You Can Skip The Frying And Bake Your Orange Chicken

As satisfying as it is to order takeout, it's also nice to be able to make some of your go-to takeout meals at home, especially when you can tweak the recipe to make it a little bit better for you. If orange chicken is one of your favorite takeout items, then you'll be happy to know it isn't too difficult to make at home — and you can even bake it, instead of the typical frying process, to make it a little bit healthier. Usually, the chicken is fried in hot oil to achieve that ultra crispy texture; while this is delicious, fried food is not the healthiest option as it is high in saturated fat and trans fat. By baking the chicken instead, we're able to still get that crispy outcome without having to use all of that oil. 

The key ingredients for our Baked Orange Chicken are chicken breasts, eggs, and flour (which will be mixed together with salt and pepper). After dicing the chicken breast, you'll coat it by dipping it into the whisked eggs and then the flour mixture. From there, you bake the coated chicken pieces for about 25 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. About halfway through the cooking time, you'll need to flip the chicken over to ensure the chicken gets crispy on all sides. 

Don't forget the sauce

While the chicken is baking, you'll make the sauce over the stovetop. Start by heating up sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. From there, add in the garlic and ginger and cook those on their own for about a minute, stirring continuously. Then, you can add in the rest of the ingredients: Cornstarch and rice vinegar (pre-mixed together), orange juice, orange marmalade, soy sauce, chili flakes, and brown sugar. Once everything is combined, the sauce is ready to coat the baked chicken. 

If you're not a fan of the orange sauce, then you can substitute it with any type of sauce or flavor that you prefer. If you'd like to stick with Asian-inspired dishes, you can opt to make a kung pao sauce, whose recipe relies on ingredients like dried hot chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, amongst a few others. Additionally, you could make General Tso's sauce, which contains ingredients such as chicken broth, rice vinegar, and garlic powder. For another option, Tasting Table has a recipe for a Sweet and Sticky Sesame Chicken.

If you're not feeling an Asian dish, then you can opt for something different. Perhaps, you want to try making Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce. Other sauce options for chicken include a white wine sauce, a honey-based sauce, or a simple garlic butter sauce. Whichever sauce you decide to go with, we're sure it'll pair perfectly with your baked chicken.