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I love that sticky, sweet, thick orange sauce that coats my take-out order of orange chicken. But, I don’t love the fatigue and bloating I get afterward from the MSG, excess amounts of salt, and sneaky sugar added to the sauce. Hello, healthier, paleo, gluten-free orange chicken!
My healthy version of this popular take-out dish is simple and so tasty. I use tapioca flour to get that beloved crisp crust on the chicken and swap soy sauce for coconut aminos. Coconut aminos come from the sap of the coconut plant. It does not taste at all like coconut. It is savory and fermented, having a similar flavor profile to soy sauce. It is a great allergen-friendly substitute for soy sauce since it does not contain soy and gluten, common allergens in soy sauce.
I love serving this orange chicken with cauliflower rice to keep it paleo, but steamed rice is also fantastic, along with sauteed veggies. This recipe is such a weeknight dinner win!
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use instead of tapioca flour?
The only substitute for tapioca flour is arrowroot flour/starch.
What kind of orange juice should I use?
Any pulp-free orange juice should work fine. To keep it paleo, opt for unsweetened orange juice. I used organic pulp-free unsweetened orange juice.
I hope you love this as much as I do! ENJOY!
Easy Healthy Paleo Orange Chicken
- 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 3 small chicken breasts
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 2/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup avocado oil for heating in skillet
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. coconut aminos
- 1/4 tsp. ginger or 1/2 inch fresh, grated
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes optional, but recommended if you like a little heat!
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp. water
- Whisk together tapioca flour and water from "sauce" ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a saucepan , then add the tapioca and water mixture to the saucepan and whisk to combine everything.
- Cook the sauce mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the chicken.
- Whisk the egg in a shallow dish and place the tapioca flour in a seperate shallow dish and set aside.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
- Dip the chicken pieces one at a time, first in the egg dish and then in the tapioca flour dish. Place dipped pieces on a paper towel lined dish.
- Once all the chicken is coated, heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat with 1/4 cup of avocado oil.
- Once the oil is hot, place chicken pieces, one at a time in a single layer in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through and golden brown. You may have to work in batches so as not to crowd the chicken. Set cooked chicken aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Once all the chicken is cooked through, place all the chicken back in the skillet and pour the orange sauce over it and stir together so it is well coated and everything is heated through.
- Garnish with chopped green onions, sesame seeds or some orange zest! Serve with cauliflower rice, steamed rice, or sauteed veggies. ENJOY!
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