Orange Chicken is a very popular dish in Chinese restaurants across the United States but it’s not really a dish you will find in Chinese restaurants in China. One journalist, Jennifer 8. Lee, describes Orange Chicken as one of the “Americanized mutations of sweet and sour dishes found in China.” After taking a look at the nutrition information for the Panda Express version of this dish, I decided to work on a lower-calorie alternative. Orange Chicken is typically made with battered and fried chicken chunks that are then tossed in a sugary orange sauce. Yum! Instead of relying on sugar and fat for flavor, I let the spices and orange zest do the work .
For comparison, here’s the calorie and macronutrient information for the Panda Express version and my version of Orange Chicken per 5-oz serving:
Try it and let me know what you think. I only used 1 tablespoon of honey for this recipe, but if you want to make it sweeter just add a little more honey. This recipe pairs well with my Sauteed Baby Bok Choy.
Prep: 10 minutes . Cook Time: 15 minutes . Yield: Serves 6
1.5 Lb Chicken Breast, boneless
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Egg White
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Sesame Seeds and chopped green onions for garnish
1 Cup Orange Juice
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp Orange Zest
1 Tsp Ginger root, minced
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce (use a gluten-free one if necessary)
1 to 2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup Water
1. Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon and red pepper flakes; marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Coat chicken with egg mixture then dredge with cornstarch. You can use large bowls or Ziploc bags to perform this step in large batches.
3. In a large non-stick skillet/wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for about 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked and lightly browned. Remove cooked chicken and set aside.
4. Sauce: Wipe the skillet clean and return to heat. Add garlic, ginger, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. Bring to a low boil for a couple minutes. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and with water; slowly add cornstarch mixture to bubbling orange juice mix while stirring to prevent clumping. Continue stirring until sauce thickens.
5. Add bell peppers and chicken. Toss until chicken and peppers are evenly coated with sauce; occasionally scrape the bottom of the pan to get the yummy sticky goodness. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.