Re-creating your favorite Chinese takeout meals at home has never been easier! While I LOVE Chinese takeout, it definitely is not the healthiest option. Cooking this type of food at home allows you to control the amount of sodium, sugar, and fat that go into your meal. This orange chicken is stir-fried, not deep-fried, and I used chicken breasts instead of thighs, both of which lowers the fat. The sauce is loaded with ginger and garlic, adding strong flavor and a subtle, but lingering heat.
Here's what you'll need to make Sweet and Spicy Orange Chicken (serves 3-4):
- 1 lb chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 TBS organic coconut oil*
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBS water
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBS orange juice
- 1/8 cup raw sugar
- 3 TBS rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 TBS + 1 tsp cornstarch
Heat oil in a medium-sized pan (or wok, if you have one) until hot. Once hot, add in chicken and cook until chicken is no longer white and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, combine 1/4 cup water, OJ, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir until all the ingredients dissolve - about 3 minutes. The sauce will begin to reduce. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining 2 TBS water and all the cornstarch and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling sauce and stir until thick and smooth. Be careful - the sauce may splatter as you add the cornstarch mixture.
Turn off the heat, remove the sauce pan from the burner, and slowly add in chicken. Mix until the chicken is completely coated in the orange sauce. Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve immediately. You can also garnish with fresh scallions and white sesame seeds!
See those green beans in the picture? So simple. In the same pan that you cooked the chicken, heat 1/2 TBS coconut oil*. Toss in green beans, 1 minced clove of garlic and a pinch of white or black sesame seeds. Cook until the string beans have softened a bit, but still have their crunch - about 5-7 minutes.
With prep and cooking, this meal took only 30 minutes to make! This is a great option for a quick weeknight dinner or a laid back weekend meal because, let's face it, you don't want to spend forever re-creating Chinese food if you could have easily picked up the phone and ordered. Tweak this recipe based on your taste: if you want it more sweet, add more sugar and orange juice. If you want it more spicy, add more ginger and a dash of Sriracha! Chinese food is comfort food for me, and now I can continue to indulge without the guilt!
*Coconut oil is great for cooking at high temperatures and adds a sweet nutty flavor to the dish. You can also use peanut oil, sticking with the Asian theme.