Easy Authentic Chinese-American Orange Chicken Recipe

Easy Authentic Chinese-American Orange Chicken Recipe

Discover the secret to making crispy, tangy orange chicken in your own kitchen!

Ever dreamed of recreating that mouthwatering orange chicken from your favorite Chinese takeout spot? Look no further! This recipe combines the perfect crispy coating with a zesty orange sauce that will have your taste buds dancing.

Mastering this dish is all about finding the right balance between crispy chicken and a flavorful sauce. We’ve cracked the code after countless tests, resulting in a foolproof method that guarantees restaurant-quality results every time.

The Ultimate Crispy Chicken Technique

The key to achieving that perfectly crispy exterior lies in our special batter and frying method. We use a combination of egg-based batter and a vodka-infused marinade to coat the chicken chunks before frying. This technique ensures a crust so crisp, it remains crunchy even after being tossed in the sauce.

Unlocking Maximum Orange Flavor

Our sauce is where the magic really happens. We’ve perfected a three-pronged approach to pack in that irresistible orange flavor:

  • Dried orange peel strips for depth
  • Fresh orange zest for brightness
  • Fresh orange juice for tanginess

This combination creates a sauce that’s bursting with citrusy goodness, perfectly balanced with savory and sweet notes.


For the Marinade:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons 80-proof vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks

For the Dry Coating:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 (2-inch) strips dried orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons peanut, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (about one 1-inch piece)
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced scallion bottoms (about 1 scallion)

To Finish:

  • 2 quarts of peanut, canola, or vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Steamed white rice and steamed broccoli for serving


  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until slightly foamy. Mix in soy sauce, wine, and vodka. Set aside half of this mixture. To the remaining marinade, add baking soda and cornstarch, whisking to combine. Coat the chicken pieces thoroughly in this mixture, cover, and set aside.
  2. Create the Dry Coat: In another bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the reserved marinade until you have a mealy texture. Set aside.
  3. Craft the Sauce: Mix soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil, orange zest, juice, and cornstarch in a bowl. Add dried orange peel and set aside.
  4. Start the Sauce Base: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook oil, garlic, ginger, and scallions until fragrant but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and cook until it thickens, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Fry the Chicken: Heat oil in a wok or Dutch oven to 350°F (177°C). Coat each piece of chicken in the dry mixture, then carefully fry in batches until crispy and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Combine and Serve: Toss the fried chicken in the prepared sauce until well coated. Serve immediately with steamed rice and broccoli for a complete meal.

Chef’s Notes

Can’t find Shaoxing wine? Dry sherry makes an excellent substitute. For the dried orange peel, you can make your own by baking orange peels at 275°F (135°C) for about 45 minutes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Authentic taste of Chinese-American cuisine at home
  • Perfectly crispy chicken that stays crunchy
  • Bursting with fresh, zesty orange flavor
  • Customizable heat level – add chili flakes for extra kick!
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 508
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 123mg 41%
Sodium 506mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 318mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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