Orange Chicken

I can’t say I have ever been a fast food junkie, at least not in my adult life, but I have always had a soft spot for Panda Express.  The usual order in my house (growing up) was orange chicken and chow mein.  We did occasionally branch out to beef and broccoli:-)  A while before I discovered my gluten intolerance I noticed that I didn’t feel super great after eating Panda.  I attributed it to the oils and such, but now I would guess the gluten played a big part as well.DSC_0738The last time I remember eating Orange Chicken from Panda was about four years ago.  The separation has been hard on both of us.  A few weeks ago I saw somebody post a recipe for gluten-free orange chicken.  My.  Mind.  Was.  Blown.  It shouldn’t have been.  By now I should have figured out that there are very few things that can’t be made gluten-free.  Really.  Sometimes it takes more creativity, but the impossible list is very short.DSC_0742(I accidentally left out the agave for this picture, but here all all your sauce ingredients!)

So I decided that I wanted to make some orange chicken as well.  I began doing some research.  I looked at about 10 different recipes before picking one to use as my base.  The original recipe is found at Delicious Obsessions.  That sounds pretty good, right?  I did a few changes to the sauce recipe, but nothing too huge.  However, since I was going for gluten-free and healthy I did not bread my chicken before cooking it.  Every recipe I looked at breads the chicken since that is the way Panda Express does it.  I decided that the flavor of the sauce was the important part and breading the chicken just seemed like unnecessary carbs.  When I eat carbs they should be essential to a recipe:-)DSC_0749I paired this chicken with some roasted broccoli and some rice.  You can cook your rice plain or sometimes it is fun to add a little seasoning to it.  For this batch I added, salt, garlic powder, onion salt and lots of paprika.  Enjoy!DSC_0755

Orange Chicken

4-6 pieces of chicken, depending on size

Zest of one orange

¼ inch fresh ginger, zested

1 C broth

½ C agave

½ C rice wine vinegar

½-¾ C orange juice

1 T soy sauce

1 T lemon juice

½ t garlic, minced

Pinch of chili flakes

  1. Put all ingredients, except the chicken, into a large flat saucepan.  Simmer on medium to medium-high for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Cut chicken into small pieces and add chicken to the sauce.  Keep heat between medium and medium-high and stir frequently to prevent the sauce from burning.
  3. Cook chicken for approximately 20 minutes.  The sauce will be very thin and light colored for the majority of the time it is cooking; towards the end the sauce will thicken and become darker.  (See pictures for example.)

*  If you want to bread your chicken for the authentic experience you can click on the link to the original recipe:-)DSC_0769DSC_0782DSC_0793

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