Back in college there was one place on campus that was CLUTCH for a tasty lunch between classes and practice. And that was the almighty Panda Express. I would always get a bowl with chow mein and either manderin chicken or orange chicken. If you have had their orange chicken you know what I’m talking about. So good, so sweet and sooo coated in fried breading. When I was a college athlete I could eat that stuff and not worry about a thing, but these days, Panda is a no-go restaurant for me. However I still get a craving for that sweet orange sauce occasionally… so whats a gal to do?
After a bit of experimenting I managed to make a super tasty sauce that only has a few ingredients and is packed with sweet and savory flavor! The orange juice in the recipe cooks down and brings the perfect flavor, while coconut aminos bring umami goodness. I like to cook my chicken on the stove top in some coconut oil as opposed to baking so it can get a little crispy too and bring back those Panda vibes. Arrowroot is such a winner in this recipe as it thickens up the sauce to coat every piece evenly. You would never guess it is Whole30 approved and if you serve it over my Cauliflower Fried Rice, you are in for a treat!
See those little browned bits? That my friends – is GOOD STUFF.
Did I mention I made this at my parents house? I have granite envy…
2 large chicken breasts, pounded to even level & chopped into 1 inch cube pieces
salt & pepper
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil (plus extra if needed to moisten chicken)
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup coconut aminos
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon arrowroot + 1 tablespoon cold water (combined)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Place a large saute pan over medium high heat. In a small bowl combine almond meal, coconut flour, garlic powder, ginger, salt & pepper. Crack the egg in another small bowl and whisk until combined.
Season the chicken pieces with a little salt and pepper the dip the chicken into the egg and completely coat. Shake off extra egg and then roll into the breading mixture until fully coated and set aside onto a plate. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
Depending on the size of your pan, you will probably have to cook the chicken in two rounds. Scoop 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into the pan. Once it melts, add in about half the chicken, or just enough to not overcrowd the pan. Cook pieces for about 3 minutes then flip them and cook another 3 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add some extra coconut oil to the pan if needed then the extra chicken and cook again until all of the chicken is cooked.
In large sauté pan add in all of the sauce ingredients, except for the arrowroot.
Over medium high heat cook until it is brought to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling add in the arrowroot and water mixture and quickly stir until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is thick, toss chicken in the sauce, making sure all of the pieces are covered. Serve with cauliflower rice.