Costco Orange Chicken - Flavor Hack + Crispy Tips

Costco-Orange-Chicken-Crazy-Cuisine

Crazy Cuisine Mandarin Orange Chicken at Costco

Costco sells a 66 ounce of Crazy Cuisine Orange Chicken for $14.49. The orange chicken can be found in Costco’s frozen food area near other items such as the Korean fried chickennuggets, and the spring rolls

Mandarin-Orange-Chicken

The 4 Pounds 2 Ounce package of Orange Chicken from Costco includes 3 pounds of battered chicken breast with rib meat & 1 pound of mandarin orange sauce packets. 

Crazy Cuisine only uses chicken that are antibiotic free and raised with no antibiotics ever.

What is Orange Chicken? (And The History)

Orange chicken is a dish primarily found in Chinese restaurants in North America. It consists of battered and fried chicken pieces that are covered in a sweet orange chili sauce. 

Orange chicken is believed to have been invented by Chef Andy Kao while working at Panda Express in 1987. Chef Kao modified an already popular dish creating orange chicken in the process.

Crazy-Cuisine-Orange-Chicken

Orange chicken is now the signature dish of Panda Express and they sell over 100 million pounds of sweet and tasty chicken every year.

This is not a dish that is traditionally eaten in China. 

Costco Cost Comparison - Orange Chicken

How Much Does Orange Chicken from Costco Cost?

Costco’s Crazy Cuisine Orange Chicken sells for $14.49. This breaks down to $3.62 for the battered chicken and the orange sauce. 

Orange-Chicken-From-Costco

This is not a bad price by any means, and much better than what you would pay per pound at a restaurant for Orange chicken. 

Costco vs The Competition

Sam’s club sells their 3 Lb Package of Member’s Mark Tempura Orange Chicken for $10.98 or $3.66 a pound. This is just a touch more expensive on a per pound basis than Costco’s orange chicken. 

Target sells a 36 ounce box of Innovasian Cuisine Orange Chicken for $10.99 or $4.88 a pound. This is quite a bit more expensive than Crazy Cuisine’s Orange Chicken. 

Costco again offers the best value on orange chicken.

Costco Orange Chicken Taste Test

Great In The Air Fryer

I made the breaded chicken in the air fryer and the chicken pieces looked amazing. They had a nice golden brown color and were sufficiently crispy. 

breaded-orange-Chicken

The air fryer is my recommended method for cooking Crazy Cuisine’s Mandarin Orange Chicken. 

Right Amount of Sauce

The orange sauce was easy to apply to the chicken and I would say there was the perfect amount. Sometimes companies like to give a little extra sauce to increase the weight of the package and decrease the price per pound on the Costco price label. 

This wasn’t the case with Crazy Cuisine’s orange chicken.

Mandarin-Orange-Chicken-from-Costco

Sweet, But Lacking In Flavor

After saucing, the finished orange chicken was just mediocre. The sauce had a hint of sweetness but lacked any true flavor. 

Mandarin-Orange-Chicken-Crazy-Cuisine

The orange sauce was bland and failed to wow me. The intensity needs to be upped on the flavor as it was just dull. 

Thick Breading

The chicken has a little too much breading, but the sauce does help mitigate some of the thickness. 

The inner chicken itself wasn’t necessarily juicy nor was it exactly dry. It was just mediocre but doesn’t detract too much from the overall finished orange chicken product.

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I did make some modifications to help out the dish by adding in some garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. 

There was quite a bit more depth of flavor and made the orange chicken much tastier. I highly recommend sprucing up the orange chicken to your liking.

Orange Chicken Taste Hacks

Spicy Garlic Orange Chicken

Of course, you can always eat the Costco orange chicken as is, but you can significantly improve the flavor with a few easy tricks/hacks.

I consider the orange chicken to be on the bland side but with just using a few simple seasonings/spices that may already be in your pantry you can really customize and enhance the dish. 

Spicy-Garlic-Orange-Chicken-Costco

My favorite modification is the spicy garlic orange chicken. It needs only 3 simple ingredients:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sesame Seeds

After covering the breaded chicken pieces with orange chicken sauce, go ahead and sprinkle any or all of the aforementioned ingredients onto the chicken pieces. 

The flavor difference is insane and the chicken is much more delicious.

Orange Chicken Recipe Ideas & Serving Suggestions

The most common meal using this chicken will be orange chicken and rice. It’s quite easy to do, and that’s probably what most people think of when they think of Panda Express’ orange chicken.

Orange-Chicken-with-Sesame-Seeds
Added Sesame Seeds

Unique Orange Chicken Uses

Crazy Cuisine’s website list a few other ways to use the mandarin orange chicken. They suggest an orange chicken salad with orange dijon sauce, orange chicken dippers, and even orange chicken nachos.

