Forget takeout, this grain-free Chinese Orange Chicken is ready in 30 minutes, tastier than anything you’ll have delivered, and will make all of the adults and kiddos happy! Even better is that it’s made with whole ingredients making this dish Whole30 compliant, grain and gluten-free, and the perfect treat to your ketogenic lifestyle netting roughly 12 carbs per serving.Jump to Recipe
ORANGE CHICKEN SO GOOD, IT’S LIKE IT WAS DELIVERED.
Chinese delivery is a weakness in our household. We don’t give into our temptations often but when we do, we go for it [crab puffs and all]. Especially when it’s a Sunday evening, we’re binge watching something on Netflix, and we’re both sprawled out on the couches!
but.. there’s things about Chinese takeout that leaves us a little miserable. Between the sodium that wakes us up all night to chug water and the tremendous amount of bloat we hold onto for a few following days.. It’s just only a party in those moments of devouring.
Therefore, I set out to make our Chinese takeout..take-in, and we’re not even phased by it. This Paleo Chinese Orange Chicken is better than the real deal and if you’ve been cooking Paleo and Whole30 meals in your kitchen, I’m strongly certain you have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
WHAT MAKES IT ORANGE CHICKEN?
It is all about the saucy sauce. Basically, the sauce is this:
- Coconut aminos: a soy sauce alternative with a hint of natural sweetness made from the sap of coconut trees.
- Fresh orange juice
- Orange zest
- Garlic powder
- Ghee or grass-fed butter
- Sesame oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Arrowroot starch: used as a thickening agent just as cornstarch. Arrowroot starch is made from the roots of the arrowroot plant [Maranta arundinacea] and is a grain-free option to thicken sauces, soups, and more.
WHAT CAN I SERVE THIS WITH?
Whatever your heart desires. My favorite options are:
- Cauliflower rice
- Steamed broccoli
- Green beans
Easy Paleo Chinese Orange Chicken [Whole30 & Gluten-Free]
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds to top, optional
Orange Saucy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon ghee or grass-fed butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon water
- Begin by cutting the chicken thighs into to bite size pieces, about 1 inch.
- In a large skillet warmed to medium-high heat, add olive oil and rotate the skillet evenly coating the surface with oil. Working in batches, add half of the chicken thighs to the pan being careful not to overlap them. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes [the goal is to allow them to crisp up a little on each side]. Once cooked, remove and sit aside. Repeat until all the thigh pieces are cooked.
- While the thighs are cooking, begin making the sauce. To the sauce pan, add the first 8 “saucy sauce” ingredients [all but the arrowroot and water]. Whisk to incorporate and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low-warm until the chicken is finished cooking.
- Reduce the skillet temperature to warm and return all of the chicken to the skillet.
- To finish the sauce, combine the equal parts of arrowroot starch and water in a small bowl. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and slowly pour the white starch mixture into the sauce while whisking. Continue whisking the sauce until it begins to thicken.
- Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, pour the sauce over the cooked chicken thighs. Lightly stir the pan to evenly coat all of the chicken with the sauce.
- To serve, spoon orange chicken over cauliflower rice, steamed broccoli, or your base of choice. Top with a few sprinkles of sesame seeds and enjoy!