Easy Orange Chicken

I don’t think I’ve shared this with you yet, but I enjoy Asian food.  I know…groundbreaking as that may be.  “Wow, did you hear that? Lacey likes another type of food. Shocking.”

Recipe and images of Easy Orange Chicken by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

I’ve talked a lot about how much I love certain types of food on this blog, but not so much with Asian food.  Well, that is going to change…somewhat.

Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

You see, though I love to eat Chinese, Japanese, Thai food and the like, I’m not as comfortable with the actual cooking part. With the exception of Asian Lettuce Wraps (post coming soon!), egg rolls, fried rice and the occasional stir-fry, I rarely make anything “Asian” at home.

I’m much more comfortable cooking Italian food (for more on that, see my Chicken Parmesan, Simple Tomato Sauce and Italian Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Manicotti posts). I guess I scare easily with stuff I’m not used to (for more on that, see my Chicken Cordon Bleu post). Plus, I don’t usually get that Aha! moment when I realize I can probably make that at home, like I do with other cuisines.

Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef
Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

That’s what makes this Easy Orange Chicken so fantastic. Not only is it quite a simple meal to make but you probably have most, if not all, the ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator. Plus, it’s a healthy Chinese recipe that is very fresh, light and vibrant. The chicken is not deep fried, which — sadly — is always a good start towards making a dish more healthy.  **sigh**

Easy Orange Chicken recipe and images by Lacey Stevens-Baier, a sweet pea chef

The orange zest, grated ginger and red pepper flakes create a wonderful depth of flavor.  You may even be surprised you actually made it (well, I was, at least). Orange Chicken is probably my favorite Chinese entree, so it’s great to have this go-to recipe at home.

Easy Orange Chicken

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
kosher salt to coat
freshly ground black pepper, to coat

1 broccoli crown, cut into florets
2 green onions, thinly sliced

For the Sauce:

1 1/2 cups water plus 2 tbsp, divided
2 tbsp. orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. cornstarch

Directions

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients for the sauce except for the cornstarch and 2 tbsp. water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the sauce has started boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, while chicken and broccoli are being prepared.

Steam (or boil, if you prefer) broccoli florets until almost no longer crisp, approximately 5-8 minutes. Test with a fork: if the fork easily pierces the florets, they are done. Careful not to overcook, as the broccoli will fall apart when mixed with the sauce and chicken.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Generously sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken breasts. Lay chicken in pan and cook until browned on each side and cooked through, approximately 8-12 minutes. Once cooked through, allow to cool enough to handle, approximately 5 minutes. Slice into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Turn the heat on the sauce to medium. In a small mixing bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp. water in order to combine and avoid lumps. Add the cornstarch mixture to the rest of the sauce and stir to combine. You will notice the sauce begin to thicken quickly. Stir for a minute or two until well thickened. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the broccoli, chicken and sauce. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions, if desired. Serve with (or over) white rice (I use — and love — jasmine rice).

 

Enjoy!

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

28 comments… add one

  1. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit August 16, 2010, 8:14 pm

    This does look like a lovely recipe- Orange Chicken is one of my favorites as well. Thanks- this may replace take-out!

    Reply
  2. Maria @ Scandifoodie August 17, 2010, 12:47 am

    Thanks for sharing! I think this will be the perfect recipe, I’ve got all the ingredients already in hand!

    Reply
  3. Joanne August 17, 2010, 5:27 am

    I adore asian food as well but don’t make it as often as I’d like. I think it’s just that, with other ethnic foods, like Italian, I always have an idea of what ingredients I should use to get the taste I want. With Asian foods there is just so much that I don’t know, so I feel like i have no idea where to begin!

    This dish looks delicious though. Orange chicken is a favorite of mine!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 17, 2010, 7:58 am

      Joanne, I totally agree with you. I’ve been using hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and other similar ingredients for a while, but it’s hard to think how to use them without following someone else’s recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

      Reply
  4. Foodie in Berlin August 17, 2010, 8:56 am

    My husband is addicted to chicken. It’s weird. So the “chicken” part of my collected recipe folder is HUGE. This one is going in there. Looks really tasty and pretty healthy which is a bonus!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 17, 2010, 10:37 am

      Haha! My dad was the same way with chicken. Felt like we had chicken for dinner almost every night. Maybe there should be a support group :) I’m glad this recipe gets included in your folder. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  5. Juliana August 17, 2010, 1:08 pm

    Wow, this chicken dish looks fabulous…absolutely perfect with the rice…SO yummie!

    Reply
  6. Kathy Baier August 22, 2010, 3:45 pm

    Lacey: I think I want to be your new BFF!! Rob and I seriously MOANED while we eat this delicious, easy to prepare meal. It was just wonderful! Keep up the great work. XOXOXOX

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 22, 2010, 5:03 pm

      Heehee, Kathy! I’m soooo glad you and Rob have been enjoying my recipes. You’re so sweet. I’ll keep posting ‘em if you keep making ‘em. :)

      Reply
  7. niko September 25, 2010, 5:10 am

    My sister say it was awsome,so i cook for her

    Reply
  8. Melissa October 26, 2010, 6:07 am

    This dish looks awesome. Quick question though – i live overseas and don’t have access to rice vinegar. What would you suggest as a substitution? Would red wine vinegar work?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 26, 2010, 2:22 pm

      Hmmm…I would probably try white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and then red wine vinegar (in that order) depending on what’s available to you. I’d love to know what you try and how it turns out. Good luck!

      Reply
  9. Agnes September 1, 2011, 9:33 am

    Will certainly try this recipe,very simple and looks yummy too.

    Reply
  10. Caro September 14, 2011, 11:40 pm

    My cousin shared this website with me and I made the orange chicken…hello..can you say slammin good dinner? I added some bok choy and frozen asian medley veggies and brown rice, and we were happy and stuffed. Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Isaac Jimenez September 26, 2011, 1:31 pm

    The orange sauce was a perfect and fresh taste of citrus orange, tangy , not overly sweet, hint of ginger, & the right amount of chili flakes for some zing! This is definitely a keeper! :P

    Reply
  12. Rach (DonutsMama) November 9, 2011, 8:07 pm

    Just wanted to let you know I made this tonight and it’s definitely going to be added to my meal rotation. It was delicious!

    Reply
  13. Dianne H. December 29, 2011, 9:32 pm

    Lacey,
    This was delicious! My family loved it! I have never used ginger root in cooking before, so that was fun. I used 3 chicken breasts, and brown rice, and it was so good. The orange sauce was awesome! Love your blog, and will be trying another one of your chicken recipes soon!

    Reply
  14. Healthy April 23, 2012, 9:39 pm

    Its such as you read my mind! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I feel that you just could do with some p.c. to force the message house a little bit, however instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Reply
  15. Lyn July 29, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Thank you for posting this great dish, one in a series of delights you’ve shared with me–teriyaki sauce, hollandaise sauce, ice cream. You’re my first “go to”. Simple and great without a lot of standing on my head. Many blessings, Lyn

    Reply

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