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healthy crispy orange chicken

Healthy Crispy Orange Chicken


  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Description

This healthy & delicious crispy orange chicken will not disappoint! It is paleo, gluten, grain, & dairy-free!


Scale

Ingredients

Crispy Chicken

  • 1 large package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (~ 1kg)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (plus 24 tbsp more if needed)
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour (plus 1/4-1/2 cup more if needed)
  • 2 eggs (omit for egg-free version)
  • 1/41/2 cup avocado oil (for fried version only)
  • Avocado oil spray

Orange Chicken Sauce

  • 1/3 cup gluten-free tamari (or coconut aminos)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/21 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1/3 cup + 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar

Toppings

  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions
  • Orange rind

Instructions

Crispy Chicken (2 ways)

Fried version (egg-free option):

  1. If using the eggs, gently beat in a small bowl. Omit this step for the egg-free version.
  2. Add the tapioca & cassava flour in a separate medium sized bowl. Start with 1/4 cup tapioca flour & 1/2 cup cassava flour & then you can add 2 tbsp of tapioca flour + 1/4 cup cassava flour as needed to finish coating all of your chicken.*
  3. Coat the chicken pieces in the egg (if using) OR evenly cover them in a bit of avocado oil for the egg-free version.
  4. Then dip the chicken in the flour mixture to evenly cover each piece. Dust off the excess & place them on a baking tray to get ready to fry.
  5. In a medium or large saucepan, add 1/4-1/2 cup avocado oil so that there is about 1/4 inch of oil covering the bottom of the pan. Note that the smaller the pan, the less oil you will need to cover the bottom, however, the more batches you will need to do to cook all the chicken.**
  6. Heat the oil over low-medium heat. Test that it is ready by sprinkling with a little water. When the oil is ready for frying the water will sizzle.
  7. Place each piece of prepared chicken into the pan. I used a pair of tongs for this & an oven mitt to prevent any burns from the splattering oil.
  8. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. You might need to do a couple extra minutes on each side again as you want them to be thoroughly cooked & there should be not pink in the middle when you cut into them. You can also test them using a meat thermometer as well. I cut open a few pieces when they were golden brown after cooking 5 minutes on each side & then about 3-4 more minutes on each side again.
  9. Remove the chicken using your tongs & place them on some paper towel to cool off.
  10. Continue with the rest of the chicken pieces, until all the chicken is fully cooked throughout.
  11. You can top them with a bit of pink salt & enjoy like this or set aside while you prep the sauce.

Baked Version (egg-free option)

  1. Follow all of the steps above from 1-4.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Line a baking tray with a wire rack & spray with avocado oil.
  4. Place the prepared chicken onto the wire rack on the baking tray & coat with a little avocado oil spray.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes & then flip, baking for another 15 minutes until crispy & golden brown.***

Orange Chicken Sauce

  1. In a medium bowl add the gluten-free tamari (or coconut aminos), garlic, red pepper flakes, ginger, fresh orange juice, honey, sesame oil, & pepper. Mix well.
  2. Add this mixture to a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. In the same bowl add the water & tapioca flour, mixing well.
  4. Add this into the saucepan, stirring to allow it to thicken. 
  5. Add the vinegar.
  6. Mix in the prepared chicken.
  7. Cook for about 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer until everything is warm & evenly coated.
  8. Top with sliced green onions, sesame seeds & fresh grated orange rind, if desired. Serve with cauliflower rice, zoodles, rice or base of choice & enjoy!

Notes

*I used a total of 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp tapioca flour, and 3/4 cup cassava flour for mine.

**You can save oil by using a smaller saucepan, but you will need to do a few more batches to cook all the chicken.

***I like to flip them with tongs but you can also use a fork, careful not to burn yourself as the chicken will be very hot. 

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: meal prep, dinner, orange chicken, chicken dinner, healthy dinner, healthy recipe, paleo, gluten free, dairy free