Orange Chicken


September 25, 2021

1M+ Views Chinese Main Dishes Recipes Tastier Than Takeout Wok

Is Orange Chicken the most recognizable “American Chinese” dish? I don’t know but what I do know is that this homemade version is so much better than the takeout kind!

Watch the Orange Chicken Recipe Video Below!


Using freshly squeezed orange juice and the zest of 1/2 orange is key to taking this sauce to the next level! You can sub with store bought orange juice if you prefer but I highly recommend using freshly squeezed juice + zest!

If you cannot or do not want to use wine, you can sub with sherry, mirin, or chicken stock!

I get asked all the time if you can sub black pepper for white pepper – and my answer is, it depends BUT you need to watch the ratio. White pepper has a milder flavor profile than black pepper, so it’s a 1-1 substitute. I would start with less black pepper and add as you go. (But really, you should have white pepper in your pantry! It’s a staple in mine!)

My not-so-secret tip to the crispiest chicken is a combination of FLOUR, CORNSTARCH, and BAKING POWDER. When mixed with the flour, the cornstarch makes the flour coating crispier and gives it that golden brown color! (It has to do with prevention of gluten development.) The baking powder reacts with the oil and creates tiny air bubbles, which also helps form a crispy coating.


Add any leftover marinade (or 1-2 tbsp of water) to your seasoning mix (flour/cornstarch/baking powder) and rub them together to create the craggily bits we all love!

Do not let your frying oil drop below 325-350F when frying! I highly recommend you use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. If you see it dropping below 325F, fry your chicken in batches. Frying at a low temperature will result in too much moisture (AKA SOGGY!)

This is OPTIONAL but if you want your chicken to be extra crispy, you can fry for a second time for 1 minute at 350F!

Orange Chicken on a plate of rice

Orange Chicken (Better Than Take-out!)

by Chris Joe
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4




Cornstarch Slurry


  • Cut boneless, skinless chicken thigh into 1" pieces and marinate with garlic, ginger, light soy, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, sesame oil, and orange zest for 30 minutes
  • For your sauce: mix together light soy, orange juice, water or stock, brown sugar, and orange zest until sugar is dissolved.
  • Whisk together AP flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in some of the extra chicken marinade and mix to create more craggily bits.
  • Dredge your chicken and pack the coating in well.
  • Fry at 350F for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside.
  • OPTIONAL: Fry at 350F for another 1 min for extra crispiness.
  • Over high heat, sauté garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper for 15 seconds until fragrant. Immediately add in your sauce, vinegar and mix, then add your cornstarch slurry to thicken.
  • Toss in your chicken and coat evenly for 30 seconds and serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!
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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing flavor, simple to follow instructions. I couldn’t believe how much this tasted like take out. I love orange chicken but I can’t order it because of a food dye allergy. So this satisfied the craving. This is the 3 rd recipe of yours I’ve made. Thank you for the amazing food.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best recipe for Orange Chicken! I made this recipe for dinner one night since my partner is an avid Orange Chicken lover and we were both shocked at how amazing it turned out! So much so that he asked me to make this recipe in bulk for his lunches…We are 3 weeks in of Orange Chicken lunches (Alternating Rice and CJ’s Soy Sauce Chow Mein) and he cannot get enough! The chicken and sauce freeze extremely well and he has relayed that the chicken does not get soggy when reheating from a frozen state. This recipe is hands down a 11 out of 10! Thank you so much for sharing CJ!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this dish the other night and will NEVER order takeout again. My brother loves orange chicken and he said this was better than any restaurant. The double fry was perfect and loved the fresh juice in the sauce! Thanks, CJ!