Orange Chicken

Orange chicken stir fried in a thick sweet and spicy orange glaze is destined to be your answer to Chinese takeout. It’s healthier and more delicious than many Chinese restaurants that I have been to. About a month ago, I saw this recipe on food gawker and immediately bookmarked it. I love Chinese food, however, many times the chinese food you find at restaurants or take out places are deep fried. Like I have said before, I do enjoy the occasional deep fried food, but I would prefer a healthier take out choice. This dish made me almost fall out of my chair when I took the first bite. It was absolutely amazing, so much so that I would have to say it is my new favorite dish! No joke, the thick sweet and spicy orange glaze was so flavorful my husband was upset when it was all gone. Since it was just the two of us I halved this recipe, but after we devoured it, we both agreed that we should have doubled it!

Orange Chicken

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  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon cold water
  • 8 small whole dried red chiles (optional)
  • 8 thin strips orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil


  1. Place the chicken in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, orange juice, grated zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne until the sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out 3/4 cup of the mixture and pour into the bag with the chicken. Refrigerate 60 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is marinading, in a large saucepan, bring the remaining orange juice mixture to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water until combined and add to the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the orange peel and chiles; set aside.
  3. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken until browned and cooked through; remove from heat and set aside. Reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmer, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve over rice.

Source: adapted from Smells Like Home originally from America’s Test Kitchen

41 Responses to “Orange Chicken”

  1. #
    lena — February 7, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    looks delicious! i havent had this before..interesting and i know the sweet and sour thick sauce will make this dish so appetising!

  2. #
    Happy When Not Hungry — February 7, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    This looks delicious!! Definitely tastier and healthier to make your own Chinese food. Great idea!

  3. #
    A Spicy Perspective — February 7, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Orange chicken is on e of my favorite childhood dishes! Yours looks completely lovely!

  4. #
    sippitysup — February 7, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    You know I always consider this take out food, but here you are proving me wrong. Love it. GREG

  5. #
    freshandfoodie — February 7, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    This looks so good! I used to be intimidated by making Asian food at home, but once you get all the ingredients it’s relatively easy. Love the addition of dried red chilies. Yum!

  6. #
    Lucie — February 7, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    Can’t wait to make this! I’ve been craving healthy Asian-inspired food and wanted an alternative to my regular stir-fries, this is great.

  7. #
    Tracy Rericha — February 7, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try making my own orange chicken. This looks delicious!

  8. #
    Honey — February 7, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    this looks divine. I love general tso’s chicken, but i hate eating it fried. i am bookmarking this, and although I don’t make chicken that often, maybe I’ll try it with broccoli and other chinese veggies. so good. you take some kickass pics lady!

  9. #
    Mary — February 7, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    I love orange chicken but have never made it at home for fear of being disappointed. Your recipe looks very promising and may be moving from your kitchen to mine in the near future. I hope you have a wonderful evening. Blessings…Mary

  10. #
    Danae (The Busty Baker) — February 7, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    This is one of my favorite Chinese takeout dishes! I can’t wait to try it at home!

  11. #
    The Food Hound — February 7, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

    I have been burned by some recipes claiming to be as good as Panda Express’s Orange Chicken… yes, it’s my favorite. But you never lead me astray, so I’ll try this one! It looks sooooo good in the photo!

    • Christina replied: — February 7th, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

      I hope it lives up to your expectations! We loved it! 🙂

  12. #
    Angela — February 7, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

    First off, oh. my. gosh. That looks amazing. Second, I gave you a little shout out on my blog today. You deserve all the praise I can give you!

  13. #
    Sara — February 7, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    You know, I don’t cook Asian food basically at all, but whenever you post recipes like this, I begin to rethink that decision. Thanks for sharing!

  14. #
    Megan — February 8, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    Oh my! This sounds like a great way to eat orange chicken! We have a similar recipe that is so so good! Thanks for sharing this one, I will have to try it out!

  15. #
    This Italian Family — February 8, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Such a beautiful recipe. And sounds so tasty. So much healthier to make it at home too!

