Spicy Orange Chicken


This is by far my favorite “Chinese” food recipe. You’ve seen it on every Chinese food menu in your life and I can say without pause, this recipe will blow your socks off! Nothing from a restaurant comes close – fresh chicken and fresh oranges make all the difference here. Don’t skimp.

It’s super filling and yes, 3 breasts for two people might seem like a lot but trust me, you’re going to gorge on this stuff! I imagine it would also make amazing, next-day hangover food but it’s never made it more than 10 minutes on any plate in our house 🙂

You can easily adjust the heat as well. This version is mildly spicy but kicking up the Sambal Oelek or chili flakes will give it even more kick. But don’t go overboard with the spiciness on this one as the orange is the start of the show.

Spicy Orange Chicken

A classic Asian dish with a touch of heat
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Asian, Chicken, Chinese
Servings: 2 people


  • Dutch oven
  • Wok
  • Oil thermometer
  • wire rack
  • sheet pan


  • 3 Large Boneless, skinless chicken breasts - Cut into 1" chunks
  • Peanut oil for frying - 50-60oz.

For Breading

  • 3 eggs - whisked
  • 1/3 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup Rice flour - Can sub regular flour
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp Diamond Crystal salt

For Sauce

  • 8 oz Orange juice - 3-4 large Navel oranges
  • Zest from two oranges
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Honey - or Hot Honey
  • 2 tbsp Low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Rice vinegar - Marukan natural
  • 4-5 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tsp Ginger paste
  • 2 tsp Sambal Oelek chili paste - or hot chili oil
  • 1 tsp Red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp water to make paste


  • 3 stalks sliced green onion
  • orange zest to taste

Serve with

  • Sauteed red peppers and onions - with dried thai chilies
  • sticky rice



  • Prep chicken by cutting into chunks. Whisk eggs in bowl and pour over chicken chunks in sealed container. Shake well.
  • Mix flour, cornstarch and salt into Tupperware with top. Shake to mix well.
  • Slice veggies into strips and make rice. Or use instant sticky rice!

Make sauce

  • Add all sauce ingredients to sauce pan EXCEPT the cornstarch/water mixture. Bring to boil, then lower heat cooking 3-4 minutes. Add cornstarch mix and stir well putting pan onto lowest heat setting. Sauce should thicken nicely.
  • Turn on over to 200F.
  • Pour frying oil into dutch over pot with thermometer attached. Only need about 1-1.5" of oil. Bring temp to 375F.
  • While oil is coming to temp, shake chicken/egg mix well. Pour contents through sieve so the excess egg mix falls away.
  • Add pieces in batches to your dry mix container. Put cover on and give a quick shake. You should have a thin coating of powdery breading. Shake off any excess and arrange pieces on wire rack but not on top of one another.

Fry and sautee

  • When oil is ready, gently places chicken pieces in the oil, allowing for space between them. Don't crowd the pan! I do mine in 3 batches. Set a timer for 3 minutes.
  • As the first batch cooks, turn heat on high under a wok or large sautee pan and add 1-2 TBSP of stir fry oil. When hot, quickly flash sautee the veggies and throw in a few dried thai chilies for a bit of heat. When done to your liking, remove to a bowl and set aside. Keep wok ready!
  • When the first batch of chicken is done, drain using a spider and place on a paper-towel covered sheet tray. Put first batch in oven and allow oil to get back to 375F. Repeat with remaining batches.
  • With chicken all resting on tray, turn wok on medium high. Add chicken pieces and pour sauce over the chicken, tossing to coat well. Let sauce bubble and caramelize for 1-2 minutes tossing a few times.


  • Bottom layer of rice, layer peppers and onions, scoop chicken and sauce on top. Garnish with green onions and a more orange zest.


Buy quality chicken breasts – not the ones injected with solution. It’s worth the extra $3.
Definitely use fresh OJ. You need whole oranges for the zest anyway. Makes a big difference vs bottled.
Rice Flour will stay crispy longer than AP flour in the coating. But either will work.
When frying chicken, probe a large piece with an instant-read thermometer to ensure you’re over 165F. You won’t have a problem if you maintain oil temp for 3 minutes. Also, note the chicken coating will look pretty white when done and won’t take on the orange color till mixed with the sauce.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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