Air fryer orange chicken is a tasty main with crunchy chicken coated in a delicious orange sauce.
My family relishes it. It is done in under 30 minutes.
The takeout chicken used in orange chicken is coated with cornstarch and deep fried.
We replicate the same in the air fryer with minimal difference and cutting out the use of excess oil.
Making orange chicken in air fryer at home is more economical and healthier.
Pair it with boiled rice for a tasty and satisfying meal.
It is also a super easy recipe. So that definitely is a win.
You may also like: Air fryer Chicken Fajitas, chicken meatballs air fryer, air fryer chicken thighs, air fryer chicken cutlets, air fryer chicken tenders, air fryer chicken kabobs, air fryer lemon pepper chicken.
Ingredients used in Orange Chicken
1. Chicken: I have used 1 lb. of boneless chicken breast cubes.
You can use thigh or leg meat too.
2. Orange juice and zest: This is essential for the signature orange taste.
I use no sugar added juice.
You can also use orange zest to reinforce the orange flavour.
3. Sauces: Rice vinegar gives it a tangy twist.
Soy sauce for an umami and salty flavour.
4. Brown sugar: This is to add sweetness and balance out the tartness.
Use it as per taste.
5. Crushed ginger and garlic: These aromatics really enhance the flavour of the sauce.
6. Sesame seeds and scallions: These are used for garnishing the chicken.
7. Cornstarch to coat the chicken and also to make the slurry to make the sauce.
8. Chili paste: For extra heat. Skip if you don’t like it.
Variations and Substitutions
1. Substitute chicken with cauliflower: You can make cauliflower orange chicken using the same recipe.
Substitute chicken with cauliflower florets and follow the rest of the recipe.
2. Substitute egg: If you don't eat egg, use plant-based yogurt or Greek yogurt in its place.
3. Substitute brown sugar: You can use maple syrup or honey in its place.
You can also use Stevia or low-calorie sweeteners.
Take 1 inch cubes of chicken breast, add 1 beaten egg, salt and pepper to it and mix well.
Add cornflour all over and mix well so that the cornflour coats the chicken well.
Spray with oil. Preheat air fryer at 360F or 180C for 5 minutes.
Place the coated chicken on top of perforated parchment paper in air fryer basket in a single layer.
You can use a silicone bowl or parchment paper bowl too.
Air fry at 360F or 180C for about 10-12 minutes till chicken is cooked through.
Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of chicken which must reach 165F.
Flip chicken midway during cooking for even cooking.
Take out and keep aside. The chicken pieces are crispy outside and very succulent inside.
Meanwhile, assemble all the ingredients of the Orange sauce.
Mix them together and heat in a pan to assimilate.
You can do this while the chicken is air frying.
Once the sauce begins to thicken, add cornstarch slurry and cook some more till the sauce gets nice and thick.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Toss cooked air fryer chicken pieces in the sauce. The sauce will be thick and should coat the chicken pieces nicely.
Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds and serve hot.
You can have it as it is or serve with boiled rice. You will lick your fingers. It is so delicious.
Enjoy with your family.
Trader Joe's Orange Chicken in Air fryer
If convenience is what you crave, then frozen Orange chicken in air fryer is a life saver.
No messy deep frying and it is quick as well.
Cut open 22 oz. pack about 600 gm. of Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken.
You could use any other brand frozen orange chicken as well.
Preheat air fryer at 400F or 200C for 5 minutes.
Lay frozen orange chicken pieces in air fryer basket.
Air fry at 400F or 200C for about 10-12 minutes. Make sure to shake the basket 2-3 times.
Chicken should be heated through and crispy.
Now take out the orange sauce and either microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or cook on stove top.
Toss chicken bites in the sauce and serve hot.
Your delicious frozen orange chicken in air fryer is done. Enjoy.
1. Serve with Jasmine Rice: This is my favorite. Steamed fragrant jasmine rice pairs perfectly with orange chicken.
2. Pair with Veggies: For a low-carb option, pair with some roasted or sauteed veggies. Just perfect.
3. Chow Mein or Lo Mein Noodles: This is my son's favorite. Noodles and orange chicken are a match made in heaven.
4. Asian Cucumber Salad: This Vietnamese cucumber salad tastes so good with orange chicken. Do try.
5. Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls: This is a combination I discovered by accident and it tastes quite good.
So there you have it. Try them out.
Here's the recipe card for from scratch orange chicken:
📖 Recipe Card
Air fryer Orange Chicken
- 1 lb. Chicken cubes
For the marinade
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Pepper
For the sauce
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- ½ cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar or as per taste
- 1 tsp. Chili paste optional
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup water
- 1 chopped scallion or green onion
- 1 tsp. Sesame seeds
- Take 1 inch cubes of chicken breast, add 1 beaten egg, salt and pepper to it and mix well. Add cornflour all over and mix well so that the cornflour coats the chicken well.
- Spray with oil and add to preheated air fryer at 360F or 180C (preheated for 5 minutes). Air fry at 360F or 180C for about 10-15 minutes till chicken is cooked through.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of chicken which must reach 165F. Flip chicken midway during cooking for even cooking.
- Take out and keep aside.
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients of the Orange sauce and heat up in the pan to assimilate well. You can do this while the chicken is air frying.
- Once the sauce begins to thicken, add cornflour slurry and cook some more till the sauce gets nice and thick.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Toss cooked air fryer chicken pieces in the sauce. Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds and serve hot.
- You can have it as it is or serve with boiled rice. You will lick your fingers. It is so delicious.
- Enjoy with your family.
2. Do the chicken in two batches. Do not overlap while air frying. Do check the temperature of the chicken when air frying with a meat thermometer. It is done when it reaches 165F.
3. Leftovers can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge but they get very soggy if the chicken is already tossed in the sauce. Keep them separately if possible.
4. This recipe can be made vegetarian by using cauliflower florets in place of chicken.
5. You can make the sauce spicier as per your like. Also reduce the brown sugar used if you don’t like your sauce to be very sweet.
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