Even the phrase “orange chicken” gets my mouth watering. I can practically taste the tangy, zippy sauce over the hot, crispy chicken just by thinking about it. This combination of flavors is addictive, and it’s no wonder that it’s such a classic!
My chicken starts with a buttermilk marinade. If you don’t already have buttermilk on hand, you can easily substitute with whole milk that’s been mixed with a little bit of lemon juice. Generally, I use a ratio of 1 cup milk to 1 TBSP lemon juice.
When it comes to cooking, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the method of oven-frying. It’s fairly low-effort, it crisps up the food almost exactly like deep-frying, and it’s a fantastic way to cut down on the mess. Brushing a little bit of oil over a simple flour-and-egg batter (like what I use here) creates a beautiful golden brown crust that’s a perfect counterpoint for the orange glaze.
This is one recipe you’ll go for again and again!
Oven-Fried Orange Chicken
- 1 lb chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 1/2 cup flour, divided
- 2 eggs
- 2 TBSP freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 TBSP oil
- Zest and juice of one orange
- 1 TBSP cornstarch mixed with 1 TBSP water
- 3 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Combine chicken with buttermilk and spices; seal in a large zip-top bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place a baking dish with 1/4 cup of oil in the middle of the oven to heat up. Dredge the chicken in the flour, egg, and cornstarch then place in the heated pan and bake for about 20-22 minutes, turning halfway through.
While you’re waiting, combine the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and oil in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in all the other ingredients, bring to a boil, and cook until thickened. Once chicken is done cooking, toss in the sauce to coat evenly.
Serve with rice or chow mein noodles. Serves about 4.