Mar 19, 2014

Orange Chicken Makeover


A lighter alternative to the popular Chinese take-out dish.

Sweet, spicy and flavorful – a lighter alternative to the popular Chinese fast food take-out dish and it's quick and easy to make!

I had a request a few weeks ago to make over this popular American-Chinese fast food dish which is usually battered and deep fried. To be honest, this is not a dish I would order because I'm not a fan of battered sweet Chinese dishes, but I was happy to tackle a lighter version. My solution was skip all that frying, and make a flavorful orange sauce. The outcome was great, and my husband even gave it two thumbs up!

I served this over cauliflower "fried rice" which I will post tomorrow but you could even saute some bell peppers, snow peas, broccoli or asparagus and add them at the end. Enjoy!




Orange Chicken
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: generous 3/4 cup • Points +: 8 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 288 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 18 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 32.5 g • Sugar: 9 g
Sodium: 463 mg • Cholesterol: 81 mg

Ingredients:

For the Orange Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (Tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sriracha, or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

For the chicken:

  • 20 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1-inch grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish


Directions:

Mix the orange sauce ingredients and set aside.

Season the chicken lightly with salt and coat evenly with corn starch, set aside.
 


Heat a wok on high heat, add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and add half of the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until well browned, set aside. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and chicken and repeat cooking 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set aside with the rest of the chicken.

Add remaining teaspoon of oil and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add theorange zest then return the chicken to the pan. Quickly stir the chicken then add the orange sauce and cook until the sauce thickens,about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide between 4 plates and garnish with the scallion and sesame seeds.

96 comments :

  1. Oh this is perfect! Orange chicken is my husband's favorite dish and I have always been reluctant to make it due to the battered sweetness. Thanks!

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  2. Gina, FYI the facebook link is not working! You might want to edit it!

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  3. My daughter has been WAITING for you to do orange chicken!!!! And I have everything here to make it too! :)

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  4. My facebook link isn't working either.

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  5. Gina, does it make a difference if you use an actual wok or regular pan? I do not have a wok at the moment. Thanks!

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  6. I am so excited about this recipe!

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  7. This looks delicious! Can't wait to try it out!

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  8. I wanted to let you know that if you're using tamari, you may need to cut the amount in half and use 1 part tamari to 1 part water. Tamari is really, really salty. La Choy is also gluten free and not as salty, and kikoman has a gluten free brand as well now which isn't quite as bad. I don't know why the gluten free soy sauces are so much saltier, but I've ruined more than one dish by not adjusting for it.

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    Replies
    1. I use the 'lower sodium soy sauce'. I watch salt in dishes too since it's not good for you and can eventually cause issues with high blood pressure. If it's not necessary then leave it out.

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    2. I just found tamari in low sodium! They have it at whole foods, but that's the only place I've seen it (I've searched everywhere in the dc metro area!). It is SO much better. I agree with you that tamari is way too salty, and salty things are my weakness.

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  9. Yummy, I'm definitely going to try this! :)

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. This looks incredible. I am pinning this because my husband adores orange chicken!

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  12. Yum yum! Love this lighter spin on everyone's favorite takeout!

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  13. Can you use rice vinegar instead of Chinese rice wine? I'm afraid I won't be able to find this. I also don't have a wok. Can I just use a pan?

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    Replies
    1. or even rice wine vinegar. I have this on hand.

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    2. use sherry in place of rice wine, or even white wine. Sure, a nonstick large skillet is fine!

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    3. We couldn't find the rice wine initially either, but when my husband Google'd it in the store, up popped an image of the bottle on the shelf. It was "Kikkoman Manjo Aji-Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning" and on the shelf with the soy and teriyaki sauces.

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    4. Tammie, mirin is a sweetened rice wine most frequently used in sushi rice. If you are going to use that instead of regular rice wine I'd be very careful with the amount of sugar added into the recipe. It could get too sweet fast since it's got sugar added to it unlike regular rice wine.

