Baked Orange Chicken is a classic take-out option to make in your own home! Tender chicken is lightly coated in panko bread crumbs, baked until crispy and tossed with a vibrantly delicious orange sauce. All you need is 35 minutes to get this Baked Orange Chicken on the table!
If you’re anything like us, orange chicken is a weeknight craving that you just can’t kick. We just recently got a Panda Express on our side of town (it’s kinda a big deal) and the orange chicken bowl is just too good to pass up! Not wanting to swipe our debit card too many times at Panda Express and wanting to eat orange chicken without feeling like a bloated balloon, I decided to make my own version at home! That’s where this Baked Orange Chicken came into play.
All you need is 35 minutes for this Baked Orange Chicken.
What type of chicken to use:
I highly recommend using either bone-less, skin-less chicken breasts or tenders. They are easy to cut into equal pieces and bake up nicely! If you prefer dark meat, you can use bone-less, skin-less chicken thighs. They may take a little bit more thinking to cut into equal-sized pieces, but work just as well!
How to get a crispy crust without deep frying:
Since we are baking these chicken pieces, we want to make sure they still end up crispy. Solution to the problem: panko bread crumbs! I like to use a mixture of panko bread crumbs and a little bit of flour for a good coating.
First, you dredge the chicken pieces in an egg wash, then you transfer them to the panko-flour coating.
Next, they get evenly placed on a baking sheet and sprayed with cooking spray or brushed with olive oil.
Finally, you bake them! Even if they don’t get very golden brown, the exterior gets crispy while the chicken inside is perfectly cooked. Next up comes the sauce!
Making the orange sauce:
The orange sauce is the key element in this dish because it gives the chicken all it’s flavor! The combination of orange juice, orange zest and orange marmalade really delivers the orange flavor. Combine them with hoisin sauce, soy sauce and red pepper flakes to get the classic sweet, salty and spicy flavor that we all love. Simmer the sauce until decadently bubbly and then coat the baked chicken completely with it. You want it to coat all the nooks and crannies! Garnish the final product with a little sesame seed, additional orange zest if desired or some chopped green onions or chives!
I like to serve this Baked Orange Chicken over a bed of rice (fried rice, brown rice or white rice) and dig on in!
Baked Orange Chicken is a classic take-out option to make in your own home! Tender chicken is lightly coated in panko bread crumbs, baked until crispy and tossed with a vibrantly delicious orange sauce. All you need is 30 minutes to get this Baked Orange Chicken on the table!
For the chicken:
- 1 1/2 pounds bone-less, skin-less chicken breasts or tenders cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs
- Cooking spray
For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- Sesame seeds
- Orange zest
- Chopped green onion or chives
For the chicken:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Combine the flour and panko bread crumbs together in a separate small bowl. Work with one chicken piece at a time to dredge in the egg wash (letting excess drain off), coat completely in the flour-panko breading (shaking off excess) and then place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are dredged and coated and in an even layer on the baking sheet.
- Quickly spray the tops of the prepared chicken pieces with cooking spray or baste with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy. They may not be golden brown and that’s ok because they will be coated in the sauce.
For the sauce:
- While the chicken is cooking, whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small sauce pan and then place over medium heat until it comes to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
- After the chicken comes out of the oven, immediately coat with the sauce. I find the easiest way to to do this is to transfer the chicken to a large bowl and pour the sauce over top. You can then gently toss the chicken in the bowl to get all the pieces covered. You can also just pour the sauce straight onto the baking sheet and use that to coat the chicken if the baking sheet has raised edges.
- Garnish the orange chicken with sesame seeds, additional orange zest or chopped green onion if desired. Enjoy!
- You can use white or dark meat chicken for this recipe – just make sure it is bone-less and skin-less.
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If you make this recipe and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, rate the recipe, or share a picture tagging @kjandcompany or using #kjandcompany so that I can see your fun pictures 🙂
Thanks for following and cooking along with me!