Homemade Orange Chicken

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The most perfect better-than-takeout Orange Chicken is coming your way!! You'll never be more than 15 minutes away from the perf meal!

Better Than Takeout Orange Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

I think we can all agree that the holidays are looking a little different this year!! But that doesn’t mean that this year can’t be special. Maybe we aren’t having a big festive dinner party later this month, and cookie exchanges are obvi not in the cards… but I’m still determined to make things special for my little family!! And also - I’M HUNGRY!! So bring on the food!

I don’t know about you guys - but we did a LOT of takeout in November. Mostly because we didn’t have a home and were hotel living thanks to the house renovation!! And I overdid it on the ordering. I’m THRILLED to be back in the kitchen and having full control over what goes into my food // yes I am a control freak. So… that brings me to this very important Homemade Orange Chicken recipe that should be added to your weekly line up asap! It’s def not the most traditional holiday recipe -- but hello it’s homemade orange chicken and everyone is going to think you’re a rock star!! 

Let’s talk about a few quick tips for the orange chicken. 

1: the chicken is easy to prep and no you cannot skip the cornstarch. It’s a vital element in making it crispy!! Also you need to make sure the chicken is blotted TOTALLY dry before adding into the cornstarch egg white mixture otherwise the coating wont stick. This is crucial, especially if the chicken was previously frozen and defrosted.

2: you need a LARGE pot for frying and it's best to fry this in small batches. If you overcrowd the pan and fry too many pieces of chicken at once, the coating will come off. Don't be afraid to cook the chicken in batches for optimum results.

3: the orange juice is the perfect way to make that deliciously savory orange sauce that goes on top. It also gets a little zip from some soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. If you’re anything like me, it might be worth it to double the sauce portion of the recipe so you can drizzle it on your veggies too! 

Okay!! Have at it!! Make this when you need a break from your usual holiday cooking and baking and could use something delicious and quick. I recommend whipping this up for a little family game night! Then watch your family members freak out in front of your eyes!!! 

Better Than Takeout Orange Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Better Than Takeout Orange Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Homemade Orange Chicken

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.7 from 16 votes
This homemade Orange Chicken is truly perfection!! So for those of you who order this every time you get takeout - try and make it and home and see what you think!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people


For the Chicken

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces and patted totally dry

For the Sauce

  • ½ cup Orange Juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Kosher salt and crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • green onion for garnish (or chives!)


For the Chicken

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg whites with a fork until almost frothy, about 1 minute. Add the patted dry chicken to the mixture and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the Sauce

  • Meanwhile, put the Orange Juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed red pepper and garlic in a small nonstick skillet and whisk. Heat until bubbling and starting to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and ¼ cup water in a small bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch slurry to the sauce. Mix in and thicken for 1 minute.
  • Heat about 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil registers 350 degrees F. In batches, carefully drop the chicken into the oil (I drop 1-2 pieces in at a time and move it around for a second before adding more pieces), flipping gently, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Be very careful not to overcrowd the pan. Let the pieces drain on a plate lined with paper towels for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining batches. Once all the batches have their initial fry, drop them back into the oil for 1 minute to really solidify the coating. Toss the chicken in the sauce and serve with the green onion garnish


The chicken is easy to prep and no you cannot skip the cornstarch. It’s a vital element in making it crispy!! Also you need to make sure the chicken is blotted TOTALLY dry before adding into the cornstarch egg white mixture otherwise the coating wont stick. This is crucial, especially if the chicken was previously frozen and defrosted.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 269mg | Sodium: 543mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 3mg
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  1. How much salt and hot pepper flakes should we add? No measurements were given for those two ingredients in the recipe. Thank you!

    1. really it's just to taste. I do about 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and about the same of salt

  2. 5 stars
    This came out really tasty!! I didn’t have any problems with the breading coming off, but do you have any tips for how you blot the chicken dry and what kind of pot you use to fry them in? I used a Lodge Dutch oven and only did a few pieces at a time for fear of crowding them. Felt like it took me forever to make but maybe I’m just super slow! Haha

    1. blot with a paper towel and then discard the paper towel!

      And a dutch oven is great - the wide low ones are great so you can fry more than a few pieces at once.

  3. 4 stars
    Made this last night. My small batches were not small enough. Lesson learned. Flavors fab! Served it on top of Coconut Rice with Orange instead of lime. I will make this one again. Thanx Gaby

  4. 5 stars
    This was the best orange chicken recipe I have ever made! Cooking chicken with the cornstarch coating is much different than breaded and requires patience. Having read the comments beforehand I was determined not to make the same mistakes and read the recipe 3x over before starting. I did the recommended double sauce, small batches in a cast iron skillet and tested the oil temp. Huge success and enjoyed by the whole family, will definitely be making again. Thanks for including all the helpful tips.

  5. What happened? None of the coating stuck to my chicken when I dropped it in the oil...too hot? Did i leave it in the egg/cornstarch mixture too long? So sad 🙁

  6. 4 stars
    Made this last night with chicken breast. It was delicious. My only issue was the batter would stick to the bottom of my pot immediately. So when I would go to turn it over, the skin would just fall off. I just kept trying to scrape up the bits and put that in with the sauce to get some crunchy pieces. I would make more sauce too! At least with the chicken breasts, it was just enough to coat the chicken.

    1. I had the exact same problem. As soon as the coated chicken hit the oil, it stuck to the bottom of the pan. When I tried to flip the chicken, the "batter" coating remained stuck and the chicken slipped out of the coating. Most of the coating just stuck to the bottom and built up over the course of trying to cook the rest of the chicken. In the end, very few chicken pieces had any coating. Flavor was wonderful but the whole egg white sticking thing was a mess.

    2. I added a few tips and tricks to the recipe and the write up to make sure that doesnt happen next time you make it 🙂 xx

    1. I have an egg allergy and I used JUST eggs, (you can find them at most natural grocery stores, as well as, Safeway!) which is plant based and it tasted DELICIOUS!

    1. I dont think milk or broth would provide the stickiness that you need from the egg white. are you allergic to the yolk? you could use the egg yolk

  7. Hi Gaby! Love.Everything.
    Do you think you could shallow fry these in less oil, instead of having to do a true deep fry?

    1. I havent tested it that way but I'm inclined to say no because i dont think the coating would stick as well

  8. Yum! Question about the cornstarch: Do you divide the 1tsp cornstarch into 1/2 with the egg whites and 1/2 with the water?
    Cant wait to make this tonight...Thanks Gaby!

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