Everybody likes eating Orange Chicken at their favorite Chinese restaurant, but not everyone likes the high fat and calories you get from eating something dipped in batter and deep-fried. In this lighter version, I give you all the yummy flavor of the original, but reduce the fat and calories by sauteing the chicken. Sauteing reduces the prep time too, transforming this traditional restaurant favorite into a dish that's easy to make at home. The sauce bubbles away while you brown the chicken, then the two are combined and served over rice - the whole dish comes together in no time, making it a great option for busy weeknights. I hope you'll be inspired to give this recipe a try.
Light Orange Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest
- 6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- Scallions for garnish
- In a large saucepan combine the chicken stock, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper.
- Bring to boil, whisking to dissolve sugar; reduce heat to low until you're ready to thicken the sauce (have cornstarch and water nearby and ready to combine into a "slurry" when needed).
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute chicken pieces in a little canola oil until nicely browned and cooked through (do this in several batches if necessary).
- Remove chicken to a platter; reserve.
- To finish the sauce, bring mixture back up to a boil.
- Make a slurry by mixing 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water; add slurry to boiling sauce and whisk until thick and glossy, about 1-2 minutes; remove from heat.
- Combine cooked chicken and sauce and serve over rice.
- Garnish with Scallions.
Note - I added one sauteed red bell pepper for added color.