A lightened up version of traditional Asian orange chicken – an easy, better-than-take-out dish for those busy weeknights!
With swimsuit season so close, I really can’t afford to be eating buckets of fried chicken every week – although occasionally I think that would be the ultimate bliss. I love Asian-inspired dishes but sometimes they can really break the bank when it comes to a healthy eating. So when my craving for perfect orange chicken hit hard this week, I had to come up with something more waist-line-friendly.
This orange chicken is SO good. Perfectly saucy, with just enough orange tang and a bit of heat to keep things interesting. By not battering and frying the chicken, you save on loads of un-needed calories and I PROMISE you, you will not miss them. Promise.
And to think, this recipe comes together in 20 minutes. Twenty minutes people! That’s nothing! You can’t even take a shower in that amount of time! Okay… I can’t, because I am notorious for taking really long showers that use up the whole tank of hot water… But my point is simply that this orange chicken is crazy good and crazy easy to make, which makes those busy weeknights just a little easier and a lot yummier.
What people are saying about this Lighter Orange Chicken
“Just made this and it was easy and tasty. I like the brightness of the fresh orange and the kick from the chili flakes. There was too much sauce and I only ended up using about 1/2 of it, but otherwise great!” – Caroline
“Made this for dinner yesterday – super quick, super easy and super delicious!” – Sara
Lighter Orange Chicken
- 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 3/4 inch thickness and cut into bite sized pieces
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup orange juice (1-2 large oranges)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (may sub white vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- optional: green onions, sesame seeds, 3 cups cooked white or brown rice for serving
- Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Spray a large pan or non stick skillet generously with cooking spray. Cook chicken 5-6 minutes, stirring through out for even cooking, until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a paper-towel lined bowl. Drain and wipe out the pan.
- In a medium bowl whisk together orange juice and zest, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flacked, and garlic. Add mixture to pan and bring to a slight boil. Add water-corn starch mixture and stir until thickened. Add chicken and stir to coat.
- Serve chicken with cooked rice and garnish with optional sesame seeds and green onions if desired.
Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking.