The Original Orange Chicken Recipe


Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 


for the chicken: 
3 cups|415 grams all-purpose flour 
1 cup|145 grams cornstarch 
1 tablespoon kosher salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon ground white pepper 
1 large egg 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 pounds|920 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch-by-1-inch cubes 

for the orange sauce: 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
½ tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon chile flakes  
¼ cup|50 grams light brown sugar 
¼ cup|55 grams granulated sugar 
¼ cup|60 ml orange juice 
¼ cup|60 ml white vinegar 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
1 teaspoon sesame oil 

to serve:
cooked rice


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and white pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the egg, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 3 cups|750 ml water, until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter. Add the chicken pieces and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Heat 3-inches oil in a wok or heavy bottomed pot until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F. Gently add the chicken and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until the batter looks set. Using a spider, remove the chicken and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Place the par-cooked chicken in the freezer until chilled. Return the chicken pieces to the oil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly golden. Using a spider, remove the chicken and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. 
  3. Make the sauce: Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar, stirring to combine. Add the orange juice and allow the sugars to begin to dissolve in the liquid, stirring occasionally, then add the vinegar and soy sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Add the mixture to the skillet and continue to cook until the sauce has the consistency of maple syrup, about 30 seconds. Add the fried chicken and toss until completely coated in the sauce. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with rice.

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