Take-out at Home: Orange Chicken

Recipe By Tessa Arias
August 16th, 2011

This orange chicken is just as scrumptious as the dish at your favorite restaurant - possibly better. 

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Just like your favorite Asian restaurant – but fresher.
Texture: The chicken is slightly crunchy on the outside, moist and tender inside, while swimming in a luscious tangy sauce.
Ease: You can make the marinade/sauce ahead of time so all you have to do before serving is prep, dredge, and fry the chicken.
Appearance: A garnish of green onions and orange slices makes this dish look better then it does at the restaurant.
Pros: So tasty and perfect for a weeknight meal. Plus, it’d be easy to amp up the nutrition by throwing in some broccoli, snap peas, bell pepper, or whichever vegetable you prefer.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? I already have made this dish many times.

Take-out at Home: Orange Chicken

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you may have notice this post is a little late (I usually try to schedule my posts early in the morning). See, what happened was last night my boyfriend took me to the Death Cab for Cutie concert here in Phoenix. If haven’t already seen them live, I’d definitely recommend going if you ever have the chance. They put on an impressive show. In the middle of their set I realized I had completely forgotten to finish editing and schedule this post or Orange Chicken. I had spent the majority of yesterday researching and practicing baking cakes and whipping up frostings. No, I’m not opening a bakery. But I am making my dad’s wedding cake next month (eek). So, I apologize for the delay, but let me assure you this recipe is worth it. This orange chicken is just as scrumptious as the dish at your favorite restaurant – possibly better. Probably because it doesn’t have 2,000 (!!) milligrams of sodium.

Who was the last band you saw in concert?

How to make
Orange Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
This orange chicken is just as scrumptious as the dish at your favorite restaurant - possibly better. 


For the marinade and sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil


  1. Combine the water, orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, green onion, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Place the chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag. Add 1 cup of the cooled sauce mixture. Reserve remaining mixture. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. In another resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, letting the sauce drip off, to the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces to skillet and brown on all sides, letting chicken cook through (work in batches if necessary). Drain chicken on a paper towel lined plate and cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Wipe out skillet and add the reserved sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water and slowly stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to low and stir until sauce has thickened to a sticky, syrup-like consistency. When ready to serve, pour sauce over chicken on a serving dish. Serve with rice or noodles if desired.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from All Recipes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Sonia Rumzi — August 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Tessa that looks amazing. I happen to love Orange Chicken. One of the few chicken dishes I like. Not a chicken fan except for this. Excellent! Looks gorgeous too!

    • #
      handleheat — August 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm not a huge fan of chicken either – it can be so boring! Luckily this dish is pretty darn flavorful.

  2. #
    Maris — August 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    This looks like a work of art! Gorgeous! I cannot wait to see the wedding cake you come up with!

    • #
      handleheat — August 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you Maris! I'm a little nervous to see what I come up with ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. #
    Kristi — August 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I'm definitely going to have to check this out. I made the original recipe from All Recipes and it failed me miserably. I was disappointed with the watery sauce and lack of flavour. Looking forward to your version!

    • #
      handleheat — August 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm

      I've made the original version too and it was definitely lackluster. Hopefully you enjoy this version more!

  4. #
    Tracey — August 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Good luck with the wedding cake, something tells me you'll do great!! Orange chicken is among my favorite take out dishes and though we have a recipe we enjoy, I want to try yours now too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #
      handleheat — August 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks Tracey ๐Ÿ™‚ I just delivered a sample cake to him – hopefully he likes it.

  5. #
    Chris@KeenanCookbook — August 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    That's really cool (and nerve racking I'm sure) that you are baking your Dads wedding cake!
    This dish looks delish! I want to try it

    • #
      handleheat — August 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks Chris. Yes nerve racking! But hopefully rewarding.

  6. #
    Nelly Rodriguez — August 17, 2011 at 2:12 am

    This looks delicious and I definitely love orange chicken!

    • #
      jessica — December 6, 2011 at 12:52 am

      why you say that everyone else already did

  7. #
    Julie — August 18, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Oh definitely need to bookmark this one to make! The last concert I saw was Matt Wertz. Next month, I'm going to see The Script and SafeySuit. I LOVE concerts, but don't get to see many now that I live back in Wichita, KS. :/

  8. #
    Shu Han — September 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Looks amazing! You can get really smooth tender chicken if you velvet beforehand (: I've got some tips compiled, you can take a look if you like!


  9. #
    jessica — December 6, 2011 at 12:51 am

    yummy tell me more

  10. #
    Blog New Black — February 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Made this and LOVED IT!

  11. #
    pixie — May 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    making this today! yummy!

  12. #
    Beth R. — December 7, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Can white vinegar be used? I have everything to make this except the rice vinegar.

    • #
      Tessa — December 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      That should be fine! Enjoy!

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