Skip takeout and make this easy Orange Chicken recipe! If you don’t like deep frying because of all the mess, you’ll love this recipe! An irresistible fresh orange sauce makes it simply delicious.
I love Chinese food. Let me clarify. I love Americanized Chinese food. Because I’m pretty sure there is a difference. I’ve never actually eaten in China, but I love the Chinese food here in the states. It might not be authentic, but it is mighty tasty. And that’s what matters to me. 😉
I am always on the lookout for recipes that make me feel like I am eating out. Because although I enjoy eating out, I don’t enjoy the dent it makes in my pocketbook.
Healthier Baked Orange Chicken
When I saw this recipe for homemade orange chicken at My Kitchen Cafe, I knew I had to try it. When we get Chinese take-out, orange chicken is one of our favorites. I’ve always wanted to try it at home, but I am not a fan frying foods.
I hate the mess, I hate all the grease, and usually manage to burn myself with splattering oil. Not fun. So when I saw that Mel’s version was baked instead of fried, I decided to give it a go.
We looooved it! Not only does it taste amazing, but I love that it is so much lower in fat, and I didn’t have to clean up a big mess. Just bake it in the oven.Yay!
If you like Chinese, you should really try this! I have since served it for company and everyone who tried it loves it. This tasty chicken with fresh orange chicken sauce is sure to be a hit at your house as well.
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE CHICKEN
Orange chicken ingredients:
- melted butter (I use salted butter.)
- boneless, skinless chicken breast (If you prefer using boneless skinless chicken thighs, they also work great!)
- flour (I use all purpose flour.)
- garlic powder
- black pepper
Ingredients needed for orange chicken sauce:
- orange juice
- rice vinegar
- soy sauce
- orange zest
- brown sugar
- Cut chicken into cubes. Combine flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture.
- Melt butter and pour into a 9×13″ pan. Dip each coated piece into melted butter, then flip over. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk till cornstarch is dissolved, then cook over medium high heat till thickened and clear.
- Remove chicken from oven, flip chicken pieces, then pour sauce over the top. Bake for 20 more minutes.
- Serve over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
LEFTOVERS? If you have any leftover orange chicken, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. I recommend storing the rice and chicken with orange sauce in separate containers.
When you are ready to eat it, you can either heat the rice and chicken separately, or place the rice on a plate and top with chicken and sauce and heat them in the microwave.
- Feel free to substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breast. Because thighs are higher in fat, the chicken will actually be even more tender.
- Replace half of the flour with Panko bread crumbs. They make for an extra crunchy crust on the chicken. So yummy!
- If you like a bit of kick, feel free to add some dried red pepper flakes to the orange sauce, or use some of them in the chicken coating. Really like things spicy? Add them to both!
CAN I MAKE ORANGE CHICKEN AHEAD OF TIME?
You can definitely prep this recipe the day before. Coat the cubed chicken and dip both sides in the melted butter in the baking dish. Then cover the baking dish and place in the refrigerator. Prepare the sauce as directed, let it cool, then place it in an airtight container in the fridge.
When you are ready to serve it, prebake the chicken as directed, adding a few minutes to the cooking time if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake as directed.
MORE TASTY RECIPES FOR CHICKEN:
- Chicken Flautas
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken ala King
- Hot Chicken Salad
- Chinese Cabbage Salad
- Maple Dijon Chicken
- Chicken Parmesan
- Monterey Chicken
- Chicken Pillows
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Sweet & Sour Chicken
- Mayonnaise Chicken
BAKED ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2" cubes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp green onion
- Cut chicken into 1 1/2 - 2" cubes. Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13" pan with non stick cooking spray.
- In a shallow bowl combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Dip each piece of chicken in flour mixture and coat evenly.
- Pour melted butter in a baking dish. Arrange chicken in a single layer in the butter, then flip to coat both sides.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan slowly whisk water into the cornstarch till dissolved. Add orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, zest, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium high heat till mixture boils and thickens.
- Remove chicken from the oven, turn each piece over, and pour sauce mixture evenly over chicken. Bake another 20-30 minutes, basting often.
- Serve chicken and orange sauce over rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
-Sometimes I just put the butter directly into the pan and melt it in the oven as it preheats.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 469Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 716mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 49g
(originally published 8/13/2009, updated July 2020)
Give this tasty orange chicken a try! It’s a wonderful copycat recipe that is so much healthier than takeout, and it is sure to become a favorite dinner recipe.