Step-by-Step Guide on how to make Instant Pot Orange Chicken! Not the ordinary Classic American Chinese takeout orange chicken recipe, but with our easy, healthy, and tasty twists. Tender juicy chicken glossed with a caramelized honey garlic glaze. Quick and easy chicken dinner your family will enjoy!
We’re grateful to hear many of you enjoyed the tasty twists with our Instant Pot Lemon Chicken. A recipe inspired by my dad’s Chinese restaurant!
So how can we miss experimenting and recreating this classic favorite Chinese Takeout – Orange Chicken!
The classic Orange Chicken is wok deep-fried, crispy golden, battered chicken nuggets in a sticky, sweet, savory, and tangy orange sauce.
Crunchy, juicy, bursting with umami flavors – a very addictive combination. Many people love this popular American Chinese dish.
United States’ largest Chinese fast food chain – Panda Express – claims to have invented the original orange chicken.
In fact, their Panda Express Orange Chicken is one of their best-selling signature dishes.
As usual, with our Instant Pot Orange Chicken recipe, we’d like to have some creative fun with it!
You won’t need to dice, batter, or deep fry the chicken. But rather, it’s a much easier, healthier, simpler yet still delicious orange chicken you can make at home with pantry ingredients.
Enjoy this tender and juicy chicken drowned in a sweet and tangy honey garlicky orange sauce.
How to Make Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Here are the simple ingredients for making Orange Chicken in Instant Pot:
Since the orange is one of the key ingredients, try to use a fresh, juicy, sweet, and intensely-flavored orange for best results.
Amy + Jacky’s Tips – Substitute: If you don’t have a fresh orange, you can substitute it with orange juice. Keep in mind that the flavor profile will differ and the final result will depend on your orange juice’s quality and flavors. Make sure to taste and adjust accordingly.
After marinating the chicken, place the inner pot back in your Instant Pot.
Flip the chicken thighs over so the chicken skins are facing up.
With Venting Knob in Venting Position. Close the lid. Then, turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 6 minutes, then Natural Release for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position.
When the Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.
Sweeten and Thicken Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Now, set aside the chicken thighs on a serving plate.
Then, bring the orange sauce mixture to a simmer with the “Saute” function.
Add in 1 to 3 tbsp honey to sweeten the sauce. Taste and adjust the sweetness as you add the honey.
Amy + Jacky’s Tips – Sweetness: Make sure to taste and adjust the orange sauce because the amount you need depends on your orange juice’s sweetness, honey, and your personal preferences. For reference, we used 2 tbsp (30ml) honey.
Then, air fry the second batch of orange chicken in Instant Pot.
Garnish and Serve Instant Pot Orange Chicken
There are a lot of garnishment choices!
For example, you can garnish your deliciously caramelized orange chicken with finely sliced green onions, orange zest, orange slices, and toasted sesame seeds.
Side Dishes to Serve with Orange Chicken
You can serve this tasty Orange Chicken with a large variety of side dishes to make it a complete meal. A complete Chinese homecooked meal usually includes protein, rice, vegetables, and a nourishing Chinese soup.
Easy to make Instant Pot Orange Chicken! Not the ordinary Classic Chinese takeout orange chicken recipe, but with our easy, healthy, and tasty twists. Tender juicy chicken with a caramelized honey garlic glaze. Quick and easy chicken dinner your family will enjoy!
Marinate Chicken in Instant Pot: Add garlic, ginger, onion, ¼ cup (63ml) regular soy sauce, ½ tsp (2.5ml) sesame oil, 2 tbsp (30g) ketchup, orange zest, 70ml - 90ml orange juice, 1 tbsp (15ml) Shaoxing wine, and ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot. Mix well. Add chicken in Instant Pot skin side down. Marinate chicken in the inner pot for at least 30 minutes to up to 2 hours in the fridge. Amy + Jacky's Tip! Dip the chicken thighs' meat in the marinade first before flipping it over for better coverage.
Pressure Cook Orange Chicken: Place the inner pot back in Instant Pot. Flip the chicken over so the chicken skins are facing up. Close the lid. Turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 6 minutes, then Natural Release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position. When the Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.
Sweeten and Thicken: Set aside the chicken on a serving plate. Bring the orange sauce to a simmer with "Saute" function. Add in 1 to 3 tbsp honey to sweeten the sauce. Amy + Jacky's Tips - Sweetness: Make sure to taste and adjust the sweetness as you add the honey because the amount you need depends on your orange juice's sweetness, honey, and your preferences. For reference, we used 2 tbsp (30ml) honey. In a small mixing bowl, mix 2.5 tbsp (22.5g) cornstarch with 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water. Mix it into the orange sauce one-third at a time until desired thickness. Taste the orange sauce, then season with salt or regular soy sauce if necessary. For reference, we added 3 large pinches of salt to season it properly. Place the chicken back in the orange sauce.
Optional Flavor-Boosting Step: Broil ChickenOption 1 - Oven or Toaster Oven: Place the Orange Chicken on an oven tray under the "Broil" function (or the highest temperature setting) for a few minutes until the tasty orange sauce is caramelized.Option 2 - Air Fryer or Air Fryer Lid: Place air fryer basket with the tray on the middle rack in Instant Pot. Layer chicken on the air fryer tray in Instant Pot. Place the Air Fryer Lid on Instant Pot. Press "Airfry" button, set Temperature to 400°F and Cooking Time to 15 minutes. Then, air fry the second batch of orange chicken in Instant Pot. Amy + Jacky's Tip: it'll take roughly 7 to 11 minutes + preheat time to caramelize with Air Fryer Lid. You can open the lid to check the progress.
Garnish and Serve: Garnish your caramelized orange chicken with finely sliced green onions, orange zest, orange slices, and toasted sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy~
1. Cooking Time: The total cooking time doesn't include the chicken marinating time (30 minutes to up to 2 hours).2. Orange Quality: Orange is one of the key ingredients of this recipe, so try to use a fresh, juicy, sweet, vibrant, and intensely-flavored orange for best results.3. Orange Substitute: You can substitute the fresh orange with orange juice. The flavor profile will differ and the final result will depend on your orange juice’s quality and flavors. Make sure to taste and adjust accordingly.4. Chicken Thigh Substitutes: We developed this recipe with bone-in skin-on chicken thighs because the results will be better using dark meat. If you prefer, you can use chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.Rate Amy + Jacky's Recipe: If you've tried our recipe, rate the recipe in the Comments section. Thank you!
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