Like many of you, I’ve been scouring the internet looking for lighter fare, low-fat, healthy recipes since the middle of December (especially since the only thing healthy about the dishes we enjoyed over the holidays were the doses!). So when I discovered this healthy Orange Chicken recipe, I knew I’d be adding it to my repertoire!
As you might recall, back in December I told you I’d be dedicating this entire month to healthy cooking, and so far so good! We kicked our year off with 36 hours worth of detox smoothies (it was supposed to 72) but with the girls departing for California tomorrow, I just couldn’t let them leave on a kale and coconut drink as their final dinner before heading out.
…and as a result of my successful stumbling on Pinterest, we were able to keep dinner healthy and straw-free! Good times!!
We love Chinese food but it’s rare that we make it from scratch, so I was excited to take on the challenge of this dish. However, it wasn’t a challenge at all. Can I tell you how simple it was? We’re talking 25 minutes – start to finish. If we had to come up with a word that really captures the essence of this meal it would be….wait for it… “Chineasy”! Get it? Chineasy? Hey! We had a great laugh over that one! (Thanks, Luc!) See – I am not the only goofy one in the family – we all have our moments!
This is a perfect weeknight meal. We immediately decided it would become a staple in our house. The thing we really loved was that it’s richer than you would expect something so healthy to taste. It is restaurant quality without the fat and calories you would normally find. The biggest difference is that the chicken is sauteed rather than breaded and deep-fried, and we ate it over brown rice vs. sticky white rice. It’s versatile too. I can imagine adding additional ingredients like broccoli or snow peas which would be delicious and you could just as easily substitute quinoa for the brown rice.
Although everything I’m describing here is great, in my opinion, the real star is the orange sauce. Oh man – it’s as good as I’ve ever had it – and I’ve had some great Chinese food. A perfect balance between sweet and savory.
This dish, topped with some toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions, and red pepper flakes makes for a very special dinner!
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. white pepper
- zest of one orange
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- thinly sliced scallions
- toasted sesame seeds
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and salt and pepper to taste to pan and saute for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and nearly cooked through.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the garlic, orange juice, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, ginger,white pepper, and orange zest.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to combine.
- Let sauce come to a boil and continue boiling and stirring for another minute or two until thickened.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately over rice or quinoa.
- Garnish with red pepper, scallions, and sesame seeds.
(Inspired by Skinny Orange Chicken.)