Asian/ Chicken/ Gluten Free

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken – Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that’s better than take out and quicker than delivery.Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.This dish does not exist in China.

It has been confirmed by Mary, (my Chinese friend from Britain  who writes Lovefoodies), that there is no such thing.

We have Panda Express and other American-style Chinese restaurants to thank for this wonderful dish; much like we have Britain to thank for the quintessential Indian dish, chicken tikka masala. If this did exist in China, it would be called Cheng Gai, but we’ll just call it orange chicken, shall we?

Like most Panda Express fans, orange chicken is a favorite. I even have the actual P.E. orange chicken sauce in my fridge, but that would be cheating.

This doesn’t taste much like P.E.’s version…it is so much better. So tangy, so orange-y, and a bit of heat. My household (and extended household-thanks Bentley’s) all declare this a winner, which makes me happy.Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.The list of ingredients looks crazy long, but like most stir fry dishes, it’s all for the sauce and it only took about 7 minutes start to finish to get the sauce prepped and the dish took about 15 to cook, add in a couple of minutes for cutting the chicken, you have a 30 minute or so meal.

Next time I make this, I am going to toss in some onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, so I have a full meal in one bowl, veg and protein. Or you can do it for me and send me picture of how it turned out.Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.

Orange Chicken

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Michelle De La Cerda
Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast; cubed (about 3 breasts)
  • 4 tbsp corn starch

Orange Sauce

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup hoisin
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves; minced/grated
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic chili sauce +/- to taste
  • Zest from 3 oranges
  • 1/4 cup green onions; divided white and green parts
  • Cooked rice; optional
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • High heat oil , if needed

Instructions

  1. Cube chicken and coat with cornstarch.
  2. Whisk the orange juice, honey, hoisin, brown sugar, garlic, white parts of the green onions, ginger, zest, and garlic chili sauce; set aside.

  3. Heat a large pan or wok and add the sesame oil.
  4. Once heated, add the chicken, allow it to sear in the hot oil, then stir, again, allowing a sear to form. 

  5. Cook on high heat for about 3 minutes, or until it has turned brown and looks slightly crispy. If needed, add a bit more high heat cooking oil.

  6. Pour the sauce over the chicken, mix well.
  7. Allow the sauce to come to a boil over high heat and stir; cooking for about 2 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and allow the sauce to reduce and become a thick, sticky sauce; about 10 minutes.
  9. Serve over hot cooked rice and garnish with the green part of the green onions.

Recipe Notes

I've made this recipe many times. The first time I made it, I photographed it with a lot of sauce. The video shows how to it can be made more like PE with a clinging sauce. Both ways are great. If you like a lot of sauce, increase the sauce ingredients by 50%. 

Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links below and make a purchase using the link, I’ll receive a penny or two, which helps maintain this site. I promise to make links relevant to the content you are reading.

Ok, enough legal stuff.

Many of you have written to me about trying to find the various pots, pans, utensils, spices, etc I use in my posts, so I’ll link to Amazon for your convenience.

Orange Chicken - Tangy, mildly spicy orange chicken, the classic Chinese-American dish that's better than take out and quicker than delivery.

Thank you for sharing!

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelly@TastingPage
    June 21, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    That’s so funny that this dish doesn’t exist in China. We probably call it that here so it feel like we’re eating something more exotic. I love your recipe. It looks delicious – Chinese or not!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 22, 2015 at 12:16 am

      Thank you Kelly, Chinese or not, it’s delicious.

  • Reply
    Florian @ContentednessCooking
    June 22, 2015 at 2:23 am

    This looks like the perfect summer teat! So light and refreshing perfect for summer gatherings! The addition of hoisin sauce is perfect to unfold all the flavors.

  • Reply
    Catherine
    June 22, 2015 at 4:23 am

    Dear Michelle, I know when we order take-out my kids love either Orange Chicken or General Tso. This homemade version is so much and looks absolutely delicious! This would be a hit with my family. xo, Catherine

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 22, 2015 at 10:16 am

      I hope they all enjoy it Catherine, it is easy to make.

