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crispy orange chicken with rice
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5 from 2 votes

Crispy Orange Chicken

For many, Applebee’s® Crispy Orange Skillet has become a favorite. But it's pricey! More than that, it disappears from the menu and for long periods of time! Here's some good news. You can make this version that is a dead ringer for the Applebee's version, at home spending only a fraction of the cost. And quite possibly in less time than it takes to open an app, place an order, pay online, get in the car, drive to the restaurant, find a parking place, call the number to alert staff you have arrived, wait, accept order, drive home while food is getting soggy and cold, go in the house, open the bag, notice they forgot to include the rice, oh well, enjoy.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Asian
Servings: 6
Calories: 331kcal
Cost: Varies


  • deep skillet



  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken pieces breast, thigh, leg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 ½ tspn salt
  • ¼ tspn pepper or to taste
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsn cornstarch
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • oil for frying

Sweet 'n Spicy Orange Glaze

  • 2 tbsp Oil from skillet
  • 1 tspn minced garlic
  • 1 ½ tspn grated orange rind (zest) only the orange part, NONE of the white pith
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup Hoison sauce see NOTE
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper optional
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • salt, pepper to taste



  • Cut chicken pieces into small pieces (about 1 ½ to 2-inches) and place in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg, oil, salt, pepper with a fork. Pour egg mixture over chicken pieces, mix well, and set aside.
  • Stir cornstarch and flour together in another large bowl and mix well.
  • Add chicken pieces to the flour mixture, stirring to coat each piece well.
  • Pour enough oil to be 1/2-inch deep in a wok or heavy skillet and heat over high heat to 375 F (hot!).
  • Carefully add chicken pieces in small batches and fry for 3 to 4 minutes turning until golden and crisp. Do not overcook or chicken will be tough.
  • Remove chicken from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue frying the chicken in small batches until all pieces are nicely browned and crisp. Set aside.

Sweet 'n Spicy Orange Glaze

  • Cool the oil in the skillet slightly, then remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil and set over medium heat.
  • Sauté garlic in oil for 1 minute (if the oil is too hot the garlic will burn and become bitter).
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Allow boiling for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens to your liking, stirring frequently. 
  • Pour glaze over chicken and toss lightly to make sure all pieces are well glazed.
  • To serve, place chicken on a bed of cooked white rice. Garnish with slivered almonds, crispy noodles, sesame seeds, and stir-fry vegetables like broccoli, snow peas, and red peppers (optional). Serves 4 to 6.


Hoison sauce is available in a can or jar in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets, close to the soy sauce. Also called Peking sauce, this thick, reddish-brown sauce is sweet and spicy, and widely used in Chinese cooking. It's a mixture of soybeans, garlic, chili peppers and various spices. Hoisin sauce is mainly used as a table condiment and as a flavoring agent for many meat, poultry and shellfish dishes. Once opened, refrigerate bottled hoisin and it will keep indefinitely.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 147IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg