This Orange Chicken recipe from Cheesecake Factory is an all time favorite on the menu. So, it was necessary to recreate it at home and I am glad that I did. The small bite-sized chicken pieces are first fried and then tossed in a tangy orange sauce. The orange juice and orange zest elevates the taste and provides a sweet and tangy taste to this dish. This copycat recipe is as close to the original one as it can get. Yum.
If you are a fan of the Cheesecake Factory like me then it is highly likely that you must have tried their all time famous Orange Chicken.
This is going to be your favorite Cheesecake Factory copycat recipes that you want to keep with you. Serve it as a great appetizer or a main meal. No wonder it is one of the most popular dishes at Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain.
Table of Contents
why this recipe works?
- This recipe is easy to make.
- You need some basic fresh ingredients to make this Orange Chicken.
- Serve it in lunch or a fancy dinner gathering.
- This is a Cheesecake factory-inspired recipe.
ingredients & substitutions for orange chicken cheesecake factory
- Chicken breasts: use boneless and skinless chicken breast and cut the chicken into small pieces about 1 - 1 ½ inch-sized bite size pieces.
- All-purpose flour: to coat on the chicken pieces. It provides crispiness to the fried chicken.
- Black pepper: adds flavor.
- Salt: seasoning for the chicken pieces.
- Corn starch: to coat on the chicken pieces that makes crunchy fried chicken pieces.
- Egg: to bind the chicken pieces together.
- Water: to dissolve corn starch.
- Baking soda
- Olive oil
Chicken Sauce Ingredients
- Oil: for frying
- Red pepper flakes (or red chili powder): adds flavor
- Ginger + garlic (chopped): gives a kick to the sauce. Substitute the chopped garlic and ginger with ½ teaspoon garlic or ginger powder each.
- Brown sugar: to add sweetness to the sauce and balances the tart flavor of orange and lemon juices.
- Orange juice + Lemon Juice: use fresh juice for best flavor. Substitute the fresh juice for the store brought juice but know that there will be a difference in overall taste.
- Soy sauce: provides a dish with salt, umami and a hint of sweetness. Substitute it with Dark Soy Sauce but know it has a sweeter taste than the regular one.
- Corn starch: helps to thicken the sauce.
- Sesame seed oil: adds a rich and nutty flavor to the sauce or Umami flavor, which means 'essence of deliciousness' in Japanese.
- Onion powder: if you like add ½ teaspoon of onion powder in the orange sauce.
how to make orange chicken cheesecake factory
- Combine chicken pieces in a large bowl and add all the spices and mix.
2. Fry the chicken pieces in a frying pan.
3. Take out the golden brown fried pieces in a plate with paper towels.
4. In the same frying pan heat oil and add ginger, garlic and red chili flakes.
5. Add brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice and soy sauce. Let it simmer.
6. Prepare the corn starch mixture by mixing the corn starch with water using a whisk.
7. Add the corn starch in the sauce and keep on simmering until the sauce thickens.
8. Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce.
9. Add the sesame sauce over the chicken pieces.
10. The orange chicken cheesecake factory (copycat) is ready.
- Sprinkle some chopped green onions and sesame seeds on the orange chicken cheesecake factory copy cat recipe.
Dry Chicken: cut the chicken pieces and then pat dry them using paper towels. You want to ensure that the chicken pieces are dry for the perfect crunchy fried chicken pieces.
Cut Chicken into even pieces: as they will cook evenly and look pleasant to the eyes as well.
Yes you can easily omit sesame seed oil. It is optional because many people do not like the smell so it is a personal choice to add it or not.
Yes you can. It's a personal choice. Add ½ cup of chicken broth and reduce the orange juice to ¾ cup instead of 1 cup in the sauce recipe. Follow the same procedure and make the sauce.
For sure, it is up to your personal choice. I have served this crispy chicken with sweet orange sauce with brown rice many a times and everyone likes it. Just cook the brown rice the way you do and serve it with the orange chicken.
I do not recommend it and I strongly urge you to make it using the boneless and skinless chicken breasts for best possible results.
To deep fry heat the oil at 360 F. Add the chicken pieces in the hot oil one by one and fry the chicken pieces until they turn golden brown in color. Spread paper towel on a large plate and take out the fried chicken pieces on them. The excess oil will be absorbed by the paper towels.
By all means yes you can double fry the chicken pieces. Although I find single frying works fine too but double frying always work wonders for this recipe and provides the ultimate crispiness.
This can happen because of the corn starch in the sauce. I recommend preparing a fresh batch of orange sauce and then warming the chicken pieces in it to avoid it.
how to store
- Store the leftover orange chicken in an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Store the leftover orange chicken in an airtight container or a ziploc bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
how to re-heat
- Place the left over orange chicken in a large saucepan or frying pan and warm is at medium heat for a few minutes on the stove top. You may also place the orange chicken in a bowl and microwave it for 1 - 2 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.
related chicken recipes
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Orange Chicken Cheesecake Factory
- 2 Chicken breasts (1.6 lb) cut in cubes
- 3 tablespoon all purpose flour (60 g)
- 4 tablespoon corn starch (40 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (2.8 g)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda (1.25 g)
- 1 egg (large) room temperature
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (13 g)
Orange Chicken Sauce
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (26 g)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (9 g) chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger (6 g) chopped
- ¼ cup brown sugar (50 g)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (6 g)
- 1 cup orange juice (237 ml) fresh
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (2 g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (15 g)
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce (33 g)
- 2 tablespoon corn starch (20 g)
- 3 tablespoon water (45 ml)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (5 g)
Chicken Marination & Frying
- Take a large bowl and add chicken to it. Add all purpose flour, corn flour, baking soda, egg, oil, black pepper and salt. Mix until combined.
- Fry the chicken pieces in a frying pan. Fry each side for 4 - 5 minutes each side.
- Take the chicken pieces out and spread on a plate.
- In the same frying pan add oil and saute ginger and garlic to it and add red chili powder and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and soy sauce and let it boil.
- In a separate bowl, add corn flour and water and mix until combined.
- Pour the corn starch mixture in the sauce and stir until it thickens.
- Add the fried chicken pieces to it.
- Finally, add the sesame seed oil. Serve hot.