If your family is anything like mine, you’re missing takout something fierce right now. During these unusual times we’ve been eating at home more than usual and that has meant that I’ve gotten lots of requests for dishes that I normally don’t cook. My oldest son is crazy about Chinese food and has been begging for me to let him go out and get some orange chicken lately. While I’m not quite ready to venture back out yet (I know it will happen in time) I decided to do the next best thing and make his favorite takeout food at home. I have to say, this was one of my more successful attempts at better-than-takeout options because this Crispy Orange Chicken puts the takeout version to shame and it’s so easy to make!
What I have always adored about takeout is that they are able to get the chicken so crispy and the sauce just right and this easy Crispy Orange Chicken recipe does just that! By double battering the chicken and tossing it in the sauce right before serving, it’s hits all the high points of takeout but can be made in your own kitchen. Let me show you how!
- 1 and ½ pounds of chicken thighs (cubed)
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- ½ cup of cornstarch
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups of vegetable oil
- 2 large oranges juiced (about ¾ cup)
- ½ tablespoon of orange zest
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons of corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
- Green Onions for garnish
- 2 cups of brown rice (cooked)
- Cut the chicken thighs into cubes.
- Dip them into the beaten eggs and then into the flour mixture.
- Repeat this process to double batter the chicken.
- Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until bubbling.
- Add in the chicken thigh pieces and cook in for 3-4 minutes on each side (you will likely need to do two batches).
- While the chicken is cooking, dissolve the 2 teaspoons of corn starch in the soy sauce.
- Add in the orange juice, orange zest, sugars, rice wine vinegar, garlic and ginger.
- Heat over medium-high heat stirring constantly for approximately 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by ⅓.
- When the sauce and chicken are cooked, drain the chicken on any excess grease and then toss with the warm orange sauce.
- Garnish with green onions and serve on a bed of brown rice.
To start this Crispy Orange Chicken is so easy to make and it is seriously amazingly good! To start, I cut my chicken thighs into cubes. Then I whisked my eggs in one bowl and mixed my flour and corn starch together in a second bowl. Once this step was done, I double dipped my chicken thigh pieces into the egg mixture, then the flour mixture and then repeated. In my opinion, the key to making this dish really great is getting that really crunchy outer shell on the chicken pieces. Once my chicken was double dipped, I added my oil to a wok and cooked the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side, until it was done in the middle and the outside was crispy.
While the chicken was cooking, I made my orange sauce. Trust me when I say use freshly squeezed orange juice in this sauce….it does make a difference!
After juicing my oranges, I dissolved my 2 teaspoons of corn starch in my soy sauce. It is super important to dissolve the corn starch in your liquid before heating to avoid a lumpy sauce. Once my corn starch was dissolved, I added the orange juice, orange zest, sugars, rice wine vinegar garlic and ginger and mixed it all together.
I then heated my sauce over medium-high heat, stirring it constantly to prevent it burning, for about 10 minutes (until it was reduced by 1/3). Once my sauce had thickened, I removed my chicken from the oil and drained off any excess grease.
Then I simply poured the orange sauce over the top of the chicken and tossed it gently to make my Crispy Orange Chicken.
As soon as my chicken was covered in the perfectly delicious orange sauce, I added some brown rice to each of my plates, place the Crispy Orange Chicken on top and garnished it with some diced green onions.
The chicken stayed perfectly tender and crispy and the sauce brought just the right mixture of orange and sweetness to make this a dish that my family swears we’ll never order out again.
So tonight, skip the takeout and instead make this Crispy Orange Chicken that your entire family is sure to adore.