Healthy Orange Chicken (Gluten Free)

If you have chicken and oranges, you probably have everything you need to make this easy healthy orange chicken, gluten free style! Enjoy with white or brown rice for a sweet and savory meal.

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Healthy orange chicken and rice

This homemade orange chicken beats any delivery or take out. If you’re anything like me, you feel bloated and tired the morning after eating Chinese takeout. That’s why I decided to take my shot at making one of my restaurant favorites at home, and I’m so glad I did! The convenience of delivery can’t compare to the feeling of knowing every ingredient that goes into your food, and eventually into you.

What you’ll need to make this healthy orange chicken:

-Chicken tenders

-Eggs

-Cornstarch

-Coconut Flour

-Avocado oil

-Fresh squeezed orange juice

-Coconut sugar

-Vinegar

-Tamari

-Garlic powder

-Cornstarch

-Water

-Green onions

Healthy orange chicken and rice

I chose to use coconut flour in this recipe because it is a very thin, light flour which would be perfect for a light crust on the chicken. You can probably substitute other types of gluten free flour which have a similar consistency, but I would advise staying away from almond flour for this recipe.

When cooking at high heats, it’s important to have an oil which can withstand such high temperatures. An oils smoke point is the temperature at which it smoke and burn, and different kinds of oils have different smoke points. A potential harm of cooking past an oil’s smoke point, other than the fact that the oil begins to burn, is that you begin to lose the nutritional benefits that are found in the oil.

Avocado oil, with a smoke point of 500 F, is perfect for this type of cooking. Another type of high heat oil that could be used is almond oil, which has a smoke point of about 430 F.

I had oranges sitting in my refrigerator, which is why I chose to use fresh squeezed orange juice in this recipe. If you don’t have oranges or don’t want to squeeze oranges, you can easily substitute store-bought orange juice in this recipe.

When making the sauce, you might realize that you don’t have tamari. Soy sauce can be substituted for tamari, but note that that soy sauce is not gluten free and this substitution will result in a dish that isn’t gluten free.

Healthy orange chicken and rice

How you’ll make this healthy orange chicken:

Begin by adding freshly squeezed orange juice, coconut sugar, vinegar, tamari and garlic powder to a large pot over medium heat. Give the sauce an initial mixing, noting that it will be thin because the cornstarch hasn’t been added yet.

In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch with 3 tbsp of water. This will form a thin paste. Add this paste to the pot of sauce, mixing in. As the sauce cooks and you continue stirring, the sauce will thicken. Once it does, turn the fire to low.

On a cutting board, cut the chicken tenders into bite size pieces. Using a paper towel to pat them dry, removing any excess water that’s accumulated on the surface.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. In another small bowl, mix equal parts coconut flour and cornstarch. At this point, I typically begin pre-heating the pan I’ll be frying the chicken in. I recommend using a large cast iron, as it is great for high heat cooking. Set the cast iron over a high fire.

Begin an assembly line type process, using one hand to dip a piece of chicken in the egg wash. Remove from the egg wash and let any excess wash drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the flour mixture and use your other hand to coat the chicken with flour and toss. Place the coated chicken on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.

At this point, the cast iron should be extremely hot. Add enough avocado oil to the pan to form a surface that is about a quarter inch thick and allow it to heat. Once the avocado oil has reached a temperature adequate for frying, add the chicken. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on the initial side until it has a golden crust when you flip it. When it reaches this point, gently flip the chicken. Cook for 2-3 more minutes on this side. Remove from the pan and place on a thick layer of paper towels to remove excess oil. Pat the top of the chicken with a paper towel.

Add the chicken to the pot of orange sauce and toss together. There you have it, healthy orange chicken! Serve over white or brown rice to enjoy it as a full meal.


Gluten Free Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken (Gluten Free)

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • avocado oil
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • green onions

Instructions
 

  • In a pot over medium heat, add orange juice, coconut sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder.
  • In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch with 3 tbsp of water. Add the paste to the pot and cook until it thickens. Once it thickens to the consistency of the orange chicken sauce, lower the heat.
  • Cut the chicken tenders in to bite size pieces. Pat the pieces dry with a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs.
  • In a separate small bowl, mix the 1/3 cup of cornstarch and coconut flour.
  • Using one hand, dip a piece of chicken in the egg wash. Lift it up and allow any excess wash to drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the flour mixture, using your other hand to coat it with an even crust.
  • Place on a plate, and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  • In a pan, heat about 1/4 inch of avocado oil over high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add the chicken piece by piece to the pan.
  • Allow the bottom of the chicken to the get a golden crust (about 2 minutes) before flipping. Once the chicken has a golden crust on both sides, remove and place on a thick layer of paper towels. Pat down the top of the chicken with paper towels.
  • Add the chicken to the pot with orange sauce and toss. Serve over rice.
Keyword Asian, Chicken, Coconut Flour, Gluten Free, Orange Chicken


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