This is a dish my family is constantly requesting. It has all of the deliciousness of the Orange Chicken from Chinese restaurants, but is much more healthy.
The thing that is a bit more time consuming with this recipe is that you are basically standing by the stove for most of the cooking time. Something that is totally worth it, but I usually save making this dish for the weekends.
To save on dishes, make the veggies in your skillet first. Put them aside in a bowl. Then make your chicken in the same skillet. Take out the chicken and make your sauce in the same skillet. Then serve it up: veggies, and chicken, topped with the sauce, with the rice.
There are some easy modifications that can be made to accommodate different diets. Add more veggies (we like snow peas, red and yellow peppers, and asparagus) for an even healthier version! For Paleo diets, the brown sugar can be replaced with honey; and the cornstarch can be replaced with arrowroot powder, tapioca powder, almond flour, or coconut flour. To make this with less carbs all together, skip coating the chicken and just stir fry it. It is still scrumptious with the sauce!
Note: Times on this recipe assume the veggies are bought prepped and ready to go (from the produce section or salad bar). If you choose to cut the vegetables yourself, add 15 minutes of prep time. Also, the recipe assumes the rice is already cooked. I use cooked, frozen rice, found in my local market, thrown in a serving bowl, and heated for 5 minutes. You can also make a big pot of rice, let it cool completely, and freeze it yourself, in large Ziploc bags, for use for up to 6 months.
- 2 lbs chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 c + 2-3 Tbsp cornstarch (or low-carb/Paleo alternative)
- 4 c chicken stock (1 box)
- ⅓ c soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 oranges
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- ½ c packed brown sugar (or Paleo substitute - honey or low-carb sub - Splenda)
- ½ tsp Thai chili garlic sauce or sriracha
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 4 carrots, cut into coins
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- Olive, canola, or grape seed oil
- 4 c cooked rice
- For Vegetables: Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until onions become translucent. Add celery and carrots. Cook about 5 minutes, so that carrots and celery are softer, but still have some crispness to them. Remove to a bowl, for use later.
- For the Chicken: Heat 3-4 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. In a big Ziploc bag, combine the garlic powder, cornstarch, and pinch of salt. Add the chicken pieces, and shake, coating them with cornstarch. Put chicken pieces into the skillet, making sure they don’t overlap. Cook, about 3 minutes on each side. Chicken should resemble fried chicken. Remove chicken from skillet to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Dump the remaining oil from the skillet.
- For the Sauce: Combine chicken stock, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and chili garlic sauce in the same skillet over med/hi heat. Add zest and juice of both oranges. Scrape up the little bits and pieces of goodness from the bottom of the skillet (from cooking the vegetables and chicken). Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover. Simmer 10 min. Taste the sauce! Add more salt (you probably won't need) or Thai chili garlic sauce (if it needs heat), adding a little at a time, as needed. Be sure to taste the sauce again before making additional adjustments! Dissolve 2-3 Tbsp cornstarch in 5-6 Tbsp water. Add to sauce. Simmer 5-10 minutes, until sauce is thickened.
- To Serve: Spoon vegetables and chicken on to a plate. Top with sauce. Add rice.