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  14. This looks awesome and I'm pretty sure I have all of these ingredients. Can't wait for the cauliflower rice recipe tomorrow!

    I may make this with your shrimp fried rice too. I love that recipe.

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  15. This looks great! ! What about sesame chicken?

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  16. I don't have raw sugar. Can I just use regular?

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    1. I'm not even sure what raw sugar is... Do you mean the brand "Sugar in the Raw"?

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    2. Go for brown dark sugar, or light brown sugar. White sugar will give you sweetness but will not contribute to the taste.

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    3. I will try using the light brown sugar tonight. Thanks for the tip!

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  17. This does look really good. May try it with shrimp or a combination.

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  18. Make at home take-out food always tastes so much better than the real stuff. Love this idea!

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  19. I will have to admit that I do LOVE battered chicken. However, one of the main reasons I don't eat it often is because the excess salt (MSG) and sugar combination makes me eat too much, and ironically, I feel like I'm starving a couple of hours later. This recipe takes care of both issues. Good job!

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  20. I make something similar without the orange juice/ orange zest and sugar (not a fan of the sweet and salty thing...) I also add ground mustard. My boyfriend is soooo in love with it.. His fav! I may have to try it this way to switch it up! Thanks

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  21. This sounds so good! Do you think you could use a crockpot?

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    1. Ooo I would love to know if this could be made in a crockpot!

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  22. Help me...what is siriacha? My local grocery store is very diverse and they probably have it but I'm not sure what department to look in or what, exactly, it is?

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    1. It's a type of asian hot sauce, made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. You can usually find it in the asian section of your grocery store or supermarket. It's quite spicy, so a little goes a long way, but it adds a lot of flavour to dishes and soups

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  23. Looks great! I was wondering if you could start posting the prep and cook times in your recipes. It would be a huge help!

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  24. We love orange chicken, but it is a lot of calories when you get it at Panda Express. This is definitely will be made. Thanks so much!!

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  25. I was looking for a good recipe for Orange Chicken this week ...thanks for this..and I plan to pre-order your cookbook.

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  26. Made it and LOVED it :)

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    1. hi I just watched my mom make this! so yummy when you taste it you can taste the fresh flavors! it tasted better than the Chinese resteraunts! I know im going to ask my mom to mAKE IT AGAIN!

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  27. I modified this to be lemon chicken, since that is my boyfriend's favourite. It was delectable! Thank you, Gina!

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  28. This was great! I added frozen peas at the end to give it something green without the scallions. Even the picky 9 year old said it needs to go on the rotation. It's a winner!

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  29. I can't believe how much money the hubby and I have been spending at Panda Express when I could've been making this all along! This recipe is bad ass! Gina, thank you for another amazing recipe!

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  30. I made this tonight and it was soo good! I added in some stir fry vegetable to bulk it up and it turned out great! I would upload a picture of my efforts if there was a place to do so .....

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  31. Made this tonight and was delicious!!! We made the following very minor modifications -

    Added red pepper flakes to give it more heat
    1 tbsp low-sodium tamari + 1 tbsp water to reduce the salt further
    White wine in place of rice wine b/c that's what we had on hand

    We will definitely be making frequently, thank you!!

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  32. Thank you for another great recipe! I made this with the cauliflower fried rice last night and it was a great dinner!

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  33. Made this last night and it was AWESOME! My boyfriend kept saying how this could have been from a chinese fusion restaurant.

    I didn't have raw sugar nor know what it is so I just used regular white sugar. It turned out excellent in our opinion still. What difference would raw sugar make?

    Also, it was borderline too spicy for us so I think I will cut down on the siracha next time.

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  34. Just made this tonight with the Cauliflower fried rice and it knocked my socks off. I actually can't believe I was able to achieve such a meal! I had no srirarcha so I substituted a red chilli but I am definitely going to buy some on-line!

    Thank you so much for this recipe - an absolutely fantastic "fake away" and I will definitely make it again.

