This air fryer orange chicken recipe is made with crispy chicken and then tossed in a homemade orange sauce seasoned with ginger, garlic, oranges, and habaneros to give a little kick.
Air fryer orange chicken turns out so tasty! If you’re wondering whether orange chicken is spicy I use habaneros in this recipe to give it the spiciness that orange chicken often has. It ends up tasting just like the sweet and spicy Chinese takeout we all love!
Air Fryer Orange Chicken Ingredients
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- Corn Starch
- Soy Sauce
- White Granulated Sugar
- Habaneros, depending on spice level (slice open for more heat)
- Large Navel Orange
- Minced Garlic
- Rice Vinegar
- Cold Water
If you’re newer to cooking with habaneros, they are a Mexican chili pepper that ranges between 100,000-350,000 on the Scoville scale.
Be sure to wear gloves or coat your fingers in cooking oil before slicing them open otherwise your fingers will have the spiciness absorbed into the tissue and anytime you touch your eyes, mouth, or other openings it will sting!
Leaving the habaneros whole will leave the spiciness very mild to almost no heat at all. The spiciness lies inside the lining of the habanero and needs to be sliced open, then placed in the sauce to get the heat incorporated into it. Placing one-half or two halves of the habanero pepper in the orange chicken sauce can change the spiciness level significantly.
A good substitute for habanero peppers with a similar spiciness level is scotch bonnet peppers. A more commonly found, but milder pepper to use is the serrano pepper.
How to Make Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- Begin by adding cornstarch to the diced chicken. Stir to coat the chicken.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil and add the chicken in a single layer to the basket.
- Set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer to 5 minutes. Stir, then cook for an additional 5 minutes. If the chicken looks dry, lightly spray it with cooking oil so that it browns.
- As the chicken cooks, make the orange sauce. Cut the skin off of the navel orange and slice the habanero(s) in half. If you want mild spice, add only 1 half of the habanero to the sauce. Place both the orange skin and habanero to the saucepan with all of the sauce ingredients except the cold water and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer.
- In a small dish, add the cold water and cornstarch and mix well. When the saucepan is simmering, add the cornstarch mixture and constantly stir as it thickens. Remove from heat.
- Add chicken to a bowl and coat chicken in the orange sauce.
What goes with orange chicken?
Fried or steamed rice is always a popular choice, but there are many Chinese vegetable side dishes that go well with orange chicken. Vegetable stir fry, stir-fried bok choy, Chinese-style garlic green beans, and broccoli with garlic sauce are delicious choices!
Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, diced
- 2 tablespoons Corn Starch
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons White Granulated Sugar
- 1-2 Habaneros, depending on spice level (slice open for more heat)
- 1 Large Navel Orange
- 2 teaspoons Ginger
- 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
- 2 teaspoons Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons Cold Water
- Coat diced chicken in corn starch. Spray air fryer basket with cooking oil. Add chicken to the basket.
- Set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer for a total of 10 minutes, stirring halfway.
- While the chicken cooks, make the sauce. Juice the orange into a saucepan. Cut the skin off of the orange and slice the habanero(s) in half. Add both to the saucepan as well as the remaining sauce ingredients except cornstarch and water. Bring to a simmer.
- In a small dish, add the cornstarch and cold water, mix well. Add to the simmering saucepan and constantly stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
- Add chicken to a bowl and coat chicken in sauce. Serve with rice, noodles, or stir fry vegetables.
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