There is nothing more exciting to me than taking a normal unhealthy recipe and putting my spin on it - much like this one. I cant even take full credit for the inspiration, though, as I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling a little uninspired lately. Call it mercury retrograde, or the winter blues (or both, lets be real) that coupled with work being bananas, I haven't had a ton of time to be creative in the kitchen, let alone have the time to blog about it. Needless to say, lets give a big thanks to my dear friend Amanda, for giving me the insp to do a little orange chicken, because the result was pretty kick ass.
There really can be two ways you make this chicken to make it to your liking - crispy, or mixed in with the sauce. I like both, but keep that in mind as you prep - there's not much different in your cooking, other than baking versus skillet.
I really based this recipe much after my crispy honey garlic chicken thighs - because that marinade is straight gold. The big difference, was removing the ACV and adding in a ton of orange juice. As I rarely have bottled OJ on hand, I took two oranges, removed the skin and threw it in my blender to make my own, but just as easily you could use store bought if that's what you have. I also love that you can marinate as long as you have available - of course the longer the better, but don't sweat it if you don't have that much time.
Mix together all the ingredients and chop up your chicken into bite sized pieces and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (and up to overnight) in the refrigerator. When you're ready, strain out the meat from the marinade and dredge the chicken into coconut flour. Be sure to shake off as much extra as you can, and don't throw away that marinade, you'll be using it later.
Here are the two different ways to prep the chicken: either place on a baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes (or until cooked through) at 375 degrees - should go fast if the pieces are small or you can saute in a pan over medium high heat in a little olive oil. Either way, your chicken will brown and be golden on the outside. If doing it in the pan, when cooked through, lower your heat and pour the remaining marinade over the chicken and allow to thicken for a few minutes. If baking, cook the marinade on its own in a saute pan to thicken slightly for about 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat.
The best way to serve is with some basmati rice or over steamed veggies - or both if you ask me. The coconut is an amazing flavor that comes through combined with the orange, its pretty darn close to getting take out - if not better.
Orange Chicken (GF/DF)
Prep Time: 15 minutes - marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
1-1.5 lbs chicken breasts diced in small pieces
3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1-2 teaspoons sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Also needed: 1/2 cup coconut flour for dredging.
Mix all ingredients except coconut flour thoroughly in a large bowl. Mix in chicken and allow to marinate for at least an hour - but up to 24 hours is okay as well.
Strain out marinade and dredge chicken pieces in coconut flour in a small bowl.
Either place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees OR saute in a pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden brown and cooked through.
If baking: heat remaining marinade in saute pan over medium heat (bring to a quick boil first then lower) and pour over when ready. Should be thick in about 15 minutes
If sauteing: once chicken is cooked, lower temp and pour in marinade and allow to thicken - about 10 minutes.
Serve with basmati rice or steamed veggies.