This Air Fryer Orange Chicken is definitely one of my favorites! I never knew I liked Orange Chicken until I had it (and copycatted) at Applebees! It’s a really quick dish to make and I had all the ingredients in my house – and making it in the air fryer was a snap.
I love the flexibility of this dish – I enjoyed it with just rice – but it would be great with a load of veggies like mushrooms and broccoli! I’ve even started making a bigger batch of rice – so I just have it on hand for whatever makes sense for the week.
What does Orange Chicken taste like?
Oranges. Hahaha! Actually it’s a bit of a sweet sauce with a bit of kick from the Asian chili sauce and definitely has a citrus overtone – but it’s not OVERLY smacking you in the face with orange. You can also ramp it up the more orange zest you use. And here’s something that might surprise you – you won’t really find Orange Chicken if you visit a Chinese restaurant in China. It’s a very Americanize dish and started as an off-shoot of General Tso’s chicken – with a little less spice and a little more citrus.
How do you make Orange Chicken in the Air Fryer?
You can make MOST of this meal in the air fryer – but you will use a stove for the sauce. For the first part – it’s breaded chicken bites – which are super simple!
- Chop chicken
- Coat in buttermilk/egg – then flour/cornstarch
- Spray with EVOO and air fry!
While that’s air frying – make your orange sauce on the stovetop – again super simple! The whole dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes. For the orange sauce:
- Saute garlic in EVOO
- Add orange rind, orange juice, hoisin, Korean bbq, honey, cayenne and sugar and bring to boil.
- Bring to a boil then simmer until sauce thickens, stirring frequently.
Finally – take your air fryer chicken – add it to sauce – then I put it back in the air fryer for a couple minutes to set the sauce. Yum!!!
What to serve with Orange Chicken?
Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 orange
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup korean bbq sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 2-3 sprigs cilantro chopped
- 2-3 green onions
- Prepare rice according to package directions
- In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg, add chicken chunks and coat them in egg mixture
- Place flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a ziploc bag
- Remove chicken from egg mixture (shake it off) and place into bag with flour. Shake so all chicken is lightly coated.
- Shake off chicken and place in air fryer in a single layer, not touching
- Spray with a good amount of olive oil
- Air fry at 375 for 4 minutes
- Turn chicken pieces and spray with olive oil and air fry 4 additional minutes
- While chicken is air frying, heat skillet to medium high heat and add olive oil and minced garlic
- Saute garlic for one minute
- Grate orange with microplane into skillet. Add orange juice, hoisin, bbq sauce, honey, cayenne and sugar and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens, stirring frequently
- Remove sauce from heat
- Remove chicken bites from air fryer and add to skillet.
- Coat each bite with sauce and then – using tongs – put chicken back into air fryer in a single layer
- Air fry at 400 for 4 minutes
- In serving bowls, place rice in each bowl. Top with orange chicken and diced cilantro and green onion.