Do you love Chinese cuisine? Orange chicken is a very popular Chinese dish. It has the perfect mix of sweet and savory sauce mixed onto boneless chicken cubes.
The sauce typically has a mixture of garlic, soy sauce, ginger, red chili flakes, sugar, and orange zest and the result is so delicious.
You can serve it with rice – either steamed or fried. If you haven’t tried orange chicken yet, you should put it on your wish list to sample.
If you’re familiar with orange chicken, you know it’s common to have leftovers. Or maybe you like to make freezer meals ahead of time. How do you reheat orange chicken and not jeopardize taste or texture?
Whatever your reason for having orange chicken that needs to be cooked again, we have options for you. Both storing and reheating your orange chicken are really quite simple. You have options to reheat that use the stovetop, microwave, or oven so that you can reheat in the manner that works best for you.
Don’t fret about trying to figure out reheating techniques on your own! We’ve put together a very useful guide that details everything you might need to know about how to reheat orange chicken.
Keep reading to get all the inside details and to be one step closer to enjoying your orange chicken…again.
Storing and Reheating Delicious Orange Chicken
Orange chicken does not take all that long to throw together and cook the first time around. It’s a matter of cooking your chicken and making your sauce and then tossing it together. Of course, you may also want rice or noodles or something to serve with it.
Orange chicken is a meal that is easy to store and freeze if you make it ahead of time, it is also a meal that stretches far and the leftovers are just as simple to refrigerate or freeze and then reuse when you are ready.
Just make sure that you have good airtight food storage containers. I personally use and love this set from Amazon!
The steps to reheat your orange chicken are really quite simple. There are no special tricks to getting it to reheat just right. There are no additional ingredients you will have to add when you reheat. It really is just as simple as following the basic instructions we provide below.
The rest of the great news about reheating your orange chicken is that there are multiple ways to reheat. If you’re in a rush to get it heated try our microwave option, but if you want crisp and savory reheated orange chicken you can try the oven option.
The beauty of having multiple options is that you can determine which method will work best for you and determine which method you prefer for the best end result as well.
The truth is, we all have varying tastes and preferences so what one person considers the best may not be your favorite method, and that is okay.
I’m sure you’re ready to get down to business and find out those details for how you can get to reheating your orange chicken. To get started we’re going to share some upsides and downsides for you to review to give you a general idea of what you might be able to expect.
The Upsides to Reheating Orange Chicken
- Save your leftovers rather than tossing them out.
- You can reheat your orange chicken out of the fridge or the freezer.
- There is more than one way to reheat your orange chicken.
- Orange chicken tastes just as delicious the 2nd time around.
- Because of the spices and the sauce, your flavor can become bolder and better when reheated because it had resting time.
- It is very simple to reheat your orange chicken and does not take excessive time.
The Downsides to Reheating Orange Chicken
- You may experience some softness of the breading or chicken from storage.
- You may need to consider thawing time if you freeze your orange chicken.
- You could potentially need 2 steps for the best results, but most often 1 step will be sufficient.
- You could become addicted to reheated orange chicken and start using it as a staple meal.
We’ve given you the basic expectations for reheating your orange chicken, now let’s move on to the real details and talk about the process for both storing and reheating your orange chicken.
A Detailed Guide to Reheating Orange Chicken
It’s important that we start by discussing how to best store your orange chicken. If you want your orange chicken to be amazing when you reheat it, you need to store it properly.
Storing Your Orange Chicken
Storing your orange chicken is also quite simple, whether you store it in the fridge or the freezer. If you take the time to store it right, you will be much happier with the outcome when it comes time to reheat the orange chicken.
- You may store your orange chicken in the refrigerator using an airtight container or bag. Be sure that the orange chicken has cooled fully before storing to prevent excess moisture from building up in your storage ware. You can store it in the fridge for about 5 days.
- If you choose to freeze your orange chicken, we recommend using an airtight freezer bag or using a freezer-friendly dish that is airtight. Again, be sure you allow your orange chicken to cool completely prior to storage. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months if properly sealed.
- You can store leftovers or you can do make-ahead freezer meals with orange chicken. No matter which way you do it, the tips for storage and reheating will not vary unless specified.
- Because of the sauce coating the orange chicken, it freezes quite well. The sauce works similarly to a preservative.
How to Reheat Orange Chicken
In the following information, we will guide you through what steps to take if you froze your orange chicken, as well as give you specific instructions for reheating the orange chicken using one of three methods – stovetop, microwave, or oven.
If your orange chicken is frozen, allow it to thaw for 2-3 hours prior to reheating. The thaw time will allow it to reheat more effectively without any ill side effects.
If you forget to allow for thaw time, extend your heating times to compensate. For example, if you reheat on the stove it may take longer for it to warm through if it is frozen.
This is the most recommended method for reheating, as it will produce results that are the most similar to when your orange chicken was freshly made.
Heat your pan slightly over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Then add a small amount of oil (approximately 2 TSP to the warm pan. Give the oil about 2 minutes to warm. Add your orange chicken.
Heat until it is warmed to your preference, stirring frequently. You can also add additional soy sauce if you’d like. It may be necessary to add small amounts of water as you heat to prevent the chicken from drying out.
Worried about your orange chicken drying out anyway? You can buy your own orange sauce to help with moisture and flavor!
The microwave reheats Chinese food surprisingly well, especially if you’re in a hurry. On the other hand, the microwave is also more likely to affect your texture.
To microwave, place the orange chicken in a microwave-safe container. Dampen a paper towel and lay it over the top of your dish. The damp paper towel will help prevent your food from getting soggy.
Microwave 3-4 minutes, but do so one minute at a time, stirring the food each minute and checking to see if it is finished yet. Your orange chicken is ready when it has reached your desired temperature.
The oven is another great method for reheating orange chicken. It can also take a bit more time than the other methods. If you froze your orange chicken, the oven is our top recommendation.
The oven warms your food slowly, preventing it from drying out or becoming soggy. Turn your oven on and preheat to 325 degrees. Place your orange chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Seal your foil tightly over the dish.
Heat in the oven for 10-12 minutes, opening or removing the foil for the final 4 minutes of heating. You may need to stir every few minutes.
We hope you have found this guide to reheating orange chicken to be informative. We invite you to check our question and answer section below for further information you might find useful.
Can I Follow These Steps for My Rice or Noodles Also?
Your fried rice or lo-mein that is commonly served with orange chicken should store and reheat in the same steps listed above for your orange chicken. Did you also order wontons? We have a separate guide to reheating those. If you reheat on the stovetop, we recommend reheating in separate pans.
Is It Safe to Reheat Orange Chicken?
If you follow proper storage and reheating instructions, it is absolutely safe to reheat your orange chicken. Make sure you reheat your chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.