If there’s one thing we can’t get enough of, it’s orange chicken.
Sure, any variety of chicken tastes great, but there’s just something about orange chicken that keeps us coming back for more. It’s probably why it’s one of the most popular Chinese takeaway dishes in America!
If you have leftovers to spare, we’re going to show you the best ways to reheat them and recreate that distinctive texture and flavor we know and love.
Eating it cold just doesn’t cut it, so here’s how to reheat your orange chicken, and get the best results every time!
What Is Orange Chicken?
Orange chicken, also known as chen pi ji, is a type of American Chinese dish.
You’ll usually find orange chicken in Chinese restaurants in North America, and it’s made up of fried, battered and chopped chicken pieces loaded with orange sauce or orange peels.
Ask anyone – this is a Chinese takeaway staple that is known and loved across the states!
The flavor profile of orange chicken can vary depending on the region it’s made in. However, most orange chicken will have a slightly tangy and sweet profile from the fruit, however, it doesn’t taste exactly like orange.
It’s more just sweet. Orange chicken is usually served with rice, and will often be garnished with sesame seeds.
How To Store Orange Chicken
Like any other food, you’ll need to store your orange chicken correctly. This will keep your food fresh, and prevent a build-up of potentially harmful bacteria.
If you’re storing your orange chicken in the refrigerator, you’ll need to let your food cool to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit beforehand.
This will reduce the risk of bacteria forming. Once your chicken has reached room temperature, you should transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it, where it will be safe to eat for an extra three days.
If you want to extend the life of your leftovers, you can also freeze them. Before you do so, leave your chicken to cool to room temperature.
Then, you can transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the freezer. Your leftovers will last for approximately 6 months.
How To Reheat Orange Chicken
Although you can eat your leftover orange chicken cold, I think we can all agree, it just doesn’t taste the same as warm chicken!
Here are a few ways you can reheat your orange chicken, and make it taste just as great as when it was fresh.
One of the simplest ways to reheat your orange chicken is to put it in the oven. Although this can take a little longer than other methods, we’d argue that it produces the best results.
Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- Put your leftover chicken in a dish, and cover it with aluminum foil
- Leave your chicken in the oven for 5-10 minutes
- Now, remove your chicken, take off the foil, and reheat for another 4 minutes
- You can now remove your chicken and serve it with white rice!
If you don’t have as much time to spare, why not reheat your orange chicken in the microwave? When we’re reheating food, the microwave is often our first port of call.
However, you need to be careful – if you don’t pay attention, this method can very quickly dry out your leftovers, and make them inedible.
Here’s the best way to use your microwave to reheat your orange chicken:
- Grab your leftover chicken, and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Leave space between each piece of chicken so it cooks properly
- Get a paper towel and dampen it. You can now drape this over the top of the bowl, and place it in the microwave
- Cook your chicken in the microwave for between 3-4 minutes, and remove it every 60 seconds to stir it
- After 4 minutes, or when your chicken is hot enough, remove it from the microwave, and serve!
Note: Placing a paper towel over the top of the bowl will avoid the crispiness of the chicken becoming soggy. If you want your chicken as fresh as possible, this is the method you need to use!
The Air Fryer
One of the best things about orange chicken is its crunchy outer shell. If you eat your orange chicken cold, you’ll lack the crunch.
Want to restore it? Simply reheat your leftovers in the air fryer, and you’re good to go! Here’s how:
- Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit
- Dry your leftover chicken with a paper towel, and then place it in the air fryer (remove the paper towel before hand)
- Reheat your chicken for between 3-5 minutes, and remove when steaming hot and crunchy!
Note: When you use the air fryer, make sure you reheat the sauce separately. We’d recommend reheating your sauce in the microwave for 10-20 seconds while your chicken is cooking.
The Bottom Line
Eating your leftover orange chicken cold just isn’t the same. If you want to reheat it and achieve the best results, try any of the methods above to recreate that crispy, rich-flavored dish we all know and love.
Personally, we’d recommend the air fryer method for the ultimate crisp – just remember to reheat your sauce separately.
In just a few minutes, you can be ready to devour this timeless dish. It’s never been easier to enjoy your chicken! Happy cooking!
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