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Orange Chicken

CJM September 10, 2012 Uncategorized 3 Comments
Orange Chicken

As you can see I found myself in the kitchen last week. This was the very first recipe I have cooked since we moved into our new house so I actually got to take advantage of all of the awesome things about our beautiful new kitchen. Including plenty of counter space. A dishwasher that doesn’t break when you load glasses on the top rack and a cabinet to put pots so they don’t cascade down on you when you open the door. It really is the small things in life, I tell ya. The only complaint I would have about the kitchen is that it seems the storage spaces were built for someone 6.5 and taller. No joke. Almost all of the cabinets are far out of my reach and I have to climb on the counter tops to get what I need. I feel like I need an extendable claw to get the coconut oil from the top shelf of the pantry. It is ridiculous. But besides that small small (or tall depending on how you slice it) problem, this space is fantastic, and an awesome place to try out new recipes.

So I found this recipe on a great paleo website called Health Bent. It is a beautifully designed site that is really easy to use and a great source for good food ideas. This recipe looked a little more complicated than some of the others (like reducing sauce? what?) but I thought I would give it a chance.

Here is the link so you can check out the website yourself. I will post the recipe below and highlight my modifications:

Paleo Orange Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into bite size pieces) (I have never used chicken thighs before and they were really really fatty. I spent about 20 minutes cutting the fat off them. Next time I will use regular chicken breasts cut into small sizes.)
  • 3 T fat (coconut oil works well here)
  • juice of 2 oranges*
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 t fresh ginger
  • 3 T coconut aminos or wheat-free soy sauce
  • 1 t chili garlic sauce or sriracha
  • 3 green onions, chopped (I left this out) 

In a medium size sauce pot, add the orange juice, zest, ginger, coconut aminos and chili garlic sauce or sriracha. Set over medium heat and let simmer to reduce and thicken while the chicken cooks. In a saute pan, heat 3 T of the fat of your choice, over medium high heat. Add the chopped chicken thighs and cook until a nice brown crust has developed on the chicken pieces, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken to the sauce pot and stir to coat with the orange sauce. Serve topped with sliced

green onions. *Taste your oranges. If they don’t taste orange-y, then neither will this dish. Use tangerines if you gotta or add a teaspoon of sweetener until you’re satisfied with the flavor.

Ok- here are my additions/changes- I am not sure if I am just an idiot when it comes to cooking chicken (highly likely)- but it took way…way longer to cook the chicken than 6 minutes- try like 25. So if you have some secret way to cook chicken that I am just not familiar with please post it in the comments, because that process was pretty labor intensive.

As far as the sauce- the juice of two oranges was not enough and by the time it reduced down, I barely had enough to cover my chicken pieces. So after it reduced, I added some orange juice, reduced it down, and added a bit more, and finally reduced that down to enough to cover the thighs. I also don’t have a juicing apparatus, so I had to squeeze my oranges by hand- which could have been the reason I didn’t have enough juice.  

All in all, it tasted really really good- like real orange chicken without the sodium and MSG. It even passed the taste test from my fiance and he is a hard one to please. I wanted to serve this with cauliflower rice but I ran out of time and just roasted some broccoli instead. Here is the recipe for Cauliflower Rice in case you want to get really crazy with this meal.

Hope you enjoy and this gives you a little something new to put in your routine!

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3 Comments

  1. Angie September 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    That looks really good Christina!
    I would suggest if you’re going to change to breast meat, go with chicken tenders. They will stay a lot more moist than regular breast meat in this type of recipe.

    Also, the cooking time for the cut up pieces at 6 minutes is a little short, especially for dark meat. It takes longer to cook than white meat. It looks like you had quite a bit in the pan, which will make it take longer to cook, but twenty minutes is about right for thigh meat. If you switch to white meat, it will take closer to 10 or 12 minutes.

  2. Michele November 5, 2012 at 3:11 am

    This was delicious! Thanks Christina!

    Now get to work on your next post please…. Waiting patiently! :)

  3. katie March 2, 2013 at 1:57 am

    I just made this subbing shrimp for the chicken and it was great. I also doubled the amount of orange juice/zest and that worked perfectly.

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