Enjoy a delicious dinner of orange chicken takeout at home! This skinny orange chicken is cooked by pan searing instead of frying and tossed with a sweet homemade orange sauce. Served with steamed rice and green onions.
This recipe was originally published August 29, 2018.
This skinny orange chicken features pan seared chicken breast with a thick and silky orange sauce.
Best part? It takes 30 minutes to make this skinny orange chicken and it’s way easier on the waistline than what you’d get at takeout.
This is similar to my honey sesame chicken but I omitted a few things and added a few things.
Like fresh squeezed orange juice to give it that beautiful color and down right drool worthy orange chicken taste.
And obviously this is a lighter version, no deep frying.
I made this for my grandma when she was visiting recently and she adored it. She said it was the best orange chicken she had ever had and I kid you not my sweet grandma had three or four servings.
Bless her heart.
Pan Seared Chicken
You won’t even miss the fried version when you taste the pan seared version.
Does frying food ever make you feel a little strange? As I get older, it definitely does. So this healthy version is a win.
This lighter orange chicken is still juicy with a bit of crisp on the outside and all that gorgeous sauce you just can’t go wrong.
The secret (well I mean i don’t know how secret it is) is dusting cornstarch on the chicken before searing it. It works.
It’s important to cut your chicken thinly, against the grain. These thin pieces will cook quickly and get crisp. I use the same method for this skinny beef and broccoli recipe.
Try not to overcrowd the meat, the more space you have between the pieces the better crisping you will get.
If all the pieces are touching and squished in the pan, they won’t get crispy but it will turn into a wet mess. So cooking in two batches is suggested. Just transfer the first batch to a plate, then cook the rest.
Just like Julia Child would say, “don’t crowd the mushrooms!”. But don’t crowd the chicken.
To make the orange sauce you’ll need just a few ingredients.
- soy sauce – low sodium soy sauce is preferred
- rice wine vinegar
- orange juice – orange juice from a container, if you want to use fresh squeezed orange you’ll need about 4 oranges
- ginger powder
- garlic cloves
The easiest way to make this is add everything one by one to a measuring cup or bowl then whisk it all together. You can make this ahead of everything else and let it sit while you make the chicken.
- Is there a substitute for the corn starch? Unfortunately no, flour will not work the same as cornstarch for getting the chicken crispy
- My chicken didn’t get crispy? This could be from not dusting the chicken with corn starch, or overcrowding the chicken in the pan
- There is so much liquid in the pan after cooking the chicken? This happens when you put all the chicken in the pan at once, or overcrowding the chicken. The pieces need space around them to cook, if they are touching other pieces then they are heating up enough to get crispy and you’ll have a lot of extra liquid in the pan
- Can I make this gluten free? Sure, use a gluten free soy sauce alternative
- What can I serve this with? Besides rice, you could serve it with asian style noodles, steamed broccoli or these baked cream cheese wontons
More Takeout Style Dinners
- Skinny Beef and Broccoli Noodles
- Spicy Korean Chicken Rice Bowls
- Thai Peanut Chicken Noodle Salad
- Grilled Honey Garlic Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pho
- Better Than Takeout Mongolian Beef
- Honey Sesame Chicken
Skinny Orange Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil or another high heat oil
- 1 c basmati rice
- 2 c water
- optional: green onions
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 c orange juice or the juice of about 4 oranges
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/3 c water
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 2 garlic cloves
- Add 1 cup of basmati rice and 2 cups of water to a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until all water has disappeared. Turn the heat off and fluff with a fork.
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise
- Use your knife to cut against the grain, slicing on angle and thin (like you would with a mongolian beef type of dish)
- Toss the chicken with salt, pepper and cornstarch
- Heat a large saute pan over medium/high heat
- Add in the sunflower oil
- Add the chicken in two batches, trying not to crowd the pieces or overlap
- Once the first side is getting golden and crisp, flip it
- Repeat with the second batch and set the chicken aside on a plate lined with a paper towel
- Turn heat off
- Once it’s cooled slightly, add a cup full of water, this will boil out any extra bits in the pan
- Pour out the water and use a paper towel to dry it
- Combine all of the orange sauce ingredients into a bowl, except the soy sauce, whisking
- Turn the heat on to low
- Add all of the ingredients in, letting it simmer, once thickened turn the heat off and whisk in the soy sauce*
- Add the chicken to the pan, stirring
- Serve with some steamed rice and green onions!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review!