Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

Growing up I despised what I knew as Chinese food.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

What we always got was greasy, over breaded, over sauced American take-out Chinese food.  It was terrible.  This aversion became a fairly serious problem for me when I was first invited over to my future mother-in-law’s house for dinner.  She is from Taiwan and was going to make us home-cooked Chinese food for dinner.  I was distraught.  I hated Chinese food, but I did not want to offend my boyfriend’s family by turning up my nose to his mother’s cooking.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

With not a little trepidation I took the first bite and, eureka, I fell in love with Chinese cooking.  Nothing was heavily breaded, the sauces were not candy shop sweet, and the food was not swimming in grease.  Since then I have spent a lot of time watching over my mother-in-law’s shoulder to learn her recipes.  She is very kind to let me help prepare meals so I can recreate them at home.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

Below is my take on orange chicken with fried rice.  The chicken is fried, but since it only has a light coating of cornstarch it is not too heavy.  I like my orange chicken spicy which is why I used 4 whole dried red chilies.  You can omit the chilies if you want, or replace them with crushed red pepper flakes if you can’t find them.   The fried rice is pretty basic and you can use any vegetables you prefer.  The combination below is what I like, and what my mother-in-law uses.  Overall the chicken is tangy, spicy and a little sweet while the fried rice is the perfect savory contrast.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice      Serves 4-6

For the orange chicken:
Oil for frying
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 – 2″ strips of orange zest
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
3-4 dried red chilies, broken in half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sliced green onions, green part only

For the fried rice:
3 cups cooked medium grain rice, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 eggs, beaten well
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons light soy sauce

In a heavy bottom pot heat about an inch of vegetable or canola oil to about 375F. Heat the oven to 250F.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

In a large zip top bag combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add the chicken chunks and seal the bag. Toss to coat completely.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

Add the coated chicken to the hot oil in two or three batches. Cook until lightly golden and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 F. Transfer the cooked chicken to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Hold the chicken in the oven.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

In a sauce pan combine the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar, orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and dry chilies. Stir to combine. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce reduce by 1/3.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the sauce and whisk until the sauce thickens. Take the sauce off the heat.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

In a large skillet over high heat add 1 teaspoon of oil. When the oil shimmers add the eggs. Allow to cook until the eggs have become firm on the bottom. Flip the eggs gently and cook for twenty seconds, or until cooked through but not brown. Remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut the egg into strips.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice Orange Chicken with Fried Rice Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

Add the rest of the oil to the pan. Once it shimmers add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly, then add the bean sprouts and cook for an additional minute. Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine with the vegetables. Add the egg strips and the soy sauce and stir well.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

Place the orange sauce over medium low heat until hot then add the fried chicken pieces. Stir to coat.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

Serve immediately.

Orange Chicken with Fried Rice

© 2010, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • I am loving the mushrooms in the fried rice. Great side dish!

  • What I wouldn’t give to have this for lunch in 15 minutes! Wow…looks fabulous!

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  • MMMMM! That looks delicious, loved the step by step pics. 🙂

  • mmmmmMMM! Looks fabulous. Too bad you don’t deliver. 😉

  • You have just made healthy Chinese food. You are officially my favorite person.

    Thanks for that!

  • Mmm orange chicken sounds so good right now!!

  • This looks soooo good!

  • OMG!!!! I love you for making this. Orange chicken is my ultimate fav dish!!!! I’ve been wanting to make it for such a long time. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Adding this to my menu for next week – thanks!

  • Mmm, orange chicken, one of my FAVORITE dishes! Looks so good.

  • This looks yummy!!

  • This is the type of thing that everyone wants to make, but is afraid to. You are really fortunate to have your own private cooking instructor.

  • I really enjoyed your story of learning how to cook from your mother-in-law. It’s really neat that you embrace their culture and celebrate it through food. We had an incredible authentic Chinese restaurant that we frequented when I was growing up – I loved every last bite. I, like you, couldn’t handle the over-fried, too greasy foods.

