Air Fryer Orange Chicken
Make the best Air Fryer Orange Chicken with this easy and delicious recipe. A tangy flavorful homemade sauce pairs well with the crispy and tender chicken. Serve over rice for a fantastic speedy homecooked meal.
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This orange chicken in the air fryer is takeout fakeout at its finest. The chicken is lightly breaded and so crispy and the sauce is packed with flavor. Even better – every single component can be made ahead of time.
The base recipe for the chicken is the same as our delicious Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken. I highly encourage you to double the recipe and freeze half of the breaded (and uncooked) chicken.
If you want to serve this over rice, I have a lot of options for you! I prefer Instant Pot Jasmine Rice, but you might also like Instant Pot Sushi Rice, Instant Pot Brown Jasmine Rice, or Instant Pot Basmati Rice.
No air fryer? Check out our Instant Pot Orange Chicken recipe for an unbreaded pressure cooker version of this recipe.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes
- Adjust the orange zest to your preference, but leave the amount of orange juice as is to balance the amount of liquid in the sauce.
- To freeze: Place unbaked chicken without sauce in the freezer and freeze for 3 hours. Remove and break apart any pieces that might have stuck together, and place in freezer-safe storage (these are our favorites). To bake: spray with olive oil spray (I use our Misto) while still frozen, and bake according to the directions in the recipe card below. You’ll need to add 1-2 minutes of cook time.
- Try to cut the chicken to somewhat uniform sizes so that it will cook evenly.
More Air Fryer Dinner Recipes Like This
- Air Fryer French Onion Pork Chops
- Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas
- Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs
- Air Fryer Tofu
- Puff Pastry Pizza Pockets
- Air Fryer Calzones
- Salmon Patties in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Taquitos
- Air Fryer Quesadillas
Air Fryer Orange Chicken
Make the Chicken
- Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on a baking sheet.
- Cut chicken into small pieces, about ½ inches.
- In a bowl, sprinkle chicken with ¼ tsp kosher salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and ¼ cup of flour. Toss to coat.
- In a separate bowl, add buttermilk
- In another bowl, mix the rest of the flour, salt, pepper, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and panko.
- Working with 5-6 pieces at a time, drop chicken into the buttermilk. If pieces are sticking together, separate them, making sure every side of the chicken is coated in the buttermilk mixture.
- Shake off excess buttermilk and drop the pieces of chicken into the flour/panko mixture. Roll pieces in the dry mixture to make sure every side is coated.
- Transfer chicken to the lined baking sheet, and repeat until all the chicken has been breaded.
- Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. This will help the breading adhere while in the air fryer, giving you the crispiest crust ever!
- Preheat air fryer to 400F for 2 minutes.
- While the air fryer is preheating, liberally spray the tops of the chicken with olive oil spray. Really get into all the nooks and crannies. Allow it to sit for 1 minute, and then flip the pieces over and spray the other sides.
- Brush olive oil on the basket of the air fryer or line it with a piece of air fryer parchment.
- Place pieces of chicken in the basket without allowing them to touch each other. You can pack the basket pretty full but will likely need to cook it in two batches.
- Bake for 6 minutes at 390F, shaking at minute 4. Chicken is done with the internal temp is 165F.
Make the Sauce (While the Chicken Cooks)
- In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cool water and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Heat sesame oil, ginger, garlic, orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and sriracha in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until ginger and garlic start to soften (~2 minutes).
- Stir in cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to low, and cook until sauce has thickened (~2 minutes).
- Pour sauce over crispy chicken and serve over rice.