Orange Chicken

orange chicken

Chinese take-out food has always been one of my weaknesses. It tastes so good, but the next day it always makes me feel so terrible. We started making our own Chinese take-out dishes about 5 years ago. I re-vamped one of our favorite dishes, spicy orange chicken, to be much lower in fat and sugar, but it still wasn’t all that healthy. So a few days ago I thought I would try it again. It’s been one of my goals this year to try and regulate my blood sugar, not because I’ve been diagnosed with high blood sugar or diabetes, just because I want to get healthier. So I’ve been really watching my consumption of carbohydrates, sugar and other very high GI foods.

chicken in white plate

Typical orange chicken is coated in cornstarch and then deep fried, then coated in a spicy sugary sauce. For this healthier chicken recipe I decided, after the suggestion of a reader, to simply saute the chicken instead of fry it. Then for the sweetness, I didn’t use sugar or a sugar substitute. Instead, I used lots of sweet orange juice. Makes sense doesn’t it? Orange juice in orange chicken? It’s funny how so many recipes include only a hint of orange zest. For a little more added sweetness and spice, I used sweet Thai chili sauce. Now this sweet Thai chili sauce does contain sugar, but not a whole lot. Next I added soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, chili peppers, and ginger. You can adjust these seasonings to your taste. Ours wasn’t too spicy because my son was able to eat it. I added some broccoli for nutrition, but you can add any vegetable that you like.

Did you also know that it’s citrus season here in Florida? I have a new margarita tree that’s packed full of blooms! (A margarita tree is a grafted citrus tree containing multiple varieties; mine has honeybells, meyer lemons, persian limes, tangerines, ruby red grapefruit and naval oranges.) I have neighbors with trees heavy with fruit and the farmer’s market is overflowing with cheap citrus. You can even pick wild sour lemons on nature trails.

But you don’t have to live in Florida to enjoy delicious Florida orange juice, you can find 100% pure Florida orange juice in every part of the country. It’s a very healthy way to start your day, and is versatile in many recipes like my orange chicken below. It also makes a great juice to have at snack time, or to enjoy anytime of the day when your craving something sweet and healthy.

orange juice

To celebrate 100% pure Florida orange juice, I’ve teamed up with the Florida Department of Citrus for a fun little giveaway!
This giveaway consists of:

  • Claire Robinson’s latest cookbook, “5 Ingredient Fix”
  • $20 Williams-Sonoma gift card
  • a gorgeous set of culinary measuring cups

Use the widget below to enter the giveaway.

Learn more about Florida orange juice on their site here. Be sure to also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

recipe photo

Yield: Serves 4

Orange Chicken

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2 lbs chicken, cut in cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup 100% Florida orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon grated ginger
6 - 8 dried chilis
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup water
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Cooked white rice
green onions


Heat skillet or wok over medium heat. Drizzle skillet with olive oil. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. In a large bowl, combine orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, Thai chili sauce, garlic, ginger and chili peppers. Mix well.

Add sauce over chicken and bring to a boil. Combine corn starch and water. Mix well. Add broccoli and cook until tender crisp.

Serve over cooked white rice. Garnish with green onions.

All text and images © / Eclectic Recipes
*Nutritional Information is not guaranteed for 100% accuracy.

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This post sponsored by the Florida Department of Citrus.

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