Orange chicken isn't usually my go-to, but I recently had a craving. I wanted something to balance out the sweetness from the orange marmalade, so I decided to make it spicy. This was also a great way to use up the leftover dried red chili peppers I bought to make another dish recently.
I usually serve the spicy orange chicken with white rice because it doesn't require much effort, but I've served it with fried rice a few times. If you need a fried rice recipe, try this Easy Fried Rice from Mom Foodie. If you're looking for something a little different, try this Quinoa Fried Rice recipe from Know Your Produce. The quinoa fried rice recipe has broccoli in it already, so you don't necessarily need to also make the steamed broccoli in the orange chicken recipe.
Looking for more slow cooker recipes? See my slow cooker recipe collection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make it not spicy? Yes! Just eliminate the dried red chili peppers. I also recommend doubling the garlic in the sauce if you leave out the dried peppers.
If you want to have more control over the level of spice, let each person add in their own red chili flakes or Sriracha at the table.
If you have leftovers it does get spicier while it sits in the fridge. If you plan on making this recipe ahead of time, you might consider using less of the red chili peppers.
Can I make this in an Instant Pot? Yes, but I recommend checking to see if the chicken is done after about an hour and a half. Use the Instant Pot on slow cook mode on low with the steam vent open.
Do I have to use sesame oil? No, you can use another oil, such as vegetable or canola. It won't have the same toasted flavor of the sesame oil, though.
What can I use instead of rice vinegar? White vine vinegar or apple cider vinegar are OK substitutes.
What if I don't have dried red chili peppers? Add about a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the sauce instead.
Slow Cooker Spicy Orange Chicken
- 1 cup white rice
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch.
- Add 2 tablespoon sesame oil to the slow cooker, followed by the chicken, sauce, and dried chili peppers.
- Cook on low for about 2 hours.(Slow cookers vary, so check to confirm it's cooked through before eating.)
- Cook the broccoli (saute or steam). Stir broccoli in with chicken and sauce.
- If serving with rice, make rice according to package instructions.