A little sweet and a little spicy, this Air Fryer Orange Chicken is so incredibly tasty! Serve it with rice and you are ready to enjoy a hearty dinner that is better than takeout!
A DELICIOUS AT-HOME TAKEOUT RECIPE
Orange Chicken is one of my favorite takeout foods. The combined flavors of slightly spicy with the slightly sweet are so good! You won’t believe how easy this Air Fryer Orange Chicken recipe is and how flavorful it turns out. My whole family goes crazy over this and it goes well with so many things (like my Easy Fried Rice recipe!)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
That would be fine since you are cutting your chicken down into bite sized pieces. You could also use chicken thighs.
Yes, you will want to preheat it to 350F degrees for about 5 minutes before adding the chicken.
Air fryers need the air to circulate to cook properly. If air cannot circulate around each chicken piece, you won’t get that crispier texture we are looking for and the chicken will cook unevenly. You will need to cook in batches.
A lot of vegetable oil cooking sprays can gum up air fryers. I prefer coconut oil or olive oil sprays.
My acid reflux has a hard time with spice so I do keep it mild. You can achieve more spice by adding more red pepper flakes or adding a bit of Sriracha to the sauce.
This Orange Chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and in a freezer container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts – I like to use chicken breast but usually chicken thighs are used so you can certainly use those here. You’ll need to adjust your cooking time as they might take slightly longer to cook.
- soy sauce – if you need to cut back on the sodium, you can use a low sodium soy sauce.
- cornstarch – cornstarch is preferred over flour as this will produce a crunchier coating.
- orange juice – it doesn’t need to be fresh squeezed unless you really prefer that. You will need a fresh orange for the zest though.
- rice vinegar – this really adds more flavor than you think. I suppose you could use regular vinegar but I think you’d be missing out on some great flavor.
- ginger – I think fresh ginger really packs a lot of the flavor here. If you insist on substituting then I would use about 1/4 teaspoon of dried.
- garlic – again, fresh garlic is going to give you the best and tastiest results. You can use the jarred stuff but I really suggest fresh for the best flavor.
- orange zest – you only want to zest the orange skin not the pith (which is the white stuff) since that is bitter tasting.
- chili flakes – this gives it a nice little kick but I don’t consider it super spicy. You can leave it out if you prefer.
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER ORANGE CHICKEN:
In a bowl, add chicken, salt, black pepper, soy sauce, and egg. Mix well. In another bowl add the cornstarch. Dip the egg coated chicken in the cornstarch.
Place it on a plate or pan, continue with the rest of the chicken pieces.
Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Spray the basket with olive oil non-stick cooking spray and put the coated chicken pieces in it. Spray the tops of the chicken VERY WELL with cooking spray. It is the cooking spray that helps with the coating.
Cook for 5 minutes on one side. Turn the chicken over, spray liberally again with cooking spray and cook for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. Set aside. In a bowl combine together orange juice, brown sugar, chili flakes, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Heat the above mixture in a pan for 5 minutes over medium heat.
In a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Add this into the orange sauce and cook for 3 minutes. Stir regularly. You should see it start to thicken. Once the sauce is thickened add the orange zest and mix everything together. Finally add the chicken and toss it together well.
Serve and enjoy!
WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?
- Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Bites
- Easy Sesame Chicken
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
- Air Fryer Sweet & Sour Pork
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Asian Lemon Chicken
- Beef Fried Rice
- Air Fryer General Tso’s Chicken
- Beef Egg Roll In A Bowl
- No-Fuss Vegetable Stir Fry
- Vegetable Fried Rice
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
Originally published: August 2021
Updated and republished: June 2023
Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- In a bowl add chicken and add salt, black pepper powder, soy sauce, and egg. Mix well.
- In another bowl add the cornstarch. Dip the egg coated chicken in the cornstarch and place it on a plate or pan, set aside.
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Spray the basket with nonstick olive oil cooking spray then put the coated chicken pieces in it.
- Spray the chicken (VERY LIBERALLY) with the nonstick olive oil cooking spray. The cooking oil spray is going to give the chicken is crunchy coating. Cook for 5 minutes on one side.
- Flip the chicken pieces over. Again, spray the chicken very liberally with the cooking spray. Cook until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165F degrees. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. Set aside.
- In a bowl combine together orange juice, brown sugar, chili flakes, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
- Heat the mixture in a pan, over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl mix 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Add this into the orange sauce and cook for 3 minutes (stirring occasionally until thickened).
- Once the sauce is thickened, add the orange zest and mix everything together.
- Finally add all the cooked chicken pieces and toss it together until they are all coated in the sauce.
- Remove from heat and serve over cooked rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onion (optional).
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- Chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts.
- Don’t overcrowd your chicken in the air fryer. I know it’s tempting to pop it all in there but the chicken won’t crisp up if you do that. Air needs to circulate around each piece so you’ll need to do this in batches.
- If you have a basket air fryer, you may want to shake the basket a time or two during the last few minutes of cooking.
- This can be frozen, see the tips above.
- Spraying the chicken pieces with oil is super important to this recipe. Since we aren’t actually frying the chicken in oil, we are simulating that process with the cooking spray. You want the pieces sprayed very well since this is what is going to help the coating crisp up a bit. The chicken won’t be quite as crispy as oil frying but they should have a nice golden coating.
- Coconut Oil or Olive oil cooking spray will work best.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.