Orange chicken recipe Share this recipe on Facebook
Orange chicken is a very popular chicken recipe, especially in the
Asian cuisine. There are a lot of variations for
this recipe, depending mostly on the ingredients used. In this recipe, boneless chicken pieces are coated first in a seasoned egg mixture, then in flour and cornstarch, deep fried and then stir-fried and cooked in an orange flavored sauce. The chicken can be cooked in a wok or a deep frying pan.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 40 minutes, Serves: 4 - 6
Variations of the original orange chicken recipe are very popular dish in Western fast food restaurants. In the original Chinese orange chicken recipe, battered chicken pieces are cooked in a dried orange or tangerine peel. In the Western version, the chicken is cooked in a sauce that is often flavored with fresh instead of dried orange peel. In many recipes, the orange peel is ommitted.
The orange chicken dish is similar to the popular Chinese sweet and sour chicken dish. In both recipes, chicken pieces are lightly battered and deep fried, then stir fried with ginger, chili and garlic, and finally cooked for a few minutes in an sweet and sour sauce that mainly consists of soy sauce, water, sugar or honey, vinegar and something to provide the orange flavor. The orange flavored sauce is usually thickened with cornstarch dissolved in water.
Variations of the orange chicken recipe include the use of orange juice, tangerine juice, white sugar, brown sugar or honey, spring or white onion, white wine or rice vinegar etc.
There is finally a beef version of the orange chicken recipe that is known as orange peel beef. In this recipe, beef is used instead of chicken.
Orange chicken sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp orange zest (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger root
1 garlic clove, minced
For browning the chicken
2 lb boneless chicken breast, skinned
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
Vegetable oil (for frying)
For cooking the chicken
1 inch ginger root, grated
1/2 fresh chili, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp rice wine
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Prepare the orange chicken sauce
In a bowl add the brown sugar, orange zest (if using), orange juice, lemon juice, light soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic and stir for a while until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Brown the chicken
Cut the chicken breast into 2 inch cubes and place them in a bowl. Stir in
the vegetable oil, egg, salt and black pepper and mix until all ingredients are blended.
In another bowl sift the cornstarch
together with the flour. Lightly coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, a few pieces at a time. Set aside.
Cook the chicken pieces
In a deep frying pan over medium high heat add the vegetable oil and bring to a heat. Cook the chicken pieces in batches (make sure not to overcrowd the pan), for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown and crisp. Remove cooked chicken using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Cook the chicken in the spices and orange sauce
Clean the pan and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Place the pan over medium high heat and add the ginger, chili pepper, onion and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the rice wine and orange chicken sauce and bring to boil.
Add the cooked chicken and stir until well coated in the sauce. Stir in the water and cornstarch mixture and mix well until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add the vegatable and sesame oil. Stir until well combined and serve hot with rice or fries.
Notes and tips
This recipe is based on the Panda Express Orange Chicken recipe. The main differences are found in the orange flavored sauce, where fresh orange juice and orange peel are used. If there are no fresh oranges available, canned orange juice can be used instead.
The orange zest gives an extra orange flavor to the dish but can add a bit of bitterness to it. Use the orange zest carefully, omit it if you do not want the orange flavor to dominate the dish.