Paleo Orange Chicken (Whole30, Oven Baked, Healthy)
Healthy Paleo Orange Chicken recipe with crispy baked chicken coated in a Chinese orange sauce with a perfect sweet-and-tart balance.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
- 1.5 lbs. chicken breasts , cut to bite size cubes
- ¼ tsp coarse salt
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp arrowroot flour or sweet potato starch/flour
- 3-4 cloves large garlic , finely chopped
- 2 thin slices ginger , finely chopped
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Whole30 Paleo Orange Chicken sauce:
- Avocado or olive oil
- Half one whole Orange , sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1-2 bulbs scallions , finely chopped
- Baby bok choy , quartered and blanched, as much as you like
Place a large rimmed sheet pan, unlined, in the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat the oven with the sheet pan inside to 425F (400F convection oven). In the meantime, dice and lightly coat the chicken with salt, pepper, baking soda, and arrowroot flour. Set the chicken aside in the fridge.
Once the oven reaches the temperature. Carefully remove sheet from oven and grease with 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil. Place chicken pieces one-by-one over the sheet pan. Try not to overlap each other much. Bake at lower rack for 10 minutes. Use this time to prepare aromatics and make the orange sauce. Set them aside ready to use.
Remove sheet from oven, using a metal spatula and tongs, loosen chickens from sheet and carefully flip each piece. Continue to bake until second side is golden and crispy, about 8-10 minutes longer.
Right before chicken is done baking (about 5 minutes prior). Preheat a large skillet with 1 tbsp oil. When hot, lower the heat to medium, add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Season with a pinch of salt and saute until fragrant (about 10-15 seconds).
Stir the orange sauce one more time then add it to the skillet. The sauce should become thicker pretty quickly, stir-often. Add baked chicken. Toss and coat the sauce over for about 30 seconds. Off heat, garnish with extra orange slices, scallions, and blanched bok choy.
Make-ahead tips: Dice and season the chicken and prepare the orange sauce in advance. Store the sauce in the fridge and store the chicken flat in a ziplock bag in the freezer if you will not cook the chicken the following day. If you have time, I recommend chopping the aromatics and blanching the baby bok choy on the serving day. If you can’t, I recommend preparing them 1 day in advance and use them the next day for best flavor and freshness.
Not sure how to zest an orange? Normally you'll reach the white part after zesting an area 1-2 times. Rotate the orange to a different spot as you zest. The white part of the orange, call pith, has a bitter taste, which is unpleasant for most recipes. If you do end up accidentally zesting the pith, stop and pick the white parts out of the zest. Read more information here.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without the baby bok choy.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 798mg | Potassium: 707mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 29.1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.6mg