Orange Chicken Air Fryer Recipe: Cooking Techniques And Tips

orange chicken air fryer recipe

If you love Chinese cuisine, then you will definitely be delighted with the Orange Chicken Air Fryer Recipe. Unlike other recipes that use deep frying, air frying offers a healthy and efficient way of preparing the dish. Known for being a crispy and juicy dish, orange chicken goes well with rice, noodles, or stir-fry veggies.

Food Science and Culinary Details

Orange Chicken is a Chinese-American dish that originated in Hunan, China. The chicken is first cut into small pieces and then battered, deep-fried, and coated in a tangy orange sauce. The sauce usually consists of orange juice, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, corn starch, garlic, and ginger.

When it comes to air frying, it’s all about the heat circulation in the air fryer. The hot air is circulated around the food, cooking it evenly and giving it a crispy texture. This technique is perfect for those who want to achieve a healthy and tasty meal.

Selection and Cleaning

When selecting chicken for this recipe, it is best to choose boneless and skinless chicken breasts. You can also use chicken thighs, but the cooking time may vary.

Before cutting the chicken, it is best to clean it by removing any excess fat or skin. Rinse the chicken with cold water and use paper towels to dry it. Cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces, making sure that they are all of the same size for even cooking.

Preparation and Recipe

orange chicken


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp green onions, chopped (optional)
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  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  3. Coat the chicken pieces with the flour mixture.
  4. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket. Cook for 10 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through.
  5. In a saucepan, combine orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger.
  6. Let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add cornstarch mixed with water to the sauce and stir until the sauce thickens.
  8. Remove the chicken from the air fryer and coat it with the orange sauce.
  9. Garnish with chopped green onions (optional).

Tips and Variations

orange chicken

There are many ways to customize the Orange Chicken Air Fryer Recipe to your preferences.

  • For a spicy kick, add red pepper flakes to the sauce.
  • If you want a sweeter sauce, add more brown sugar or honey.
  • To add more texture, sprinkle sesame seeds over the chicken before serving.
  • If you don’t have orange juice, you can use orange marmalade or zest instead.
  • For a healthier option, you can use gluten-free flour or almond flour instead of wheat flour.

Some tips to make sure your orange chicken turns out perfect include:

  • Make sure to preheat the air fryer to ensure even cooking.
  • Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket, or the chicken will not cook evenly.
  • Flip the chicken halfway through cooking to ensure that all sides are crispy.
  • Make the sauce in advance to save time.

Doneness Check

close up view of air fried orange chicken

Thoroughly cooked chicken should have an internal temperature of 165°F. Always check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat is cooked through.

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The Orange Chicken Air Fryer Recipe is the perfect dish if you’re craving Chinese food while also wanting to take advantage of an air fryer’s health benefits. The food science behind air frying ensures that you get a crispy and juicy dish without sacrificing its healthiness. With our recipe, tips, and variations, you can create a delicious main dish that everyone will enjoy.

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  • FAQS On Orange Chicken Air Fryer Recipe

    What Ingredients Are Needed For An Orange Chicken Air Fryer Recipe?

    To make orange chicken in an air fryer, you will need boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, cornstarch, water, salt, and pepper.

    How Long Does It Take To Cook Orange Chicken In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time for orange chicken in an air fryer typically ranges from 12 to 15 minutes. However, it may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces and the model of your air fryer.

    Can I Use Frozen Chicken To Make Orange Chicken In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can. However, it is recommended to thaw the frozen chicken first to ensure even cooking. Thawing can be done by placing the frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight or using the defrost function on your microwave.

    What Temperature Should I Set My Air Fryer To Cook Orange Chicken?

    Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) before cooking the orange chicken. This high temperature helps achieve a crispy exterior while keeping the chicken juicy and tender on the inside.

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    Can I Use A Different Type Of Meat In This Recipe?

    Yes, you can substitute chicken with other meats like shrimp, pork, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type and size of the meat.

    What Should I Serve With Orange Chicken?

    Orange chicken pairs well with steamed rice or fried rice as a main course. You can also serve it alongside vegetables like broccoli or stir-fried bell peppers for a complete meal.

    Can I Make The Orange Sauce Ahead Of Time?

    Yes, you can prepare the orange sauce ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat the sauce before tossing it with the cooked chicken in the air fryer.