I can’t cook a lot of things, but occasionally I get it right. My quick, easy, and delicious orange chicken recipe is one I got right. Whether I need to bribe the kidlets to behave or “win” the church potluck, this is my go-to recipe. And the best part is it is quick, whether I fry my own chicken tenders or use cook from frozen. In our opinion, it is many times better than fast food orange chicken, like Panda Express.
Quick and Easy Orange Chicken Recipe
- Fried Chicken Nuggets (You can use frozen fingers from the store and then cut them up or make your own. Here in the South EVERYONE has their own fried chicken recipe but I’ll do a quick rundown below for those who aren’t used to frying chicken multiple times a week.)
- 1 1/2 Cups Orange Juice (real juice, not a juice “product”)
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 3 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes (available in the spice aisle)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger (available in the spice aisle)
Orange Sauce Instructions
In a pot, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch (prevents lumps – the whisk is your best friend for this). Then add the orange juice and whisk again. Add the soy sauce and whisk yet again.
Turn on the heat to medium-high and begin the mixture on its way to a boil.
Add ginger and red pepper flakes and whisk as the mixture continues to heat. It reaches a boil very quickly so don’t walk away from it.
As the mixture hits the boiling point it will begin to thicken very quickly. Whisk continually as it reaches boiling for a few seconds (30 at most) and then remove from heat. It will continue to thicken as it stands. If you get it too thick, do not panic, you can thin it back out by adding additional orange juice and soy sauce (even water if you have no more orange juice).
This recipe is extremely flexible. You can easily adjust the thickness level (amount of corn starch), the seasonings, and even the sugar without compromising the overall dish. Play with it and you’ll quickly find what adjustment makes it perfect for YOUR family.
If you want to make your own fried chicken from scratch instead of using store-bought nuggets (or chopped up chicken fingers) here is the quick and basic method. Start your cooking oil heating up to 375 degrees or there about.
Cut up boneless and skinless chicken breasts into bite size chunks. Put in a bowl with a mixture of milk and egg.
Pour through a strainer in the sink and let sit while you mix the flour.
In a gallon storage bag, mix 3 cups self rising flour with your seasonings. We like Lowery’s seasoned salt (enough the flour becomes vaguely orange tinted) with a few tablespoons of nutmeg and red pepper flakes.
Dump the strained chicken (should still be pretty wet) into the flour and shake (carefully) to coat well.
Use another strainer to separate the coated chicken from the excess flour.
Add nuggets to heated oil and fry for about 3 minutes (for bite size pieces – your times may vary).
Drain cooked nuggets on paper towels.
Put chicken nuggets on a bed of rice and pour sauce over the whole thing. Get your own serving before placing on the table if your family is like mine. ENJOY!