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Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe

Serves 2.


Orange Chicken is a classic Chinese take-out item inspired by flavors from the Hunan Province of China. The exact origins cannot be positively ascertained but it found its way to America along with Chinese immigrants sometime in the 1800s. The original dish included no bread coating and did not have the same high sugar content we're familiar with today. Chinese restaurant owners were likely encouraged to adjust their recipe to suit the palates of Americans, and that's how we arrived at the sugary dish we're now accustomed to.


Now, a little sugar in your diet isn't the worst thing in the world and we didn't want to do away entirely with the sweetness element of this dish so instead, we decided to replace the refined white sugar found in most orange chicken recipes with some healthier natural sweeteners, namely Agave Nectar and Maple Syrup.


Agave Nectar is a low glycemic sweetener, which means it is less likely than other sugars to raise your blood pressure and tax your endocrine system. It also has trace amounts of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, (compare with refined white sugar, which has zero trace nutrients.)


Maple Syrup has high anti-oxidant properties and is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Together, these natural sweeteners make a deliciously sweet dish that doesn't skimp on the essential vitamins and minerals you and your family need to feel great!


Let's get started!



Ingredients:


Sauce:


• 1/4c Maple Syrup

• 1/4c Agave Nectar

• 1/2c Rice Vinegar

• 1/4c Soy Sauce (sub. Tamari Sauce for GF option)

• Zest and Juice of 1/2 Orange.

• 1tbls. Non-GMO Cornstarch + 1tbls Water

• 2 cloves of grated Garlic

• 1" knob grated Ginger

• (opt. 1/2 chili pepper, minced)


Chicken:


• 1lb. Chicken Thighs (sub. Chicken Breasts)

• 2 Pinches of salt

• 1c Non-GMO Cornstarch

• 3/4c All-purpose flour (sub. Gluten-Free Flour.)

• 2 eggs + 1tbls water

• 16oz. Organic Sunflower Seed Oil



Instructions | Sauce:


Start by adding your Agave Nectar, Maple Syrup, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, and Orange Zest and Juice to a medium saucepan. Bring that to a boil, stirring to combine, and then reduce to a simmer for 6-8 minutes, until reduced about 25%.


While it's simmering, grate your Garlic, Ginger (peel the ginger first,) and optional Chili Pepper, then set aside.


In a small bowl, mix together your Cornstarch and Water to make a slurry.


Once your sauce has simmered for 6-8 minutes add your Cornstarch slurry and simmer for another minute or so, until thick.


Remove from the heat and add your Garlic, Ginger, and optional Chili Pepper.

Stir to combine, then set aside.


Your sauce is done!! This sauce recipe can be made in large batches and stored in the fridge to save time in the future.


Let's move on to the chicken!



Instructions | Chicken:


Grab your Chicken Thighs and cut them into bite-size pieces, about 1 1/2" in diameter.


Next, whisk together your Cornstarch and All-purpose flour (or Gluten-free substitute) and add the mixture to a Ziploc bag.


Crack your eggs in a bowl and whisk together with 1tbls. of water.


Add all of your chicken to the flour mixture bag and give it a shake until it's evenly coated.


Pour out your chicken into a colander with another bowl beneath it to catch the excess flour mixture. Shake it to remove the excess flour, making sure to catch as much as you can in the bowl beneath it. After sifting the chicken, return the leftover flour mixture to the bag.


Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, making sure to coat it evenly and then return it to the Ziploc bag with the flour mixture. Give it another shake until evenly coated with no wet spots.


Pour out your chicken and sift it one more time in the colander. It's now ready to fry.


Fill a frying pan with 1/2" of Organic Sunflower Seed Oil and preheat to 350°f.


Once your oil is heated, lay the pieces of chicken in the frying pan starting at the back and working your way towards the front. Do this in batches, and don't try to cover every square inch of the pan in one go. Fry for 2-3 minutes, and then flip it to fry for another 2-3 minutes on the other side (5-6 minutes total.) Remove from the heat and strain on a paper towel.


You're almost done! All that's left now is to pour your cooked chicken into a large mixing bowl and coat it with your sauce. If the sauce has cooled down you can warm it up on a low heat before coating your chicken.


Optional, you can garnish with finely chopped green onions.




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