Air Fryer Orange Chicken Tasty And Easy To Make

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Air Fryer Orange Chicken is a delicious zesty dish with a perfect blend of textures and flavours.

The golden-brown, crispy exterior of the chicken is complemented by the rich, tangy sauce made from real oranges.

Air Fryer Orange Chicken

air fryer orange chicken


Serves 4

  • 680g skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • olive oil spray
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour


2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Orange Glaze

  • 40g light brown sugar
  • 120ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 60ml low salt soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water to form a paste

To Garnish

Finely chopped spring onions

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Marinating the Chicken

Wash the chicken breasts under cold water. Cut into bite-size pieces.

Mix the soy sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir well.

Place the chicken pieces in the marinade, ensuring the chicken is completely covered with the marinade.

Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably, refrigerate it overnight for a more intense flavour.

Tip: Marinating the chicken overnight will enhance the taste and also tenderise the meat, resulting in a more succulent texture after air frying.

Coating The Chicken

Once the chicken has marinaded, remove the chicken and let the excess marinade drip into the bowl. Discard any leftover marinade.

Add the cornflour to a bowl, place the chicken in the bowl and cover the chicken with the cornflour.

Preheat your air fryer to 200C / 400F for 5 minutes then line your air fryer basket.

Remove the chicken from the bowl shaking it to remove any excess cornflour and place it in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Do not overlap.

How To Air Fry Orange Chicken

Spray the chicken with olive oil.

Air fry the chicken in the air fryer for approximately 12-15 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through the cooking process.

Keep a watchful eye as cooking times may vary depending on your air fryer model and chicken piece size. Check regularly to avoid overcooking.

The chicken will be cooked when a meat thermometer reads 74C/165F.

Making The Orange Glaze / Orange Chicken Sauce

In a saucepan, combine fresh orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, orange zest, rice wine vinegar, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.

Once boiling add the cornflour paste and stir until the glaze has thickened.

Once your Air Fryer Orange Chicken is cooked, gently toss the crispy chicken in the orange glaze making sure each piece is coated.

Serve your orange chicken over a bed of fluffy rice, garnishing with a sprinkle of spring onions.

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While it’s recommended to use fresh chicken for optimal results, you can use thawed frozen chicken. Ensure it’s thoroughly thawed and pat it dry before marination.

Opt for gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos as a soy sauce alternative without compromising on flavour.

Marinating the chicken and avoiding overcooking is crucial. Follow recommended cooking times and use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 74C / 165F.

Freshly squeezed orange juice offers a more authentic flavour. However, you can use bottled juice but be mindful of added sugars.

Experiment with lime or even lemon for a unique twist on the glaze.

While chicken breasts are recommended, you can use chicken thighs with slight adjustments in the cooking time.

Lightly coat the basket with cooking spray or use greaseproof paper to prevent sticking.

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Orange Chicken Variations

Spicy Orange Chicken

sliced orange

Add a kick of heat by incorporating chilli flakes or sriracha into the glaze. The spicy notes will complement the sweetness of the orange.

Honey Orange Chicken

Honey Orange Chicken

Swap out the sugar for honey in the glaze for a richer, more complex sweetness. Honey adds depth to the dish and pairs wonderfully with the orange flavours.

Sesame Orange Chicken

sesame seeds

Enhance the nutty undertones by sprinkling toasted sesame seeds over the cooked chicken. The combination of orange and sesame creates a unique twist.

Tips for the Perfect Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Patience is Key: Allow the chicken to marinate for the recommended time to infuse it with flavour.

Even Cooking: Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket; this ensures even cooking and a crispy texture.

Temperature Check: Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 74C/ 165F.

Play with Flavours: Experiment with additional seasonings or spices to customise the dish to your taste.

What Goes With Orange Chicken?

Pair your Air Fryer Orange Chicken with fluffy white rice to soak up the delicious glaze.

garden salad

For a balanced meal, add a side of steamed broccoli or a fresh garden salad.

If you’re feeling adventurous, serve the chicken over a bed of quinoa for an extra dose of protein and fibre.

any leftovers?

Storing Orange Chicken

I recommend you keep any leftover sauce separate from the chicken when storing it in the refrigerator and reheating it in a saucepan.

Refrigeration: If you plan to eat your Orange Chicken within the next few days, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to cool the chicken completely before refrigerating to prevent moisture buildup.

How To Reheat Air Fryer Orange Chicken From The Refrigerator

Place the chicken to be reheated in the air fryer basket and air fry at 190C /380F for 5-7 minutes.

Freezing Orange Chicken

The sauce will not freeze.

Cooling: Allow the Orange Chicken to cool completely before freezing. Do not leave at room temperature for more than 2 hours as bacteria can start to form in the chicken.

Portioning: Divide the Orange Chicken into single-serving or family-sized portions, depending on your preferences. This makes it easier to defrost and reheat only the desired amount.

Air-Tight Packaging: Wrap the portions tightly in cling film or aluminium foil, ensuring no air can get in. Place the wrapped portions in a resealable freezer bag and expel any excess air before sealing.

Label and Date: Clearly label each bag with the contents and freezing date. Orange Chicken can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

How To Reheat Air Fryer Orange Chicken From The Freezer

  1. Thawing: When ready to enjoy your frozen Orange Chicken, transfer the desired portion from the freezer to the refrigerator. Allow it to thaw overnight.
  2. Air Fryer Reheating: Achieve crispiness by reheating the Orange Chicken at 190C /380F for 5-7 minutes. Keep a close eye to avoid overcooking.

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