Chicken pieces in orange sauce on rice, topped with sesame seeds and green onion.

Homemade Chinese Orange Chicken

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese-American


Tossing the chicken with salt and letting it sit for 10 minutes before cooking makes the chicken extra juicy and tender. While it’s sitting, get your sauce and garnishes ready. For extra flavor toast the sesame seeds over medium-low heat in a dry pan for a couple of minutes, just until starting to brown, and then transfer them immediately to a bowl so that they stop cooking and don’t get bitter. 


  • 1 and ½ lbs. chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 and ½ tsp. table salt
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch, divided
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable or grape seed oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion


  1. Arrange the chicken pieces on a large plate and sprinkle with half of the salt. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Stir. Arrange in a single layer on the plate and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by measuring 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch into a microwave-safe 1 cup measuring cup. Add 1/4 cup of the orange juice. Stir until cornstarch is fully incorporated. Add remaining 1/4 cup of orange juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger, and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir.
  3. Microwave sauce for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir. Measure in the honey, stirring to melt it into the warm sauce for each tablespoon you add. Set sauce aside.
  4. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir.
  5. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil. When oil is shimmering, add the chicken.
  6. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink inside, about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Add the sauce. Stir continuously until sauce is thick and glossy, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, for another 30 seconds. 
  8. Transfer chicken and sauce to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion.