Orange chicken is one of the more popular dishes found in American Chinese restaurants and take out, but I never really knew what is was until more recently. I found out more about this dish when I read about Whole30-complaint and Paleo-friendly versions for this dish. The typical orange chicken found at restaurants usually involves pieces of chicken, covered in batter, fried, and coated with a sweet, orange and chili sauce glaze. The Whole30 complaint and Paleo versions exclude the fried batter and offers a lighter, less sugary orange-chili sauce.
Here’s a recipe for a lightly sweet and savory orange chicken. The orange juice and tomato paste gives it just light sweetness, and there’s no additional sugars or sweeteners added. It uses coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. You can vary the amount of red pepper flakes depending on how much of a kick you’d like. This dish goes great with cauliflower rice if you want to make it low-carb or Paleo meal. It’s quick and easy, and can be ready in under 30 minutes.
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 4 tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Cauliflower rice (optional)
- Heat a cast iron skillet and melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and let it cook for a few minutes, until chicken is lightly browned.
- In a mixing bowl, combine orange juice, orange zest, coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken in the skillet and stir.
- Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder with a tablespoon of water. Pour the arrowroot liquid while stirring it in with the chicken. This will thicken the sauce.
- Remove from heat. Serve over cauliflower rice and top with chopped scallion.