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 • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
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.

87 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!

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  4. My facebook link isn't working either.

    ReplyDelete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so excited about this recipe!

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

    ReplyDelete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    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.

      Delete
    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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  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?

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

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

      Delete
    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.

      Delete
  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  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!

    ReplyDelete
  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

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

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

      Delete
  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?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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

      Delete
  23. Siracha is a hot chili sauce and should be found on the aisle with the Asian specialties. It's in a bottle that looks like this:

    http://smilesandwich.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Sriracha1.jpg

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

    ReplyDelete
  25. 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!!

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

    ReplyDelete
  27. Made it and LOVED it :)

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

    ReplyDelete
  29. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  30. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  31. 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 .....

    ReplyDelete
  32. 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!!

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

    ReplyDelete
  34. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  35. 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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  37. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  38. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  39. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  40. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  41. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  42. 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

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

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  46. 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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  48. 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

    ReplyDelete
  49. I tried the recipe. Really delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  50. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  51. 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!!!!!

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

      Delete
  52. 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!

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  55. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  56. 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

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

    ReplyDelete
  58. 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

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

    ReplyDelete
  60. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  61. 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

    ReplyDelete
  62. 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!

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

    ReplyDelete
  64. 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!!!

    ReplyDelete
  65. 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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  67. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  68. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  69. 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.

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

    ReplyDelete
  71. 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

    ReplyDelete

If you really like a post please share, like on FB, Stumble and give it a THUMBS UP or Pin It on Pinterest!

Comments are welcome but please keep it positive and helpful. No hyperlinks, no spam, no ads, no keywords and no personal attacks.