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  35. wonder if i could use cubed pork? what do you think...center cut lean pork chops boneless

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  36. Thank you so much, Gina, for giving this a shot! After I read all of the terrible reviews of other orange chicken recipes online, I went straight to you, and was saddened that you didn't have one (yet!). I can always trust that you make a recipe work before you post it, so I'm so thankful that you took the suggestion and ran with it. From the comments here, I'm excited to try it! THANK YOU!

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  37. This was delish! Made it tonight with a few modifications based on what I had: no rice wine, replaced with rice vinegar; no scallions; brown sugar; added a sliced bell pepper. Also reduced the corn starch (1.5 tsp in the sauce, 1 Tbsp for the chicken). Hubby loved it (as did I!). We'll add this to the regular rotation, swapping in different veggies. Thanks, Gina!

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  38. My husband made this last night. Delicious. Paired with rice and sautéed baby bok choy. Better than Chinese takeout and we love Chinese take out!

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  39. I tried this last night and was a keeper with the family. I too did not have Chinese rice wine vinegar so used Japanese. It was great.

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  40. I just finished cleaning everything up, and this meal was delicious! My sister and I didn't have any rice vinegar or Chinese wine, so we used the white wine vinegar we had on hand instead, and it was still so good. Thanks so much!

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  41. up to I looked at the bank draft which had said $7973 , I be certain that my friend woz like realey erning money part time on there computar. . there aunt has done this for under twenty three months and at present took care of the dept on their villa and got a top of the range Lotus Esprit . go to this website .........cuttr.it/zxprxaf

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  42. Finally got around to making this last night along with the cauliflower fried rice and it was outstanding! These two recipes are a keeper!!!

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  43. just put a triple batch of this recipe in the crockpot!!! we'll see how/if it works out!

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    1. UPDATE: worked beautifully in the crockpot! i did quickly sear the chicken in the wok before putting it in the crockpot. i will cut back on the sriracha next time for the little ones' taste buds ... but it was DELISH a big hit with the whole fam.

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  44. This was awesome! Added in some snow peas. Really yummy

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  45. Made this exactly like the recipe. Turned out fabulous! I've tried tons of your recipes and they always turn out great. Can't wait for the cookbook.

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  46. Is there something I can replace siriacha with? I live in a small town in Ohio and cant find that anywhere around me

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  47. Just made this tonight. This was so great. When I sautéed the garlic and ginger I added fresh green beans and sautéed for a little bit and added a splash of water and cooked for a few moments. Then added the chicken and the sauce. So yummy. Next time I will add less of the hot sauce. Too much for my son. Thanks Gina

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  48. I tried the recipe. Really delicious!

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  49. Just fyi - Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine, different than Chinese rice cooking wine. It probably won't change the flavor too much, but it isn't the same thing.
    A quick trip to an Asian market and you'll find Chinese rice wine if you weren't able to find it at your super market.

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  50. Is this supposed to be pretty dang spicy? My hubs LOVES Sriracha and he was surprised how much kick it had. (cough, drink of water, cough)

    It was definitely good but kinda burned. I want it again and can just use less Sriracha but I want to know if I did something wrong.

    I don't know if it was the amount of garlic (I used three cloves but they were pretty big) or if I missed something ( I used granulated sugar instead of raw)

    Please advise -----I love your recipes!!!!!

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    1. Sorry no need to reply. After reading all the other comments I can figure it out :-) You must just have tough spice tolerance!

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  51. Wow Gina! This was fantastic! Almost all my guys (3 little, one hubby) loved it. I still need the perfect chicken dish for my 6 year old chicken hater!! However, this one was a hit with the rest of us. Thank you!

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  52. Could this be frozen, then stir fry the veggies and add them in right before you serve it?

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  53. For the sriracha , is it 1 tbsp or 1tsp you put in the recipe?

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  54. This was delicious! (Even though the chicken burned quite a lot when I put my wok on high - must have done something wrong, I guess, I'll use a skillet next time.) Had it with the cauliflower-rice, which was an amazing combination and so easy to put together. I'll definitely be making both of these recipes again!

