Tender chicken breast baked with a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy orange sauce is a scrumptious dinner.
Orange chicken is Hubby’s go-to order at any Chinese restaurant. He doesn’t have a current local favorite, so I knew I had to make this recipe for him. Typically, a restaurant order would involve deep-fried chicken pieces. Delicious to be certain, but not a method I typically do at home.
This recipe has that incredible orange sauce that has made this dish so popular, paired with chicken that is pan-fried in a light coating before being baked to perfection. So much easier than digging out a deep fryer.
Chicken breast: You could definitely substitute chicken thighs.
Cornstarch: Helps create a nice coating for the chicken and thickens the sauce.
Egg: Helps the cornstarch stick to the chicken.
Canola Oil: Canola oil is a great choice to sauté the chicken.
Brown Sugar: Makes orange chicken the sweet dish we all love.
Orange Juice & Zest: Well, it is orange chicken after all! I have never tried this recipe using store-bought orange juice. The zest adds so much flavor and would definitely be missed if you didn’t use a fresh orange.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is always part of my Asian-inspired dishes. I prefer lower sodium.
Sriracha: We like our spice. Add to taste or omit if you prefer.
White Vinegar: Adds a nice tang to help balance the sweet flavors.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Slightly sweeter than regular white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar adds great depth of flavor.
Fresh Ginger: I love the brightness fresh ginger adds to the orange sauce. If unavailable, I would add a bit of ground ginger.
Garlic Powder: An easy way to add great garlic taste.
Preheat your oven and then prep the chicken breast by chopping or cutting it into bite-sized pieces. I have found drying the chicken with a paper towel really helps the coating stick.
Add canola oil to a large, deep skillet over medium to high heat.
Next is the messy part, but it is so very worth it! The chicken pieces are dredged in cornstarch and then dipped in the beaten egg. Place in the heated skillet.
Sauté the chicken, turning once or twice, until the coating on the chicken is browned. The chicken wouldn’t be cooked through, but gets plenty of time to bake in the oven.
While the chicken is pan-frying, combine the sauce ingredients. Whisk until completely combined.
When the chicken pieces are ready, place them in a baked dish. Give a sauce another quick whisk and pour over the chicken pieces.
Gently stir the chicken a couple of times during the cooking process to help the sauce coat the chicken. The sauce will get thick, caramelized, and be absolutely scrumptious.
Serve over your favorite rice with a simple side vegetable. We like either broccoli or green beans.
You will love the flavor of this baked orange chicken!
Baked Orange Chicken
- 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 large orange juice and zest
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 325℉. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Dry the chicken with a paper towel to help the coating stick, then season with salt and pepper.
- Add cornstarch to a bowl and a beaten egg to a separate bowl. Dip chicken into cornstarch, then coat in egg mixture.
- Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 8×8 greased baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, sriracha, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, grated ginger, garlic powder, and cornstarch. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour. Stir a couple of times during the cooking process. The sauce will thicken and start to caramelize as it cooks.
- Allow to sit at least 5 minutes after pulling to allow the sauce to thicken. Serve over rice.