Mandarin Chicken Recipe

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Johanna Modified: October 8, 2021
Mandarin Chicken Recipe

Ordering delicious Chinese food for lunch or dinner has been my go-to meal lately. I was craving something sweet, savory, and a little bit spicy. I would cook a meal for myself, but I’ve been busy so I decided to indulge myself in a variety of Chinese takeouts.

It started out with the deliciously famous Panda Express kung pao chicken, and then it was an uphill food journey from there. I was ordering a lot of Chinese takeouts, and I even ended up buying some of Trader Joe’s mandarin orange chicken. It was one of those ready-to-cook meals that required no extra preparation; you just had to cook it using an air fryer or oven, and then serve.

I bought one of those, and I was surprised because it also tasted really good. It was what I wanted, deliciously sweet and spicy! But, what I liked the most about it was the added zesty flavor that came from the brown sauce. Everything about the dish was so perfect that I was inspired to try making a homemade and budget friendly version for myself.

That’s why I’m sharing with you this simple mandarin chicken recipe! It’s flavorful and really easy to make. What I learned is that the chicken breasts need to be marinated for about 30 minutes (or an hour) in a mixture of soy sauce, orange juice, sesame oil, corn starch, flour, and baking powder. After that, I fry the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes then set them aside for now. The marinade is flavorful on its own, but the additional mandarin orange sauce takes it to the next level.

The homemade mandarin sauce is the thick and sticky sauce that coats the bite-sized chicken chunks. This delectable sauce completes the dish and makes it sweet and zesty. I served my chicken dish along with mandarin oranges so that it’s even more appetizing. Then, I garnished it with scallions or green onions and sesame seeds. I ate this over a warm cup of white rice and broccoli, and it was really good!

So, if you’re craving for a simple yet delicious Chinese dish, then try out this sweet and zesty mandarin chicken recipe. There’s also a mandarin chicken salad version you can also try, if you have some more leftover chicken breasts. Just toss in some leafy vegetable greens, mandarin oranges, vinaigrette dressing, and you’re good to go!  

How To Make How To Make Mandarin Chicken

These Chinese mandarin chicken are a spicy, zesty, and sweet dish! The crispy fried chicken chunks are marinated and coated in a thick brown sauce made with flavorful ingredients like orange juice and ginger. Serve it over plain white rice or cauliflower rice with broccoli for a delicious variety.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Marinate Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 3lbschicken breast,boneless skinless, cut into 2-inch cubes

For Marinade:

  • ½cupsoy sauce
  • 1tbspsesame oil,toasted
  • 2tbsporange juice
  • ¼cupcornstarch
  • ¼cupall-purpose flour
  • 1tspbaking powder

For Mandarin Orange Sauce:

  • 1tbspsesame oil
  • 2tbspsriracha chili sauce
  • 2tspfresh ginger
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • 2cupschicken broth
  • ¼cuporange juice
  • 2tbspsoy sauce
  • 3tbspbrown sugar
  • 2tbspsherry
  • ¼cupcornstarch

For Preparation and Serving:

  • canola oil,or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 11ozmandarin oranges,(1 can), drained
  • scallions or green onions,chopped, for garnish
  • sesame seeds,for garnish

Instructions

Marinade:

  1. Add all the ingredients for the marinade to a large bowl and whisk to combine the ingredients. Add the cubed chicken and toss to coat.

  2. Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes or up to an hour.

  3. Get a large pot heating up with oil over medium heat. Only fill the pot halfway up.

  4. Clip a thermometer to the side of the pot and let it heat up until it reaches 375 degrees F.

Mandarin Orange Sauce:

  1. While the chicken is marinating and the oil is heating up, get the sauce together by adding the sesame oil to a medium pot. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring.

  2. Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch, stir and bring to a boil.

  3. Mix the cornstarch together in a small dish with 3 tablespoons of water, then slowly pour into the sauce while whisking. Bring to a boil once again then turn the heat off, cover and set aside.

  4. When the oil reaches the right temperature, start frying the chicken. Take the chicken out of the marinade a few pieces at a time and carefully add them to the oil.

  5. Fry for 5 to 6 minutes, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate and start the next batch of chicken.

  6. Once the chicken is all fried, add it to a large bowl along with the mandarin oranges. Pour the sauce over the chicken and oranges and toss to coat.

  7. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 652.95kcal
  • Fat: 32.87g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.43g
  • Trans Fat: 0.26g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 14.78g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.33g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.17g
  • Fiber: 1.79g
  • Sugar: 13.26g
  • Protein: 52.80g
  • Cholesterol: 147.55mg
  • Sodium: 1858.34mg
  • Calcium: 121.72mg
  • Potassium: 860.17mg
  • Iron: 2.83mg
  • Vitamin A: 76.39µg
  • Vitamin C: 23.04mg
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