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5 from 3 votes

Crispy Orange Chicken

My stay-in version of the popular Chinese take-out dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: chicken, crispy, orange
Servings: 4


For the Chicken:

  • 1 1/4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • The whites of 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 or 2 minced cloves of garlic (or, use garlic paste)
  • 2 teaspoons minced, fresh ginger (or, use bottled ginger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more, to taste) red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or, use white or rice vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or gluten-free Tamari sauce)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • The grated zest of 1 large orange

For thickening the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice blended with 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Suggested garnish and accompaniments:

  • Sliced scallion, steamed broccoli florets, wedges of orange


Preparing the chicken:

  • Cut the chicken into bite-size morsels. Tip the egg whites and cornstarch into a medium bowl, and whisk until slightly foamy -- about 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the bowl, and toss with a spatula to coat. Let the chicken marinate for about 10 minutes.

Heating the oil:

  • While the chicken is marinating, pour 2 inches of the vegetable oil into a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Insert a deep-fry thermometer, and warm the oil over medium heat until the thermometer registers 350°F.

Making the sauce:

  • While the oil is heating, set a large (10- or 12-inch diameter) non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 3/4 cup orange juice to the skillet, then whisk in the brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper, vinegar, soy sauce, and orange zest. Whisk until the mixture comes to a boil, then remove from the heat.

Frying the chicken:

  • To avoid clumping, add the chicken pieces one-by-one to the hot oil, frying in batches until the chicken just starts to color -- 1 or 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Then, to really crisp up the chicken, return all of it to the oil in one large batch. Fry until the pieces turn a rich golden brown -- about 2 minutes. Drain on fresh paper towels.

Finishing and serving:

  • Bring the sauce to a simmer, then whisk in the orange juice-cornstarch slurry. Whisk until the sauce thickens -- 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add all of the chicken, and toss is about so that each morsel glistens with sauce. Serve hot or warm with the above suggested garnish and accompaniments.