I love that there are non-traditional ideas and the most appealing to me seems to be the orange chicken salad. I feel the orange sauce can go great with vegetables and really provide a unique salad that you can create at home. 

Orange Dippers

I’m not so crazy about the idea of orange chicken dippers. I don’t consider the orange chicken to be fancy enough or tasty enough to serve with a toothpick. 

Orange Chicken Nachos

The orange chicken nacho serving idea is interesting. It wouldn’t be something that I think of, but I can see how it might actually work. If anybody does try the orange chicken nachos, let me know how it turns out.

Additional Side Dish Options

If you are interested in more side dish ideas. Slimming Violet has a great list of 13 orange chicken side dishes. My favorite side dishes are fried rice, french fries, and egg noodles.

Crazy Cuisine Mandarin Orange Chicken Cooking Instructions

How To Cook Orange Chicken from Costco -

Crazy Cuisine offers 3 methods for cooking their orange chicken. You can use the oven, stovetop, or the air fryer, and with all 3 options, the chicken is best cooked from frozen. Thawing or defrosting the chicken is not necessary.

Crazy-Cuisine-Orange-Chicken-Cooking-Instructions

Oven Instructions(Crazy Cuisine Preferred Method)

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Thaw unopened sauce packet in warm water until completely thawed. Set Aside
  • Place the contents of one bag of chicken on a baking sheet and heat for 15 to 19 minutes or until crispy and/or golden brown. 
  • Place chicken in a bowl and pour thawed sauce over chicken.
  • Using a spatula, mix chicken with sauce until even coated
  • Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
Mandarin-Orange-Chicken-Cooking-Instructions-Costco

Stovetop Cooking Instructions

  • Thaw unopened sauce packet in warm water until completely thawed. Set Aside
  • Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet and add the contents of one bag of chicken. 
  • Heat chicken for 15 to 18 minutes over medium heat. 
  • Turn chicken pieces regularly to heat evenly until crisp and/or golden brown. 
  • Place chicken in a bowl and pour thawed sauce over chicken.
  • Using a spatula, mix chicken with sauce until even coated
  • Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
Orange-Chicken-Air-Fryer-Costco

Air Fryer Cooking Instructions (CFDB Recommended Method) - Crispiest Method

  • Thaw unopened sauce packet in warm water until completely thawed. Set Aside
  • Preheat air fryer at 400°F
  • Place the contents of one bag of chicken in the air fryer basket and heat for 14 to 17 minutes or until crisp and/or golden brown. 
  • Spritz with cooking spray halfway through cook.
  • Place chicken in a bowl and pour thawed sauce over chicken.
  • Using a spatula, mix chicken with sauce until even coated
  • Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Crispy Pro Tip: Spray with cooking spray before and during cook. 

Orange Chicken Nutritional Profile

How Many Calories in Crazy Cuisine Mandarin Orange Chicken?

Each serving of Orange Chicken from Costco is going to be 1 cup or 5 ounces of chicken and sauce. 

One serving will contain 260 calories with 7 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of protein.

Costco-Orange-Chicken-Nutritional-Information

This nutritional profile doesn’t surprise me too much, but I did expect there to be more fat than there actually is. The carbs are going to be high and the protein will be on the lower end, as expected. 

Crazy Cuisine does highlight their 13 grams of protein per serving, but that is more middle of the road than anything to really brag about.

Respectable Sodium Content

Each 5 ounce serving of chicken is going to contain 500 mg of sodium or 21% of the recommended daily value. This is something to note, but it isn’t an atrocious amount of sodium for a frozen food product like this.

I would have expected 750 mg of sodium or even more. So consider this a win.

Costco Orange Chicken Review
Orange-Chicken-with-Sesame-Seeds

Product Name: Crazy Cuisine Mandarin Orange Chicken

Product Description:
Price: $14.49
Quantity: 4 Pounds
Location Within Costco: Frozen Food Aisles
Price Per Pound: $3.62

Summary

The price is fair on Costco’s Orange chicken, but it does need some help. The flavors are bland but can be significantly improved with some easy home seasonings.

This is an every once in a while buy, but be prepared to add in your own flavors.

Overall
7/10
7/10
  • Value - 7/10
    7/10
  • Convenience - 8/10
    8/10
  • Taste - 7/10
    7/10
  • Nutrition - 7/10
    7/10
  • CFDB Score - 6/10
    6/10

Pros

  • Easy to Cook
  • Does great with additional seasonings.

Cons

  • Lacking in flavor

Final Thoughts

The Orange Chicken from Costco is a letdown, but can be salvaged. The flavors are bland, but with a couple of common home seasonings, the orange chicken can taste much better. 

The price is rather fair for the item, and the nutritional profile isn’t the worse. There isn’t a lot to like nor is there a lot to hate. 

It’s an ok frozen food product that I won’t buy often, but I’m glad Costco carries it. 

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