  16. #
    Kristen@PrettySweet — February 8, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    Oh, yea!! This sounds delicious! Will be trying it soon. =)

  17. #
    Margaret Murphy Tripp — February 9, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    Trader Joe’s has frozen orange chicken that I like, but I’m going to try this instead. Your photos are great. I’m drooling here. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  18. #
    Lisa @ Tarte du Jour — February 9, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    I love Chinese food but take-out often leaves me with a sodium headache the next morning. I’m glad to have a good recipe to make on my own! Well done on the top 9!

  19. #
    jenna laughs — February 9, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    YUM! I love orange chicken. I’ve seen a few recipes where the chicken is fried with a flour/baking soda coating so it puffs up a bit. Might be an interesting twist with your orange sauce 🙂

  20. #
    alyce — February 9, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    This looks fabulous. Thanks for the recipe. Great pics.

  21. #
    Mindy Curtis — February 10, 2011 @ 12:53 am

    This looks phenomenal! My husband will love this!

  22. #
    Tara @ Smells Like Home — February 11, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    So glad you like this dish! As much as I’d like to take credit for the recipe myself, I actually found it on Annie’s Eats and it originally came from an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, which you also may want to mention as your source. ATK is VERY finicky about not being cited.

    • Christina replied: — February 15th, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

      Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

  23. #
    Becky — February 11, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

    This looks fantastic…I can’t wait to try it. I made your sweet and sour chicken a couple of weeks ago and we loved it!

  24. #
    Debs @ DKC — February 13, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    Yum. I’ve not had orange chicken for ages. Thanks for the reminder.

  25. #
    Krista — February 23, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

    I am making this tonight, with enough for leftovers tomorrow!

  26. #
    Amanda — March 5, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    I made this tonight for me and my boyfriend and we ate it all! A little embarassing to admit how much we ate, but it was THAT good! Thanks for a great recipe

    • Christina replied: — March 7th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

      Hahaha! I totally agree, my husband and I ate until we were sick…it was just sooo good! I am so glad that you enjoyed it and came back and told me about it. I love hearing from those who have tried my recipes! 🙂

  27. #
    Stephanie — April 12, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

    I made this last night…so, so good! This recipe is now on my fiance’s “Please Make This Again” list 🙂

    • Christina replied: — April 14th, 2011 @ 9:23 am

      Yea! This is one of my favorite meals to make! I am so glad that you enjoyed it! 🙂

      • Stephanie replied: — September 18th, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

        I’m gearing up to make it again tonight!

  28. #
    Antof9 — June 28, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    The chicken is marinating as we speak! I have to tell you the sauce smells A. MAZE. ING. So exited to have this — I order orange chicken at pretty much any Asian restaurant we go to, and if this is as good as I think it’s going to be, I no longer need to feel sorry for myself that we don’t go out to eat 🙂

    Thanks for posting this — I found it by way of Pinterest!

  29. #
    Antof9 — June 29, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    SUCCESS! Was absolutely wonderful. I used almost the entire peel from a single orange, and we added peanuts. Big hit, and will definitely be making this again. Thanks!

    • Christina replied: — July 27th, 2011 @ 11:36 am

      I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the orange chicken! This is my husbands favorite meal, so I make it all the time. Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out for you! 🙂

  30. #
    Myrthe — August 3, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    We just had this, it was delicious! We’re definitely making it again!

    • Christina replied: — August 6th, 2011 @ 11:09 am

      I am so glad that you enjoyed it! This recipe is one of my families favorites! 🙂

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  32. #
    Kat — July 13, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    I’ve made this recipe a few times…so delicious! I could eat it every week! I usually make it a one pot meal, and add matchstick carrots, snowpeas, and sliced peppers to the chicken & sauce 🙂

  33. #
    Kimby | a little lunch — January 18, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

    Wouldn’t ya know, I have everything but the chicken… (I knew there was a reason I was eyeing it at the grocery store — need to follow my instincts next time!) Thanks for this flavorful recipe — I’m going back to the store tomorrow. 🙂

  34. #
    paula gay — July 1, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    I make this all the time thanks to you, my family loves it….
    its super yummy!!!

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