This easy slow cooker orange chicken recipe served with rice is the best weeknight dinner. Tender chicken breast pieces are covered in sweet and sour sauce.
I have been TWEAKING this slow cooker orange chicken recipe for about 6 months.
To be honest, I was having a really hard time finding the PERFECT orange flavor.
I made slow cooker orange chicken with mandarin oranges and even a crockpot orange chicken with orange juice.
Both were mediocre and didn’t blow me away.
However, after making this EASY crockpot orange chicken recipe with orange marmalade, I knew I had a winning recipe.
You DON’T have to fry or bake the chicken pieces, making it healthier than take out orange chicken.
The chicken is always turns out very tender and juicy and it’s covered in a rich sweet and sour sauce that’s to die for!
I have also made slow cooker orange chicken DRUMSTICKS and slow cooker orange chicken WINGS.
Those are always a HIT on game day and they are the easiest appetizer ever!
My mom, on the other hand, likes to make slow cooker orange chicken THIGHS but I find that it takes too long to cook and I can only fit 2 or 3 chicken thighs in my crockpot, which is just useless when you are trying to serve 4.
Last week, I decided to be a little adventurous and make slow cooker orange chicken with vegetables and lots of potatoes.
Learn from my mistake and don’t do it…I don’t recommend it at all! lol.
I felt the CHINESE flavor got lost along the way and some vegetables cooked faster than the rest…it was weird!
From that point onwards, I am keeping it SIMPLE and always serving slow cooker orange chicken and rice.
I have come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t try to fix something that’s already perfect.
By the way, you can also use this recipe to make a simple slow cooker orange chicken FREEZER meal.
Just put all the ingredients excluding the garnish and cornstarch in a sealed freezer bag. When you are ready to make this meal, just dump everything in a slow cooker and follow the instructions, as written below.
You can SERVE this slow cooker orange chicken breast recipe with:
- Zoodles (Zucchini noodles)
How to make slow cooker orange chicken?
The process is very SIMPLE. In a slow cooker, add the chicken pieces, olive oil, sesame oil, orange marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder (optional), salt and pepper. Mix everything together. Cook on high for 2 hours or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Then, remove the chicken pieces and keep them aside. Add cornstarch in the liquid that’s in the slow cooker and mix it all together. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken pieces back into the slow cooker. Mix everything together. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions. Enjoy!
How to make easy orange chicken sauce?
My sauce is made with by combining together sesame oil, marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and garlic paste, salt, pepper, chilli powder and cornstarch. I make it in the slow cooker but you can make it in a non stick pot on the stovetop as well. It’s thick and has a sweet and sour flavor with a little bit of a spicy kick.
Here are some TIPS for making perfect chinese orange chicken recipe (crockpot):
- Get the best QUALITY of orange marmalade you can find. Also, make sure that it’s not sugar free marmalade. That adds a weird bitter flavor to this recipe.
- Make sure the chicken pieces are SMALL. I recommend 1-1/2 inches. They cook quickly and more evenly.
- Make sure to use LOW SODIUM soy sauce or else this recipe will become too salty.
- Adjust the amount of salt, pepper, chilli powder, ginger and garlic paste according to your preference.
- DO NOT skip the cornstarch. That is required to thicken the sauce. Do not replace it with flour since that changes the flavor.
- Make sure to DRY ROAST the sesame seeds. That truly enhances the flavor and fragrance.
- All slow cookers VARY. I cook on high for 2 hours and the chicken is always thoroughly cooked. You may have to cook a bit longer, if your chicken is not done.
- This tastes best when served fresh but leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days and can be reheated in the microwave.
Well, that’s all for today.
If you liked this post, you may also like some of these other easy weeknight dinner recipes:
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breast (cut into small cubes)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ¾ cup orange marmalade
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- ⅛ tsp chilli powder (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp finely sliced green onions
- In a slow cooker, add the chicken pieces, olive oil, sesame oil, orange marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder (optional), salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
- Cover lid and cook on high for 2 hours.
- Remove the chicken pieces and keep aside, leaving behind the liquid.
- Add the cornstarch in the slow cooker and mix it together with the liquid. Cover lid and cook for another 30 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Add the chicken pieces and mix it all together.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days, although it tastes best when served fresh.
Until next time, tata my lovelies!