  • This looks great! Especially your sauce – it looks awesome!

  • Utterly scrumptious and delicious. Adding this to my “to do” list.What a grand sauce.

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  • I can’t wait to try this. Asian food is a weakness of mine. I can almost taste it from the pics!

  • I’ve been craving fried rice, and here you have it. I will definitely give this recipe a try. Thanks!

  • This looks great! I love orange chicken, so I’ll definitely give this a try!

  • This dish is so full of flavor. Perfect combination. My kind of dinner after a hard days work.

  • I never had orange chicken before. I guess it works if we can have lemon chicken

  • Yum, what agreat recipe. I agree most Asian food restaurants don’t do a very good job and it is hard to find a good one. Thats why it’;s better to make it at home.

    I added your url to my “Brad’s Fav Blogs” section at http://www.eatnlisten.com. I really enjoy reading your blog and haope others discover it also thru my link. Have a great day.

  • Looks wonderful, Kelly. Very nice indeed.

    We do a honey teriyaki chicken that my kids love. I like your idea of the baggie for the cornstarch & chicken. Much cleaner than my dredging in a bowl and scattering flour EVERYWHERE. 😉

  • Mary

    This looks great! Saw the recipe on Tasty Kitchen, and came over to see your website…it’s really nice! I will be back!(and I will be making this recipe SOON!) Thanks.

  • Looks awesome. I’ll definitely be trying this out at home!!

  • I love this dish but have never made it; your combo of more heat and such a great looking side may change that. Thank you.

  • This looks superb. Who needs take out when they can make this at home.

  • I just made this for dinner tonight. SOOOOO yummy. I didn’t have orange juice, so I just used a cup of Mango Juicy Juice.

    And my hubby felt bad that he wanted to leave work early to pick up chinese, boy was he in for a tasty dinner when he got home! Thumbs up everyone (even the 3yo!)

  • Fantastic! Who wouldn’t love this dish. Your pictures are fantastic!

  • Mmmm! This looks delicious!I can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  • Oh, yeah — Orange chicken as it’s supposed to be. I don’t deep-fry often at home, not because I restrict calories (heck, no …), but because I hate disposing of the used oil and cleaning up afterward. This orange chicken, however, is one of those *so*-more-than-worth-the-trouble dishes to make at home.

  • Oh boy, this looks great, and I definitely have to try it. I’m with you, my bf likes “Chinese Food” and takes me to eateries in strip malls that are just awful, greasy, icky, and wayyyy too much food, so I truly just never crave Chinese (or Mexican for that matter, same problems). Thanks for the post 🙂

  • Fried Rice YUM!! Monkey Two and I are rice fanatics, and the orange chicken looks divine. I can’t wait to make this.

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  • Hi, I just have to say how much I love, love this recipe! I came across it one night as I was searching for great food blogs and threw it together with what I had in the pantry. Pretty close to your recipe. I decided to create my own blog and included a link to your blog with this recipe. I simply had to share it with anyone who comes across my site! It is wonderful. Thank you for giving us the techniques to make our favorite take-out dishes at home.

  • I’ve been craving Orange Chicken all day! This post could not have come at a better time.

  • Best Fried Rice Recipe i’ve ever had. Easy to make and delicious. We are vegeterians so we left out the ham. Still delicious! Make a double batch as my family of four devoured the whole thing with no left overs

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  • Justin

    made this for a schoool project everyone loved it!

  • Love orange chicken and always looking for a good recipe for it. The resturant kind it too “bready”. Thanks

  • Katy

    Made this last night and it was excellent. The sauce was restaurant quality! I’ve tried a few other orange chicken recipes that I wouldn’t make again, but this one is going in my recipe box. Thanks for a great tasting Asian recipe, they are hard to find sometimes.

  • Tiff

    This is the simplest and easiest to follow recipe I’ve seen. Thank you!

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