Orange chicken is a dish that just about everyone loves. That gently crispy chicken coated with a tangy and sweet orange sauce is pure magic. No wonder it’s so popular!
When you take a look at the recipe available online, many of them, unfortunately, have a big list of ingredients. Just a glance at those ingredients gives you a headache and pushes you off making one.
This orange chicken is nothing like that – it has only five ingredients, but the taste is still incredible.
This orange chicken is sticky, sweet, and tangy. It is easy to make at home and will be ready in less than 20 minutes. With this recipe, there is no need to get that takeaway – as this orange chicken is better than the takeaway version!
Making Orange Chicken With Just 5 Ingredients
1. Prepare your chicken.
Start by choosing the right part of the chicken. Although many say chicken breasts are the driest part, and that you should go with the chicken thighs, I am still voting for the chicken breast.
They can be cut really nicely and they always look good. Cut the chicken breast into bite size-pieces and coat with the cornstarch.
2. Make the orange sauce.
In a bowl, combine orange jam (that is our secret ingredient), light soy sauce, and rice vinegar. This combo will ensure you have a perfect balance among the flavors.
As this sauce is made with orange jam, it will be thick enough and there is no need for cooking as with the classic orange sauce. If you have some red chili flakes, you can add these too.
Once the sauce is ready add the chicken and marinate for 10 minutes. The marinade will stick to the chicken, which will result in a crispy finish after the frying.
3. Cook the chicken.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add chicken pieces and cook until nicely browned on all sides. When frying food it is good to have a thermometer; in this case, you want to let the oil heat up to 350F.
Once the oil is ready, cook the chicken. You may have to do this in a couple of batches depending on how many extra servings you’re making (or how small your pan is).
4. Adding the rest of your sauce.
The marinade you used for the chicken is your sauce too. Add the marinade over the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
The goal is to coat the chicken nicely with the sauce. If you feel your chicken is a bit dry, you can add some water or squeeze in some orange juice. Remember to season your chicken to taste with salt and pepper.
Do I Have to Fry the Chicken?
Fried chicken is great, but it’s not the only way to enjoy an orange sauce. It certainly is not mandatory to fry the chicken in a skillet.
You can also bake the chicken in the oven following these basic steps:
- After you marinate the chicken, arrange the chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure you remove the pieces from the marinade (we’ll use the rest later).
- Bake the chicken for 15 minutes.
- Cover the chicken with the rest of the marinade and bake for another 5 minutes. The sauce should be caramelized a bit. This is a healthier version of the orange chicken.
For this recipe I used a raw chicken breast.
But if you have some chicken nuggets leftovers, they will be great too. Nuggets have a crispy shell that will make this dish even more interesting. Just cook the nuggets in the orange sauce for 1-2 minutes and you are all set.
To make the chicken spicier, instead of soy sauce, you can use garlic-chili sauce, Sriracha, or another hot sauce. This will give a nice spicy kick to your dish.
If you want to make a vegetarian or vegan option, you can always use tofu.
Press and drain your tofu, cut into cubes and fry it as you would normally. You will have an amazing meal for your vegan or vegetarian friends, but also a good option for yourself when you want to eat something different.
Another idea you can try is adding BBQ sauce. Ditch the soy sauce and add ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce. You can choose a spicy or classic version.
It makes a very interesting combo with the orange jam and the chicken. The BBQ sauce will give a little tang, sweetness, and a bit of smoky flavor. And if you want to break out the BBQ, you can go ahead and grill some veggies along with it.
You can serve chicken with a variety of side dishes.
The most popular is rice, but instead of plain white rice, you can also serve your orange chicken with brown or fried rice.
Another interesting idea is to serve the chicken with stir-fry veggies, baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes for a little fusion cuisine!
How to Make 5 Ingredient Orange Chicken
Gather your ingredients.
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine orange jam, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a mixing bowl.
Add the chicken and marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet.
Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides.
Add the remaining orange sauce and cook for 3 minutes.
- 1lb. chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup orange jam
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Combine orange jam, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a mixing bowl.
- Add the chicken and marinate for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a non-stick skillet.
- Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides.
- Add the remaining orange sauce and cook for 3 minutes.
- Serve warm.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 lb chicken breast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 977mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 37g
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