The Meal Planner

Last night if I hadn't already met my daily quota of pillowy carbs and bundles of meat I definitely tripled it from all the dumplings I ingested. We celebrated Valentine's Day by getting together with two other couples and creating a Dim Sum feast for Chinese New Year. I made Chinese Steamed Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce and a Beef and Chinese Chive version of these potstickers that I could've eaten until my stomach exploded.

Because my stomach is still in the Chinese food spirit I thought it was time to post this recipe. And while this Orange Chicken may not be authentically Chinese, it is authentically satisfying and authentically mouth watering. It's amazing how easy this popular North American Chinese take-out favorite is to make at home; and without all the MSG and subsequent gut-bloating/hungriness half an hour later.

Recommended by Thoughts from a Wanderer and adapted from Allrecipes.

Serves 4

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

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Canola oil

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 green onions, chopped

In a saucepan over medium-high heat combine all ingredients for the sauce except for the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water. Bring to a boil and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally while you make the chicken and broccoli.

In a bag or on a large plate, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss until coated with the flour mixture. In a medium pot over medium heat add enough oil to come up the side of the pot about 1-2 inches. Divide the chicken and add in small batches so the temperature of the oil doesn't drop. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken turns golden and crispy and is no longer pink on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Continue cooking chicken in batches until all chicken is golden.

In a separate pot or in the microwave, steam broccoli florets for about 5-6 minutes until tender crisp.

Turn the heat on the sauce back up to about medium. Stir together the cornstarch and remaining 2 tbsp of water and add to the sauce. Stir for a minute or two until thickened then remove from heat.

In a large bowl toss together broccoli, chicken and sauce. Top with chopped green onions. Serve over rice or along side fried rice.

Click here for printable version of Chinese Orange Chicken.


I'm not gonna lie, when I originally read the recipe I was tempted to mess with it and cut the brown sugar and up the orange juice and cut the lemon juice and up the ginger and and and....BUT I held back and made the sauce according to the original. The orange taste is subtle yet bright. The combination of sour acids is balanced with rich brown sugar giving the sauce a smooth tang. It really is delicious and tastes just like Orange Chicken from a North American Chinese restaurant.

My addition of the broccoli ups the nutritional value and adds a great texture and crunch. This is a great recipe for pleasing everyone in the family, including the kids.

For more excellent Chinese recipes made at home, check out:

For inexpensive meal ideas, visit $5 Dinner Challenge and Gayle's Grocery Cart Challenge.

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22 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    This looks really tasty! Your photos have convinced me to try it myself...there's no such thing as Chinese Take-Out on our little island, so we have to make it ourselves!

  2. Karen Says:

    So glad you liked it!! This is one of my favorite recipes!!!!

  3. Islandvittles - Lucky for you, this tastes just as good or better than take out and there's way more nutritional advantages. I'm tempted to make all my favorite Chinese take out dishes at home and invite my friends over for a feast...all the taste and no greasy MSG gut rot!

    Karen - Thanks again for a great recipe! Obviously we loved it.

  4. Lynn Says:

    This looks so good. I am going to have to try this one.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Over the last 2 weeks I've been making quite a bit of Asian food....just today I did a light version of Stir Fry Chicken and Veg with Hoisin Sauce....i think I will give this a try soon...looks easy and appetizing:)

  6. This sounds fabulous! I just made a Chinese dinner extravaganza tonight for my husband's birthday and some of these would go really well with it! Thanks for posting this! I love trying international cuisine.

  7. Memória Says:

    I love:
    1. This recipe.
    2. Making homemade Orange chicken.
    3. Your website design.
    4. The concept behind your blog.


  8. Chels Says:

    That looks really yummy!
    Could you possibly tell me how you get a separate page for the printable recipe on blogspot???

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Your photo is great, and I love the addition of the broccoli (I'm all for increasing the nutrition when possible). I think my kids would really like this recipe. BTW, I made your Hamburger Soup for my son and his 5 teenage friends ... and they all devoured it. So thanks!

  10. Cheri Says:

    Oh dear. You have me drooling. I am most definitely going to have to give this recipe a try. Yum!

  11. Tamar Says:

    Tried this last week and it was soooo tasty! We had so much leftover sauce that we used it the next day as a dipping sauce for fried fish - just as good. Thanks for the great recipes!

  12. JamaicanFoodie - Your stir fry sounds great! I love using Hoisin Sauce to flavor stir fries.

    Alison - I would love to make a Chinese dinner extravaganza. I bet everyone would go crazy for it.

    Memoria - WOW. Thanks so much.

    Chels - Thank you! I started a separate blog on the same account and chose a template free of any graphics. Just white background with black writing. I copy the recipe from my regular blog to a new post on the printable blog, then link to it. Sounds complicated, but it's actually quite easy.

    Liz - Awesome! I'm glad your boys liked it. I bet they would love this one too :)

    Tamar - Oh great idea! I bet this sauce would be EXCELLENT as a dipping sauce for fried fish. I may have to try that.

  13. Theresa Says:

    I made this tonight for supper! It was great and satisfied our urge for a Chinese take out- better! Mmmm, we'll definitely make this again!

  14. Woo hoo! Thanks Theresa!

  15. Megan Says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was great!!! Thanks for the fantastic new recipe!

  16. Milly Says:

    Hi, just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing this recipe, I found you on food gawker and much as I've been wanting to try out millions of recipes I see on there every day, I've never found the time. Yours was one of the first I've tried, I made it with my mother this evening as an alternative to a usual quick evening meal (usually made with a little less effort and less fresh ingredients) and it was absolutely wonderful! I had a great time making it and some rare time having fun with my mother in the kitchen, so thanks! My usual chinese dish is potsticker dumplings, so this is a nice alternative to take out food which I crave so often, but doesn't involve hours of prep :) looking forward to trying out some more of your tips in the future.

  17. Thanks for taking the time to comment Milly and Megan! I'm glad you both had such fantastic results.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    can you substitute the orange juice with any other citric juice? such as lemon or grapefruit?

  19. Anonymous - I think you could successfully turn this into more of a lemon chicken by substituting the orange juice and orange zest for lemon. I've never tried it, but having tasted it, I think it could work well.

  20. Kristi Says:

    I made this last night because my crazy pregnant brain was craving orange chicken from my favorite Chinese place in Texas, and, since I live in North Carolina now, I wasn't going to be getting any anytime soon. So I searched and searched for a substitute that would trick my brain and this is IT!
    Both my husband and I LOVED this recipe. I just used less oil and an extra chicken breast (so I could have leftovers) so the frying time was a little longer.
    Bottom line, de-lish!

  21. Fuzzydave Says:

    Hi, I made this the other night and it is delicious! Actually, I just had some for breakfast. I'd call it restaurant-quality.