shallot and habaneros for 5 minutes before adding the finely minced garlic and ginger for a minute further.

Add all of the remaining ingredients short of the cornstarch, deglazing if necessary. Simmer and reduce to your liking (no more than 5 minutes) before bearing in some cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Orange Chicken

With the sauce ready, toss the chicken in and coat all the pieces well with sauce before plating (plus, it’s a chance for you to rewarm the chicken). I garnished the finished chicken with a few sesame seeds and snipped scallions.


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23 Responses to “Orange Chicken”

  1. Meeta Says:

    i am loving the citrus variety right now however, have concentrated it mostly to sweets and cakes. this is a great idea mike!

  2. Sophie Says:

    MMMMMMM…..Mike, it looks so yummie:)!!!

  3. Ty's Mommy Says:

    This looks fabulous! I can’t wait to try it at home!

  4. Peter Says:

    Yep, I’ve had it and now that these ingredients are more readily available to us in the markets…why not make it at home?

    Good plating & snaps here!

  5. heather Says:

    woah! who needs takeout with this recipe?! it looks delicious!

  6. The Duo Dishes Says:

    It’s not traditional, but it’s bomb. This is one of the best dishes on our American Chinese menus! The sauce sounds fragrant and spicy.

  7. pam Says:

    I have only crummy take-out available to me too. This sounds fantastic. And I love, love, love this dishes!

  8. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    Whenever I’ve had this in restaurants, it’s been way too sweet. Nice to make your own and control the balance of sweet, salty and spicy.

  9. Heather Says:

    I love trashy American Chinese food. So good! Orange chicken is one of the best.

  10. [eatingclub] vancouver || js Says:

    I’ve never had orange chicken until five years ago when I ran into it at Panda Express. Our version here is lemon chicken. Kind of the same concept, I guess? 😉

    Your version looks yummy!

  11. EAT! Says:

    Homemade takeout is better than regular takeout. Thanks for another Asian recipe for my files. My family thanks you too.

  12. Hélène Says:

    Another of your meals that I could not resist. Looks really yummy.

  13. Ivy Says:

    I have bookmarked this one. I am sure this is a recipe we will surely enjoy.

  14. dp Says:

    People like to hark on Americanized Chinese food, but it’s become a food genre in it’s own right. This happens whenever there are Chinese immigrants and I personally think it’s wonderful. There is a substantial Chinese population in Thailand and the resulting “Thai-nese” food is spectacular.

    Now that you’ve shown how easy it is, maybe more people will be inspired to do it themselves. Great job!

  15. Choosy Beggar Tina Says:

    This looks delicious, and every time I get Chinese take-out either lemon or orange chicken is bound to be on the hit list. I have to ask you this though, because I’m totally paranoid about deep frying (I just don’t do it. Ever. EVER.): I know that it’s not as ‘authentic’, but how do you think this dish would fare if the chicken was just coated in cornstarch and sauteed before going into the sauce?

  16. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    We always had orange beef. I think both are delicious since I can never get enough citrus. BTW–Love that dinnerware!

  17. Kevin Says:

    That orange chicken looks tasty!

  18. Jan Says:

    Ooooh I could eat that right now – I just have to make this!

  19. Bellini Valli Says:

    Chicken and citrus are so up my alley Mike.

  20. maggie (p&c) Says:

    Looks so tasty!

  21. shayne Says:

    oh wow this looks so good!

  22. Bret Bannon Says:

    This looks absolutely divine, not to mention citrus season is one season I miss not living in Florida. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  23. shayne Says:

    I made this the other night and I think I added the chicken to the sauce too soon and it got a little mushy so next time I will just have to sauce on the side to dip or pour over the chicken at the last moment. Flavor was great! did not follow to the letter because I can’t find all the stuff in Mexico but I got close. Will post on my blog soon

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