Honey Orange Chicken

photo of Honey Orange Chicken on a white plate with broccoli
This honey orange chicken dish has crunchy chicken pieces that are baked and do not use any panko breadcrumbs. The chicken tastes and looks like it has been deep-fried, but it isn’t.

close-up photo of chopsticks holding a piece of Honey Orange Chicken chicken

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today. I’ve previously made baked crunchy chicken dishes but they’ve always required coating the chicken in panko bread crumbs to provide that needed crunch. But now I’ve found a solution that mimics the fried texture even better.

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No bread crumbs, no flour and no oil. It’s also gluten free. Have I piqued your curiosity?
overhead photo of Honey Orange Chickenphoto collage of the chicken and the broccoli
As much as I like panko bread crumbs, sometimes I miss the fried version. I miss that batter and the way the sauce coats the chicken so well. So I was all set to make a fried version when I decided to do some experimenting. And it worked! I wish I took some preparation pictures but I wasn’t sure if it would work. Next time I make this, I’ll update with some prep photos. I paired the chicken with some beautiful green cauliflower I picked up from the market. I love the pale green!

This recipe starts with the same method I usually use for coating my chicken when I’m about to fry it. But then instead of frying, I bake it. The coating comes together around the chicken during the baking. Then I broil it. This crisps up that coating and turns it a light brown, and voila!
close-up photo of Honey Orange Chicken

Honey Orange Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4
This honey orange chicken dish has crunchy chicken pieces that are baked and do not use any panko breadcrumbs. The chicken tastes and looks like it has been deep-fried, but it isn't.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp vodka (see note)
  • 1 large egg whisked

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tbsp sriracha sauce or more, to taste
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a small bowl, whisk egg with vodka. In another bowl, add cornstarch. Coat chicken in egg mixture and then roll in cornstarch. Place on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all chicken is coated. 

  2. Bake chicken for about 15 minutes in top half of oven or until chicken is cooked. The chicken should have a pale yellow coating formed over it from the cornstarch and egg mixture.
  3. While chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Add all ingredients except cornstarch + water into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil, stirring to mix. After letting the sauce cook for about 1 minute, dissolve cornstarch completely in water and then add to mixture. Stir and continue to cook until sauce thickens (about 1 minute).

  4. After chicken is cooked, move chicken baking sheet into the bottom third of the oven. Turn oven to low broil. Let chicken cook for about five minutes or until chicken pieces turn light brown on top and crisp up. Make sure to watch your chicken closely so it doesn't burn.

  5. Add finished chicken to saucepan and coat chicken pieces in sauce. Serve immediately. You can serve with rice if desired and garnish with fresh chopped scallions.

Notes:

  • If you are cooking gluten-free make sure to choose a gluten-free vodka brand.
Nutrition Facts
Honey Orange Chicken
Amount Per Serving (0.25 of recipe)
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.3g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3g
Cholesterol 129.2mg 43%
Sodium 236.9mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 51.2g 17%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
Sugars 19.7g
Protein 27.8g 56%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 22%
Calcium 2%
Iron 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

15 comments on “Honey Orange Chicken”

  1. (1) I want to eat so much of that chicken.
    (2) GREEN cauliflower?!?!?!?!

    • 1) I nearly didn’t save any for the husband 2) yes! I didn’t know it existed either until recently. Love the pretty shade of green!

  2. Wow. I’ve got to give this one a try! I’m a huge orange chicken fan. Looks perfect!
    Pinned.

  3. I can’t wait to try making this!

    @Tina – I bought some green and purple cauliflower at my local Sprouts  store. 

  4. Ooooh. Totally making this. It’ll go over like gangbusters. Pinned!

    It was so great to meet you! I wish we could have spent more time together, but I’m so horrible in social situations. I swear, sometimes it’s like I have a phobia of talking to people I don’t know. :/

    • I’m the same way. I wish there were a few more occasions set up for people to get to know each other, but hopefully we’ll meet again at another event!

  5. Your experiments are awesome! Another book in the making? ????

  6. What’s the purpose of the vodka added to the egg mixture? Can it be skipped or substituted with cooking rice wine? Thanks…

  7. Is it possible to make without vodka?

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