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Paleo Orange Chicken

Paleo Orange Chicken

This Paleo Orange Chicken is lightly coated with tapioca flour, and oven “fried”. Serve it over Cauliflower Rice as a great grain free alternative to Chinese takeout.

 While this recipe will not replicate the heavy breading of Chinese takeout Orange Chicken.  You will get a crispy exterior, which picks up the sweet and savory Orange Sauce. My family loves it, and my kids cheer when I make it!

If you are watching your carbs, or just in a hurry to get dinner on the table, you can skip the steps of “flouring” and oven frying the chicken pieces. Just sauté the seasoned chicken in some coconut oil on the stove top and then remove it to a separate plate. In the same pan you can continue making the Orange Sauce, fewer pans to wash, bonus!  This version is also very tasty, but it will not have the crispy texture of the oven “fried” version.

For the Orange Sauce I used a navel orange, but you could use a tangerines, or clementine’s, or a tangelos… whatever looks best in your produce aisle or farmer's market.

You can make this up to two days in advance.  Just keep the chicken, sauce, and cauliflower rice in three separate containers.  If you refrigerate the chicken and the sauce together, it won't stay as crispy.

For an extra boost of veggies, you can add some blanched/steamed broccoli, asparagus, or snow peas to the sauce when you add the chicken.

I love this Paleo Orange Chicken served over my Cauliflower Rice recipe!

cauliflower rice

For step-by-step instructions with photos, scroll down past the recipe.

Paleo Orange Chicken

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • For the Orange Sauce:
  • zest of 1 navel orange about 2 tsp
  • juice of 1 navel orange about 1/2 cup
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced I use a press
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth divided
  • 3 Tbs cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp sriracha sauce more if you like it spicy
  • 1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp real maple syrup optional
  • 1 tsp tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds
  • For the Oven Fried Chicken:
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs- cut into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil melted plus enough to grease pans.
  • 3 Tbs tapioca flour
  • I recommend using organic ingredients when possible.

Instructions

  • Begin with the Chinese Orange Sauce:
  • Heat the 1 Tbs of coconut oil over a medium burner. Add the orange zest, grated ginger, and minced garlic to the pan and stir until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the orange juice, ¼ cup of chicken broth, coconut aminos, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, white balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and maple syrup to the pan, and stir.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of chicken broth and 1 tsp of tapioca flour. Add the slurry to the orange sauce and whisk.
  • Simmer stirring for about 3 minutes. Take the sauce off the heat and rest for 10 minutes; the sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • For the Oven “Fried” chicken:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line two baking sheets with foil and grease them with coconut oil.
  • Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a bowl, toss the chicken pieces to coat with the two tablespoons of melted coconut oil.
  • Working in three separate batches, add 1 Tbs of tapioca flour and 1/3 of the oiled chicken pieces to a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag, leaving some air inside so the chicken has room to move, and shake the bag well. The chicken will have a light coating of tapioca flour.
  • Toss the remaining two batches of chicken with the remaining two tablespoons of tapioca flour. (Be sure to divide the three tablespoons of tapioca flour among the three batches of chicken. If you add all of the tapioca at once, the chicken will grab all of the tapioca flour in the first batch.
  • Evenly disperse the chicken pieces onto the two baking sheets. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 8 minutes, flip chicken pieces, and bake for 4 more minutes, or until cooked through. Remove chicken from the oven and let it rest for at least 3 minutes.
  • While chicken is resting, reheat the orange sauce. Toss the chicken in the orange sauce and serve over cauliflower rice. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

 Step-by-step instructions with photos:

Zest the orange with a microplane, then juice the orange.  While you have the microplane out, peel and grate the fresh ginger.

orange zest and grated ginger

Tip! You can store your excess ginger in the freezer for future recipes, just wrap it tightly. It’s actually easier to peel and grate when frozen!

Finely mince the two cloves of garlic, a garlic press works well for this.

Heat the 1 Tbs of coconut oil over a medium burner. (I like making this sauce in my non-stick ceramic frying pan). Add the orange zest, grated ginger, and minced garlic to the pan and stir until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the orange juice, ¼ cup of chicken broth, coconut aminos, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, white balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and maple syrup to the pan, and stir.

chinese orange sauce

I like using these paleo friendly brands:

aminos,fish sauce,sriracha

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of chicken broth and 1 tsp of tapioca flour (I like Bobs Red Mills brand). Add the slurry to the Orange Sauce and whisk.

Simmer stirring for about 3 minutes. Take the sauce off the heat and rest for 10 minutes; the sauce will thicken as it cools.

For the Oven “Fried” chicken:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with foil and grease them with coconut oil.

In a bowl, toss the chicken pieces to coat with the two tablespoons of melted coconut oil.

Working in three separate batches, add 1 Tbs of tapioca flour and 1/3 of the oiled chicken pieces to a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag, leaving some air inside so the chicken has room to move, and shake the bag well. The chicken will have a light coating of tapioca flour.

lightly floured chicken

Toss the remaining two batches of chicken with the remaining two tablespoons of tapioca flour. (Be sure to divide the three tablespoons of tapioca flour among the three batches of chicken. If you add all of the tapioca at once, the chicken will grab all of the flour in the first batch.

Evenly disperse the chicken pieces onto the two baking sheets. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 8 minutes, flip chicken pieces, and bake for 4 more minutes, or until cooked through. Remove chicken from the oven and let it rest for at least 3 minutes.  If you prefer to use chicken breasts, just reduce the cook time by two minutes.  Cook for 6 minutes then flip and cook for 4 more.

oven fried chicken

While chicken is resting, reheat the orange sauce. Toss the “fried” chicken in the orange sauce, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

For an extra boost of veggies, you can add some blanched/steamed broccoli, asparagus, or snow peas to the sauce when you add the chicken.

 

 

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Hi, I'm Caroline

About Caroline

I love adding a whole, unprocessed and healthy twist to classic recipes.  My food is often grain-free, usually gluten-free, and always unprocessed.

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