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  55. Gotta love this!! I have been following your blog for quiet a while and have been trying most of your recipes, and I must say I am very pleased! I always end up finding great recipes and gorgeous photography on your blog.
    Check out my blog if you would like to see some food recipes and photography as well:
    http://elmarama.blogspot.com/
    Have a great one :* <3

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  56. Everyone at my house is super excited about this recipe...thanks a bunch, Gina!

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  57. You rock, I'm just thrilled to find you & your spin on healthy, yummy recipes...it's an obsession of mine! I've been morphing old school rich fatty crazy dishes into healthier choices! It's been a lonely journey, but 2014 seems to be alive with more of us, yup...even a nod to the sodium problem? Wow, I realized when I was in my late teens, that what I thought was free calories, like pickles, still made me swell up...A LOT! Well ya don't have to be old or have health issues to GET that's not good! I've been a chef for many years, but was a model & after a serious accident had gained a ton of weight, I did the fad diets...re-gained plus 20 more! That's when I got it, life-style change, I started eating 1/2 of my food...then reinvented myself! I'm disabled so move more, eat less sounds great in theory...not for me. Please, don't pity...I'm doing great, I've lost 150 lbs, all on my own, I'm out of a wheelchair, and cooking or my family & clients!
    As far as this Orange Chicken, OMG YUM...I did one change, that was toasted the seeds, in a dry skillet...blessings to you & thanks, Andrea

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  58. Absolutely FABULOUS! Better than a restaurant chicken and had just the right amount of spice. You did it again!

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  59. Yet again, another fabulous dish! Made it last night for my Chinese-food lovin' hubby who ADORED it! Gina, I have so many of your recipes that are standard rotation in my house, thank you so much! This will just go in the mix now too, since it's something I will love and eat as well! Oh, and I love my zoodles....so glad you turned me on to that handy device!

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  60. This own me over and made me feel like a pro cook! My boyfriend loved it and I was surprised at how good it was (shouldn't have been tho! =P) Thanks a bunch

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  61. This dish was awesome! Restaurant quality for sure! Whole family loved it and my picky son even liked it! I used the low sodium tamari also and the delicious cara cara oranges from costco....yum!

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  62. Made right after you posted and we have had it once a week ever since. Love it so much.

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  63. Made this last night... Amazing!! I couldn't find Rice Wine, but had the vinegar. I used Agave instead of sugar. I will surely make this again. Quick, Easy, Perfect!!!

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  64. This was so easy and Amazing!!! I ate the leftovers the next day and still taste amazing.

    Did not have rice wine so i use white wine vinegar.
    I replace the raw sugar with light brown sugar.
    Didn't have white pepper so I just use black pepper.

    Next time im going to make the orange sauce but leave out the corn starch, then freeze it. When you're ready to use it just add the corn starch and pour it in. Also I was thinking of taking the garlic and ginger put in ice tray, then pour oil in the same cube tray. This way you just pop it out the ice tray and cook it. The one cube will will have the oil, garlic and ginger all in one. Just something I was thinking of trying.

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  65. What does it mean for 1-inch grated ginger? how much Ginger is that?

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  66. I just did this recipe and it turned out great! I did some changes though, I used honey instead of sugar and it still turned out great!

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  67. This is great! Made it tonight with husband. He cooked the chicken in the cast iron in batches. We added a lot of zest and served it over black rice! It's a hit! A keeper! Thanks!

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  68. I had everything except the orange juice so used lemon as others suggested-- YUM! Served with a little brown rice and lot of steamed broccoli. Delish. I just ordered my cookbook, can't wait! I have been sticking all the recipes I print out into a binder.

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  69. This was so absolutely scrumptious! Tastes just like the sauce on a prawn dish at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Thanks so much!

