Every so often, my daughter and I will get a craving for Chinese food. My husband and two boys are not fans of it at all, so we very rarely go out for Chinese or order in take-out. And now that I’m gluten free, it’s not easy to find much on the menu that’s celiac-safe. So I decided to make my own version of take-out for my daughter and I to enjoy. Best of all, I can control the amount of salt that’s added and ensure that the ingredients are gluten free for my very sensitive belly. This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight too, since you can prepare the chicken pieces ahead of time and leave them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it up. Plus, the orange sauce comes together in a couple of minutes, making it even easier for a busy weeknight dinner! I like to serve the chicken over basmati rice, but any rice that you prefer will do. My Creamy Coconut Rice would also be delicious alongside this chicken dish! I also sprinkle white sesame seeds on top for a little texture and slight nutty flavor.
PARTY TIP! If you’re planning to serve this for a party or gathering, take a trip to your local Chinese take-out joint and purchase a bunch of white take-out boxes. Place some of the cooked rice in the bottom of the box, spoon the chicken on top and garnish! Such a nice presentation and fun to eat with chopsticks, too!
Better Than Take-Out Orange Chicken
- 2 packages Perdue chicken breast tenderloins (about 2 lbs)
- 3 Tbsp. low sodium, gluten free soy sauce (I use La Choy)
- 4 heaping Tbsp. sweet orange marmalade
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- Pinch of salt
- Crushed red pepper
- Heaping tsp. honey
- Potato or corn starch
- Oil for frying (I prefer canola, avocado or peanut oil)
- Green onion, optional
- White sesame seeds, optional
- Step 1 Cut each chicken tenderloin into 3 pieces (try to remove the white tendon if you can)
- Step 2 In a gallon-size Ziploc bag, place 1 cup of the potato or corn starch and add a little salt and black pepper.
- Step 3 Add the pieces of chicken to the bag, zip the top closed, and toss to coat the chicken. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
- Step 4 Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the soy sauce, 3 Tbsp. of the marmalade, juice and zest of the orange, honey, pinch of salt and pinch of crushed red pepper
- Step 5 whisk until well-blended. Set aside.
- Step 6 Heat a few good glugs of oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken pieces in batches, frying a few minutes on each side until just cooked and very lightly golden. Be sure to shake off excess starch mixture before frying.
- Step 7 Drain on paper towels.
- Step 8 Drain off the excess oil and add a couple Tbsp. of butter to the pan
- Step 9 allowing to melt.
- Step 10 Pour the soy sauce mixture into the pan and begin heating over medium heat.
- Step 11 Add the last Tbsp. of marmalade and mix into sauce that’s heating.
- Step 12 Add the chicken back to the pan and gently stir the chicken into the sauce to coat. If the sauce seems too thick, you can thin by adding a little more orange juice, as needed.
- Step 13 Saute for just a few minutes, as the chicken is already cooked and you don’t want it to dry out.
- Step 14 Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds, if using.