Easy Instant Pot Orange Chicken
This Easy Instant Pot Orange Chicken is sweet, citrusy, tender, slightly spicy and OH SO delicious! This easy recipe is made with simple ingredients and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. It’s also eggless. Better than any take-out. Pressure cooker and slow cooker directions included.
For the chicken:
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Salt and black pepper to taste (I added 1 teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon black pepper)
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water
- Sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
- Green onions, sliced (optional)
For the orange sauce:
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 3-4 oranges)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine Shaoxing wine (see notes)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (I used toasted sesame oil)
- 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
Make the sauce:
Zest 2 oranges. Reserve zest.
Place orange juice, sugar, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, Chinese wine, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, cayenne pepper, and orange zest in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Make the chicken:
Place the cornstarch, salt, and pepper together in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake until the chicken is well-coated.
Turn the Instant Pot ON and select "sauté" mode, adjust heat to more. When hot, add oil. Add the chicken in batches, making sure not to crowd the pot, and cook about 2 minutes per side, or until the cornstarch coating is slightly crispy and dry. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat with any remaining chicken. Press "cancel". NOTE: You can also sauté the chicken in a skillet over the stove
Return chicken to the pot and pour sauce over it. Secure the lid to the Instant Pot, close pressure valve and select "manual" or "high pressure" and cook for 10 minutes.
When the time is over, carefully turn the valve to "venting" to release the pressure. Then remove the lid. Press "Cancel".
Turn the Instant Pot ON and select "sauté" mode, adjust heat to normal. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until no lumps. Pour mixture over the chicken; mix to combine. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Serve chicken with rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onions, if desired.
Follow the same steps to make the sauce and to saute the chicken. If your slow cooker does not have "saute" mode you might need to do that over the stove.
Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours on the LOW setting or 45 minutes to 1 hour on the HIGH setting., or until chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
If you don't have or find, the Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) substitute with dry sherry.
Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper in the sauce to your liking. ¼ teaspoon was too much heat for my kids so I am planning to add just a pinch next time.
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Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate and it can vary depending on the products used.
Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 657mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 24.3mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.8mg