Air Fryer Orange Chicken

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Chinese


The sauce for this orange chicken is made in the microwave. The key is to heat it in small increments so that the cornstarch doesn’t clump up from uneven heating. If you’d like to make it on the stove, simply combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk over low heat until smooth. Then increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute until thick and shiny. 

Listen to me briefly explain how this chicken is made, with great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:

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  • 1 and ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 and ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • ½ cup orange juice, divided
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions


  1. Place the chicken on a large plate and sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat the chicken. Arrange in a single layer on the plate and allow to sit for 10 minutes, no more and no less. 
  2. Pre-heat air fryer to 4ooF.
  3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cornstarch over the chicken and stir to coat. Then sprinkle another tablespoon of cornstarch over the chicken and stir again.
  4. Add the chicken to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for 7 minutes. Open the air fryer and take out a piece of chicken and cut it open to make sure it is cooked through. If not, cook for another 2 minutes. It will most definitely be cooked through by then, but you should check again anyhow.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, measure the remaining 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into a microwave-safe 1 cup measuring cup or bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the orange juice and stir until well-combined. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of orange juice along with the soy sauce, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Stir well.
  6. Put measuring cup of juice mixture into the microwave to cook for 30 seconds. Stir. Cook for another 30 seconds. Stir again. Measure the honey into the juice mixture, stirring with the measuring spoon after each addition so that all of the honey melts off of the spoon.
  7. Return juice mixture to the microwave and cook 20 seconds at a time, watching carefully while it cooks and stirring in between each increment, until sauce is really frothing. Take it out of the microwave before it overflows, and stir. Sauce should be thick and shiny. 
  8. Transfer the cooked chicken to a serving dish. Add the hot orange sauce and stir to coat. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and green onion over top.