Craving a delightful burst of sweet and tangy flavors? Look no further than our easy-to-follow Air Fryer Orange Chicken recipe. Tender breaded chicken bites coated in a lovely orange glaze make for a mouthwatering dish that’s a breeze to whip up. Get ready to fry it to believe it!
Notes: We are currently in the development and testing stage for this air fryer orange chicken recipe. Stay tuned for more updates. If you have any tips on making this dish even better, please leave us a comment below. We appreciate your input!
Here’s a video of a similar recipe that we’re going for.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Orange chicken
Here are all you need to make crispy air fried orange chicken.
Breaded chicken bites:
- Chicken Breasts
- All-purpose flour
- Avocado oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh orange juice
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Garlic cloves
- Red pepper flakes
- Sesame oil
- Cornstarch slurry
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
Instead of freshly grated ginger, you can substitute it with ground ginger. In the original recipe, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger can be subbed with ¼ teaspoon ground ginger.
You can replace fresh garlic cloves with garlic powder. One clove of garlic is equivalent to ⅛ teaspoon of garlic powder. So, regarding this orange chicken recipe, use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
Opting for ground or dried ingredients will undoubtedly save time and effort. However, if you’re seeking an added burst of freshness, use fresh garlic and ginger for a delightful touch to the dish.
You can customize the spiciness level to suit your taste—skip the red pepper flakes for a mild flavor. If you’re craving fiery excitement, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the recipe and experience an extra kick of heat!
How to Cook Orange Chicken in an Air Fryer?
1. Prepare ingredients.
Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, ensuring they’re evenly sized for consistent cooking. Then, grate the ginger, mince the garlic, and extract fresh orange juice.
You can prepare the slurry now too. In a small bowl, combine equal parts of cornstarch and water. Whisk until homogenous, then set it aside for now.
Preparing all the ingredients beforehand makes the rest of the process seamless.
Set up the breading station:
- In a large bowl, beat the egg until smooth for that perfect coating that sticks like a charm.
- Combine the cornstarch, flour, salt, and pepper in a food container with a lid. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. This will be the magical mix that transforms your chicken bites into crispy goodness!
2. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, set your desired temperature then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.
🚨 Important: Reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C) if you’re using a 4-quart air fryer or smaller. They are hotter due to the heating element being closer to the food.
3. Bread the chicken.
Now comes the fun part!
Toss the chicken bites into the beaten egg until they’re thoroughly coated. Use your hands to make sure all the chicken is covered in egg.
Transfer the egg-coated chicken bites to the cornstarch-flour mixture. Seal the container and shake until all the chicken chunks are dredged.
If you’re not using a food storage container, you can also toss the chicken with your hands. I just find it easier and faster to shake the lid-covered food container.
4. Air fry breaded chicken bites for 10 – 12 minutes at 400ºF (204ºC).
Now it’s time to cook up those tantalizing chicken bites!
Arrange the coated chicken in a single layer in the air fryer, avoiding overcrowding. Then, lightly brush or spray some avocado oil on the breaded chicken bites for the ultimate crispy coating.
Air fry the chicken at 400ºF (204ºC) for 10 – 12 minutes, turning the bites halfway through for even cooking. After flipping, spray with more avocado oil, making sure that there are no white spots.
If you ask me, flipping the chicken bites is the most rigorous of all the steps in this orange chicken air fryer recipe.
📝 Note: Cooking times vary slightly depending on the chicken’s thickness and your air fryer’s size and model. Before serving, ensure the chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
5. Make the orange sauce.
Combine fresh orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Simmer the mixture for about 5 – 7 minutes or until the sauce slightly thickens.
Then, add the slurry to the sauce, stirring until it thickens to a glaze-like perfection. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
💡 Pro Tip: Make the orange sauce while air frying to save time. Luckily, if you’ve prepared the orange sauce ingredients beforehand, this will be a walk in the park!
6. Serve and enjoy!
Finally, toss the air-fried chicken bites in the tantalizing orange sauce until they’re evenly coated.
Serve the air fried orange chicken on steamed rice, and you’re all set. Enjoy!
Optional, but encouraged: Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
So there you have it – a delicious orange chicken air fryer recipe that’ll wow your taste buds. Grab your ingredients, fry it, and believe in the magic of this mouthwatering recipe!
📝 Note: if you like crispy chicken bites, you might like this recipe: air fryer homemade chicken nuggets.
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: For freezing, do it before adding the orange sauce. Freeze the sauce and air-fried chicken separately. To reheat, thaw the sauce and chicken in the fridge overnight. Warm sauce on the stovetop at medium heat for 4 – 6 mins. Air fry frozen chicken bites at 350ºF (177ºC) for 4 – 5 mins or until heated.
Fridge: You can store any leftover orange chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Pop the chicken bites back into the air fryer at 350ºF (177ºC) for 4 – 5 minutes until they’re hot, and you’re good to go!
📝 Note: Air frying orange chicken leftovers won’t be crispy again, sadly. So, it’s best to enjoy it while it’s fresh!
How long to air fry orange chicken?
Air fry orange chicken for 10 – 12 minutes at 400ºF (204ºC), flipping the chicken bites halfway through the cooking time for even crispiness.
How to reheat orange chicken in the air fryer?
Reheat orange chicken in the preheated air fryer at 350ºF (177ºC) for 4 – 5 minutes. Place the leftover chicken bites in the air fryer basket and let the hot air work its magic. However, leftovers are unlikely to be crispy again.
Can you air fry orange chicken?
Yes, you can air fry orange chicken. Air frying is an excellent way to achieve crispy (if it’s from scratch) and delicious orange chicken without deep frying. It’s easy, healthier, and yields fantastic results!
The Best Air Fryer Orange Chicken Recipe
Breaded chicken bites:
- 2 Chicken Breasts cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 Egg beaten
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Avocado oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch for slurry
- Set up the breading station. In a large bowl, add the beaten egg. Then, combine cornstarch, flour, salt, and pepper in a food container with a lid.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
- Bread the chicken bites. Place the chicken chunks into the egg bowl and toss by hand until each piece is coated. Next, transfer egg-coated bites to the cornstarch-flour mixture. Cover the container and shake until all chicken bites are evenly breaded.
- Air fry the chicken bites at 400ºF (204ºC) for 10 – 12 minutes. Put the breaded chicken in the air fryer in a single layer. Spray with avocado oil. Then, flip them halfway through, and spray more avocado oil when necessary. Air fry until it’s crispy and golden brown. Finally, make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) or higher before serving.
- Make the orange sauce. Combine orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 5 – 7 minutes or until the orange sauce slightly thickens.
- Thicken the sauce. Mix a 1:1 ratio of cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl to create a slurry. Add it to the simmering orange sauce and stir until it thickens to a glaze-like consistency. Remove from heat.
- Coat the chicken with the orange sauce. Toss the air-fried chicken bites in the orange sauce until they're evenly coated.
- Serve your air fried orange chicken. Garnish with optional sesame seeds and green onions for added flair. Pair it with steamed rice and enjoy!
- Remember that cooking durations may differ depending on the chicken’s thickness and your air fryer’s size and model. Before serving, ensure it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food.
- You can skip preheating by adding 2-4 minutes to your cooking time. Increment gradually to prevent burning the orange chicken.
- I used a 6-quart (air fryer) to test the orange chicken. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
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