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    June 22, 2015 at 5:30 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to make orange chicken!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 22, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Rebecca, it is really easy to make.

  • Reply
    Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom
    June 22, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Orange Chicken is ALWAYS a winner at this house. It is the perfect blend of sweet and salty and tangy.

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    June 22, 2015 at 5:32 am

    This one time in Singapore, I asked for orange chicken. That was when I first learnt the term ‘American Chinese’. This looks delicious Michelle- Orange chicken at 7.32? I think so.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 22, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Go for it! Fake Chinese is good anytime.

  • Reply
    pam (Sidewalk Shoes)
    June 22, 2015 at 6:08 am

    That sauce sounds amazing!

  • Reply
    Marye
    June 22, 2015 at 6:16 am

    I love orange chicken… but i’ve never made it at home. I need to try this!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 22, 2015 at 10:17 am

      You can make it quicker than take out can be delivered.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    June 22, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I love orange chicken. It’s always such a treat! Definitely going to have to try this at home!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Thank you Stephanie, hope you love it…Mike too.

  • Reply
    fabiola@notjustbaked
    June 22, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I LOVE the fresh orange zest, it’s making this look so delicious!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 22, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      It really is the zest that makes the meal have that great orange taste.

  • Reply
    nibbles By Nic
    June 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    My hub loves orane beef so this dish is a no-brainer for my family. Love the presentation!!

  • Reply
    Sheryl @Lady Behind the Curtain
    June 22, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Orange chicken is definitely a family favorite, I’ll have to try this recipe!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 23, 2015 at 3:20 am

      Hope you all enjoy it Sheryl.

  • Reply
    christine
    June 23, 2015 at 6:15 am

    Isn’t it funny, I am pretty sure every single one of my favorite “Chinese” dishes doesn’t actually originate from China. Either way, this orange chicken looks absolutely amazing. That sauce has so much flavor!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      I am sure a few do, but you’re right, most probably come from here. I suspect that the immigrants of the late 19th century and early 20th century adapted for their new country’s palate.

  • Reply
    Healing Tomato
    June 23, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    5 stars
    There is no such thing as orange chicken in China? I don’t know why but that makes me sad. Regardless, I am happy to be living in a world where this recipe exists. I have to try this with Tofu.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 25, 2015 at 12:34 am

      You will rock this with tofu.

  • Reply
    Debra @ Bowl Me Over
    June 24, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    This looks AMAZING!!! I need to make this – sweet & spicy, can’t wait!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 25, 2015 at 12:29 am

      Thanks Debra, hope you enjoy it.

      • Reply
        Debra @ Bowl Me Over
        June 28, 2015 at 10:51 am

        5 stars
        I cook for my mom-in-law as she doesn’t do any cooking anymore. She LOVED this & we loved the leftovers 😉

        • Reply
          Michelle
          June 28, 2015 at 12:16 pm

          So happy to hear that!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
    June 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    This looks amazing! And it sounds amazing too! It needs to go on the menu here soon!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 25, 2015 at 12:28 am

      Hope you all enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Hirra Pervaiz
    June 25, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I love this dish, its full of flavors and that taste of orange in every bite is amazing!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 25, 2015 at 2:38 am

      Thank you, the zest really lends to the orange flavor.

  • Reply
    Joy @ Joy Love Food
    June 25, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Oh yum, orange chicken is one of my favorite things to order for Chinese takeout, but have never made it at home before, can’t wait to give this a try!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 26, 2015 at 12:56 am

      You’ll be able to make this, no problem.

  • Reply
    Sandi Gaertner (@sandigtweets)
    June 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Looks delicious. Glad they make gluten free hoisin sauce so I can give this a try 🙂

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 26, 2015 at 1:01 am

      Do you have to buy it online or can you find it in your local market?

  • Reply
    Del's cooking twist
    June 26, 2015 at 3:45 am

    What a beautiful dish! So far I remember I think I never tried orange chicken. I really need to give this dish a try, looks amazingly good!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 27, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Give it a try, you might like it.

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