Step Away From the Takeout Menu
We’ve been on a Chinese food kick lately—hello, Kung Pao chicken!—and no one is complaining. What is it that’s so satisfying about recreating your favorite take out dishes at home? It’s hard to say exactly what it is—it’s sort of a puzzle-solving high, plus it fills our frugal hearts with joy. Oh, and it’s nice to control exactly what’s in your food—homemade is always going to be healthier than takeout! Baked instead of fried means way less oil, we use a little less salt than your favorite Chinese restaurant would, and you’ll find no MSG on our ingredients list.
TMP Orange Chicken Sauce—With A Not-So-Secret Ingredient
If it’s not coated in a slightly sticky, tangy-sweet sauce, then it’s just not orange chicken. Our easy orange chicken sauce hits all of the right notes—a little sweet, a little tart, a little savory, and a little spicy. Here’s what you’ll need:
- An orange! Yes—a real, actual orange. Believe it or not, using freshly squeezed orange juice and zest really sets this recipe apart. Fresh orange juice, plus a little zest will make your orange chicken sing with flavor.
- Soy sauce—or you can use gluten-free tamari, which makes the whole dish gluten-free!
- Chili-garlic paste—any brand you love works just fine.
- Brown sugar.
- Rice wine vinegar.
- Water + cornstarch—this forms a slurry, which is the key to giving the sauce a classic Chinese restaurant texture. Just sticky enough to cling to tender, roasted chicken bites.
How To Make Orange Chicken (but Healthier & Easier!)
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—making Chinese dishes at home is not just healthier than takeout, it’s also way, way faster than waiting for delivery. This easy orange chicken comes together in about 20 minutes.
- Roast the chicken pieces until they’re cooked through.
- Simmer the orange chicken sauce until it’s thick—it’ll just take a couple of minutes.
- Toss the chicken pieces with the orange chicken sauce, and serve!
Tools You’ll Need:
- Baking sheet.
- Small saucepan.
- We love to serve this with steamed white rice, so we always break out our rice cooker when we make Chinese orange chicken.