The easiest orange chicken at home! It uses orange marmalade for a simple, sweet orange sauce that glazes over lightly breaded chicken pieces.
VERY EXCITING NEWS because, in my opinion, the biggest barrier to good Asian-esque food at home is the usual laundry list of ingredients in sauces.
Here, the sauce can be made in under 5 minutes and it makes an orange chicken that rivals any restaurant version I've ever had!
The chicken in this recipe is coated in cornstarch and spices and then pan fried in oil for just a hint of crispiness. It's reminiscent of the deep fried version, but so much easier and more well-suited for at-home cooking!
Tossing the chicken pieces in cornstarch before cooking will help them to crisp up in the oil, and will also thicken the sauce once it's added to the skillet.
The sauce is the make-it-or-break-it element of Asian-inspired foods to me. Good sauces can make almost anything delicious and bad sauces can make delicious things terrible.
This sauce is everything we love about orange chicken - sweet orange, tangy vinegar, umami soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, and a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes.
It is so good and so simple!
Why orange marmalade?
Orange marmalade has a jammy consistency and contains both orange juice and peels. It's perfect for making a thick sauce with a strong orange flavor.
Plus, since marmalade is made with sugar, you won't have to add any additional to your sauce.
It's an easy-to-find pantry ingredient that replaces the usual orange juice, orange zest, and sugar found in orange chicken recipes. Such a satisfying substitution for an easy dinner!
Where to find orange marmalade
Any major grocery store - including Aldi - will have it. It's with the jams and jellies. Any brand will do!
You can also get it in bulk on Amazon if you foresee a lot of orange chicken in your future.
I recommend using rice vinegar here, but if you don't have it or don't want to buy it, you can substitute distilled white vinegar.
Serve this with:
- Rice (like this white rice or this brown rice)
- Stir fried veggies
- Roasted broccoli
- Steamed veggies - frozen bags that can be steamed make this such an easy meal!
Easy Orange Chicken with Orange Marmalade
FOR THE SAUCE
- 3/4 cup orange marmalade
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
FOR THE CHICKEN
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- For serving: prepared rice
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high. In a ziplock bag, toss the chicken with the cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to coat. Spread chicken in a single layer in the hot oil. Cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping every 4-5, until chicken is browned and cooked through. Pour in the sauce and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and glazes over the chicken. Serve with rice.