This paleo orange chicken is so much better and healthier than takeout! It’s a quick and easy, whole30 compliant dinner that the whole family will love!
NEW YEAR FOOD!
IE: food that is NOT Christmas-related, but is totally 2017 related because HELLO YOU BRAVE WHOLE30 DOING SOULS.
I envy you. Me and my morning bowl of funfetti protein overnight oats are ONE, and we are never going to be UNDONE.
Which means I will not EVER EVER EVER be doing the whole30 diet. No matter how many people tell me that it is the most awesome and challenging-in-a-good-way New Year’s resolution I could have. No matter how many times I create whole30 compliant recipes – HI slow cooker mango chicken and sweet potato bowls – that my mouth actually RLY RLY enjoys munchin’.
I will just MAKE food for your ambitious soul, and stick to the same resolution that I have had for the past 3 years:
To have Z-E-R-O resolutions. We all know they only last approximately 1.5 seconds anyways.
How-EV-er, the one thing that we are rep-EATING from last year, is Whole30 dinner recipe week!
The first week of 2016 we had whole30 mango chicken with coconut cauliflower rice, jerk shrimp stew and sweet potato noodles and apple spinach salad. This year? Because you <3 <3 <3 it SOOOO much, we’re doing the same themed week: today, Wednesday and Friday I will be bringing you whole30 APPROVED (CHECK MARK) recipes that justsohappen to also be approved for your easy-weeknight-dinner-eating lives.
Last year’s mango chicken basically broke the internet. I still have you making it, loving it, snapping all kinds of hip-foodie Instagram pics of it and generally just being obsessed with it. (I like you.)
So, it only makes logical sense to MIX IT UP (just a little) and bring you a REINVENTED, healthy-whole food version of your guilty-Panda-Express-pleasure: Orange Chicken!
Buuuuuut without all the yucky in your tummy feelings that come after your hungry-takeout-loving self face-plants into a bowl of QUESTIONABLE, nasty little ingredients that take the “pleasure” out of the whole “guilty pleasure” thing.
Did I ever tell you about the time that Mr. FFF and I ordered $5 Chinese food for our first year anniversary, and we were going to be adorable and eat it on a picnic blanket on the living room floor? (since our anniversary is in the winter.)
Well. There was a reason it was $5. That anniversary? NOT ROMANTIC.
Unless you think lying on the couch in a bloated MSG coma of FOOD DEATH is romantic.
SPOILER ALERT: It’s not.
This fake-out take out? NOT LIKE THAT.
BUT, it is delivering a MEGA punch of crispy-golden-brown goodness on the outside, that ends with your teeth sinking into juicy, tender chicken yumminess on the inside. It’s A-L-S-O bringing the classic glossy, sticky-sweet sauce that every good Asian dish has.
Contrary to what the usual sketchy takeout place down the road is delivering, this bowl, bursting with crispy-crunchy-citrusy tastiness, is delivering a 1-2 PUNCH of heart healthy fats in the form of avocado oil, and a whollop of lean, mean PROTEIN.
With no gluten, grains OR dairy. <– SEE, no nasties
To (sort of)quote a VRY VRY classic movie: (Legally Blonde say WHAAA)
“whoever said that takeout had to be a GUILTY pleasure, we SRSLY disturbed.”
Paleo Orange Chicken
For the sauce:
- 3/4 Cup 100% Orange juice
- Zest Of half a medium orange
- 1 Tbsp Coconut aminos *
- 1 tsp Rice vinegar
- Pinch Red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp Avocado oil *
- 1/2 Tbsp Fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Tapioca starch
For the chicken:
- 2 Tbsp Avocado oil
- 3 Tbsp Tapioca starch
- Salt and Pepper
- 8 Ounces Chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 medium orange, segmented
- Green onion, sliced
- Sesame seeds
- Hot cooked white rice or cauliflower rice
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium, high-sided frying pan heat the avocado oil (for the sauce) up on medium heat. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add in the orange juice mixture, stirring so the garlic/ginger mix into it. Additionally, place the 1 tsp of Tapioca starch into a medium bowl.
Turn the temperature up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 tsp of the hot sauce into the tapioca starch and whisk until smooth. While whisking, pour the tapioca mixture into the sauce and stir in well.
After you add the tapioca, boil the sauce for 2 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to medium/low and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and let stand to thicken up more while you make the chicken.
In a large frying pan over medium/high heat, heat the avocado oil. NOTE: you do not want to crowd the chicken, so I fry mine in 2 batches, using 1 Tbsp of oil each time. Adjust according to the size of your pan.
While the oil heats, place the tapioca starch and a pinch of salt and pepper into a large Zip-loc bag. Add in the chicken cubes, seal the bag and toss until the chicken is coated in the starch.
Place the chicken into the hot oil (again, don't crowd them) and cook until golden brown and crispy about 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once. If your chicken cooks too quickly, reduce the heat a little bit. Repeat with the 2nd batch of chicken if necessary.
Once cooked, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and gently press out any excess oil. Place the chicken into the bowl with the sauce. Add in the orange segments and toss until the sauce coats everything.
Serve over top of cauliflower rice, or white rice, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and DEVOUR.
*Or soy sauce for not paleo/whole30
*Any high-heat oil can be used if you don't have avocado.
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
Weight Watchers Points Per Serving: SmartPoints: 11 Points+: 11. Old Points: 10
(Per serving – not including rice/cauliflower rice)
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