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  70. Hello Gina,
    I love your site and recipes.....easy, delicious, healthy thank you so much. I love this recipe. Spicy Chinese, I can make this recipe with shrimp, chicken, salmon, scallops. I wish I could post a pic of my dish, so tasty. Have a happy, creative, day!
    Joanne CC

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  71. This recipe is delicious -- just perfect. Probably one of my favorites on the site, and we cook from this site and the cookbook several times a week. I couldn't find rice wine at our local store, so I substituted gin (!), which was recommended on some other sites. It worked out great

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  72. Gina! This is fabulous! My son and I had it for the first time tonight. My husband definitely missed out! I'll make it for him again soon. Thank you so much for already including the new Smart Points. I was so impressed that you already had them in there. Thanks! I so love your food!

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  73. I make a lot of your recipes but I just got around to trying this one. Tasty! Was able to make this with what I had in the fridge (I used light brown sugar instead of raw sugar and dry Sherry instead of rice wine). Very filling with the Cauliflower Fried Rice and low calorie to boot. Thanks!

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  74. What is the nutritional breakdown? ???

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    Replies




























    1. Skinnytaste






































































      Mar 19, 2014




      Orange Chicken Makeover













      A lighter alternative to the popular Chinese take-out dish.

      Sweet, spicy and flavorful – a lighter alternative to the popular Chinese fast food take-out dish and it's quick and easy to make!

      I had a request a few weeks ago to make over this popular American-Chinese fast food dish which is usually battered and deep fried. To be honest, this is not a dish I would order because I'm not a fan of battered sweet Chinese dishes, but I was happy to tackle a lighter version. My solution was skip all that frying, and make a flavorful orange sauce. The outcome was great, and my husband even gave it two thumbs up!

      I served this over cauliflower "fried rice" which I will post tomorrow but you could even saute some bell peppers, snow peas, broccoli or asparagus and add them at the end. Enjoy!






      Orange Chicken
      Skinnytaste.com
      Servings: 4 • Size: generous 3/4 cup • Points +: 8 pts • Smart Points: 6
      Calories: 288 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 18 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 32.5 g • Sugar: 9 g
      Sodium: 463 mg • Cholesterol: 81 mg


























      Skinnytaste






































































      Mar 19, 2014




      Orange Chicken Makeover













      A lighter alternative to the popular Chinese take-out dish.

      Sweet, spicy and flavorful – a lighter alternative to the popular Chinese fast food take-out dish and it's quick and easy to make!

      I had a request a few weeks ago to make over this popular American-Chinese fast food dish which is usually battered and deep fried. To be honest, this is not a dish I would order because I'm not a fan of battered sweet Chinese dishes, but I was happy to tackle a lighter version. My solution was skip all that frying, and make a flavorful orange sauce. The outcome was great, and my husband even gave it two thumbs up!

      I served this over cauliflower "fried rice" which I will post tomorrow but you could even saute some bell peppers, snow peas, broccoli or asparagus and add them at the end. Enjoy!






      Orange Chicken
      Skinnytaste.com
      Servings: 4 • Size: generous 3/4 cup • Points +: 8 pts • Smart Points: 6
      Calories: 288 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 18 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 32.5 g • Sugar: 9 g
      Sodium: 463 mg • Cholesterol: 81 mg

      Delete
  75. The whole family loved this recipe! My kids in particular loved it, much to my surprise. I added a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, but next time will leave them out and just serve steamed broccoli on the side. I'll also double the recipe next time so we can have leftovers.

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  76. Hi Gina! Loved this recipe. I'm a vegetarian so I just subbed a block of cubed & pressed extra firm tofu for the chicken and it turned out awesome. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly, it really satisfied our Chinese food craving. My fiancé only likes when I try one new recipe at a time so now that we know this is a winner we will be making your cauliflower fried "rice" with it next time. I love when I find recipes that are so easily adapted to my lifestyle. Thanks for another great one!

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  77. My wife and I would like more of an orange flavor. Could we replace the orange juice and sugar with orange juice concentrate?

    ReplyDelete

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