Chicken/ Main Dish

Orange Chicken

January 7, 2018 (Last Updated: December 30, 2020)

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Make your own takeout Orange Chicken

Orange chicken topped with sesame seed and green onions

This post was originally published in May 2015. The pictures and recipe have been updated.

Lately my family has become obsessed with takeout orange chicken.  There’s just something about that rich tangy sauce that is so delicious.  I finally decided I needed to find a way to create it at home. 

A white plate filled with chunks of chicken in a sauce topped with green onions.

For the good and the bad, we live 30 minutes from town.  The good:  Country living where we can get away from it all, raise farm animals and a huge garden.  The bad:  We work and go to school in town.  The kids are all involved in sports and other activities so we get stuck in town just about every day.

On weekdays we leave our house by 6:00 in the morning and often don’t make it home until after 6:00 at night.

We  don’t usually buzz home between activities because there just isn’t enough time.  This makes dinner extra challenging!

Fresh oranges cut on a cutting board with a head of garlic.

We do try to eat dinner at home as much as possible. Since orange chicken has been one of our favorite takeouts, I decided to try to make it at home.  This can be pulled together in under an hour, but I’ve  found some time saving measures for those busy weeknights!

Orange chicken topped with scallions and sesame seeds.

On soccer practice nights, the kids are starving and every minute counts.  I need to get the food on the table as quick as possible.

In order to avoid a lot of prepared foods, I often get meals ready on the weekends or even the night before.  Not every meal works to prepare ahead of time, but this orange chicken worked with several make ahead steps.

The orange chicken didn’t suffer a bit in flavor and this weeknight meal was on the table in 20 minutes with my make ahead tips!

Here are my make ahead steps

  • Brown and cook all the chicken, let cool and then cover and place in the fridge.
  • Mix sauce in a separate container and place in fridge.
  • Just before dinner, get a pot of rice started.
  • Heat a large saute pan, add sauce.
  • Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer stirring often.  Add Chicken.
  • Keep cooking until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce clings to the chicken.
  • Serve over hot rice.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Keep in mind, if you aren’t pressed for time, you can make everything at one time.  Just follow the steps in the recipe!

Other Great Chicken Recipes

Orange chicken with white rice on a white plate.

Orange chicken topped with green onions and sesame seeds.

Orange Chicken

Delicious orange chicken
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Entree
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 5 servings
Calories 375 kcal


  • 2 pounds Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Starch


  • Zest from 1 Orange
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet red chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil


  • Cut chicken into 2 inch pieces.
  • Place 1/2 cup corn starch in a large zipper top bag. Add chicken. Seal bag and shake so all pieces are coated in corn starch. Gently shake off each piece of chicken to remove excess corn starch.  Set on a plate and set aside. 


  • Mix zest, juice, vinegar, water, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chili sauce and 2 Tablespoons corn starch in a bowl. 


  • In a large, hot saute pan, add 1- 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add just enough pieces  of chicken to cover pan. You do not want the pan overcrowded or the pieces won't brown properly.
  • Brown each side.
  • Once all sides are browned, remove from pan. Chicken might not be fully cooked, it will finish cooking in sauce.
  • Continue browning all chicken pieces.
  • When all chicken is cooked, add sauce to pan. Bring to a boil.
  • When starting to thicken, add chicken back to pan.
  • Continue cooking until sauce thickens and chicken cooks through.
  • Serve hot over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.



Time saving tips:
Sauce can be made ahead of time. Chicken can be cooked ahead of time and then kept in the fridge until ready to use.
Bring sauce to a boil. Add chicken. Cook until sauce is thickened and chicken is warmed through.


Calories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 39gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 650mgPotassium: 708mgSugar: 12gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 2.7mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chicken recipes, chinese chicken recipes, orange chicken, orange chicken recipe
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.




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  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! A combination of orange and lemon chicken with a bit of sweet and sour sauce.
    Loved how tender the chicken was. Will be our go to for Orange Chicken.

    • Reply
      February 20, 2018 at 5:39 am

      Glad you loved it! It’s one of our favorites.

  • Reply
    Katie @The Semisweet Sisters
    January 23, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Yum, your recipe for orange chicken looks delicious! I’ve never tried it but I really want to after seeing how delicious it looks!

    • Reply
      January 24, 2018 at 10:42 am

      You need to give this a try – very delicious and very addicting!

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    January 11, 2018 at 11:44 am

    I have never combined chicken and orange together so I found your post very intriguing, Kathy! I will definitely give this recipe a try!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2018 at 6:40 am

      You do need to give it a try. It is so delicious!

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