Homemade orange chicken is a delightful fusion of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. Tender pieces of chicken are coated in a crispy cornstarch batter, then fried until golden brown and crispy. The real star of this dish is the vibrant orange sauce, made with freshly squeezed orange juice, zest, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger.
This sauce is simmered until thick and glossy, creating a perfect glaze for the chicken. Served over steamed rice, homemade orange chicken is a deliciously satisfying meal that rivals any takeout version. With its irresistible combination of flavors and textures, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.
For the Chicken:
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the Orange Sauce:
- 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (for thickening)
- Sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
- In a bowl, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- Place the cornstarch and beaten eggs in separate bowls. Dip each piece of chicken into the cornstarch, then into the beaten eggs, ensuring they are well coated.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Fry the coated chicken pieces in batches until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the cooked chicken and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
- In a separate saucepan, combine orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, minced garlic, and minced ginger. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once the sauce is simmering, add the cornstarch-water mixture to thicken the sauce. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce, tossing them until they are evenly coated.
- Serve the orange chicken over steamed rice, garnished with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired.
Garnished with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and freshly sliced green onions, the homemade orange chicken is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Served alongside fluffy steamed rice, it’s a comforting and satisfying meal that brings joy to every bite.
With its irresistible aroma wafting through the kitchen and its tantalizing flavors tantalizing the senses, homemade orange chicken is more than just a dish—it’s a culinary experience that leaves a lasting impression, beckoning you to savor every moment and cherish every mouthful.