Honey Orange Chicken

Honey Orange Chicken ~ a lighter version with fresh citrus flavor, sautéed vegetables, tender bites of chicken without heavy breading = an easy under-30 minute meal.

Dinner | August 13, 2017 | By

This lighter version of Honey Orange Chicken has fresh citrus flavor, sautéed vegetables, bites of tender chicken, but no heavy breading for an easy, weeknight, under-30 minute meal.

While I was going through A Gouda Life’s index the other day I realized I’ve been sharing a lot of seafood recipes lately, like Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon and Grilled Shrimp Scampi. You wouldn’t guess, but we actually eat a lot of chicken in our house, like this Honey Orange Chicken. Heads up ~ if you’re used to the restaurant version with a thick coating, this isn’t it. But if you’ve been scanning Pinterest for a lighter version of the classic restaurant takeout,  you’ll love this dish, because while you won’t find the chicken buried in a thick breading, you will find it buried in flavor.

Orange Chicken ~ buried in fresh orange flavor and sautéed vegetables instead of breading for an easy weeknight under 30 minute meal.

For years the only Chinese takeout we ordered was Almond Boneless Chicken. Though the flavor is good, the deep fried coating on the chicken is measurably thick and almost completely masks the chicken.   

Orange Chicken ~ buried in fresh orange flavor and sautéed vegetables instead of breading for an easy weeknight under 30 minute meal.

With a little effort, there’s almost no end to delicious chicken recipes. This lightened up Orange Chicken is so full of robust flavor, you won’t miss the breading so whenever I see chicken on sale, I stock up for recipes just like this.

Last week our local Meijer had whole chickens on sale for 69 cents per pound *this is not a typo*. We brought that baby home, seasoned it, plunked it onto a can of Bud Light and about an hour and half later it morphed into juicy, tender, crazy-good grilled beer can chicken.  

Grilled Beer Can Chicken is a really great weekend meal but it’s definitely not for busy weeknights. That’s where Honey Orange Chicken comes in because it goes from stove to table in well under 30 minutes.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodculture/there%E2%80%99s-a-reason-potato-chip-bags-are-always-empty-at-the-top/ar-AApJJL8?li=BBgdrt0&ocid=spartanntp

You can speed things up even more by chopping the chicken and vegetables the night before and storing them in separate containers in the refrigerator. Whip up the sauce the night before too if you want and refrigerate it ~ just give it a good whisk before you add it to the skillet.

Orange Chicken ~ buried in fresh orange flavor and sautéed vegetables instead of breading for an easy weeknight under 30 minute meal.

This tasty Honey Orange Chicken is naturally flavored with honey which has been known to alleviate allergy symptoms)Serve it over white or brown rice or even some rice noodles but start cooking the side first so everything comes together about the same time.

You can use almost any vegetables in this dish. I used what I already had in the refrigerator plus some frozen edamame. You’ll want to chop the vegetables about the same size so they cook evenly (except the onion and garlic which will be smaller).

Orange Chicken ~ buried in fresh orange flavor and sautéed vegetables instead of breading for an easy weeknight under 30 minute meal.

Traditionally Honey Orange Chicken doesn’t have veggies, but I love how some chopped vegetables add delicious flavor and texture. 

Honey Orange Chicken Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of boneless chicken, cut in 1” cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables of your choice (suggestions: onions, carrots, bell peppers, edamame, sugar snap peas, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini)  

Note: these vegetables are suggestions. Choose 3 or 4  of your choice, but not all of them).

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Juice and zest from one medium size orange
  • 2 teaspoons of sriracha (or more to taste) Note: sriracha can be completely omitted.
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

Garnish ideas:

  • thinly-sliced green onions
  • sesame seeds
  • orange zest
  • almonds

If you have young kids at home or prefer the dish without spice, eliminate the sriracha completely.

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel then season it with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet. Brown it on both sides until it’s cooked through then remove it from the skillet.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodculture/there%E2%80%99s-a-reason-potato-chip-bags-are-always-empty-at-the-top/ar-AApJJL8?li=BBgdrt0&ocid=spartanntp

Add the vegetables to the same skillet, season them with salt and pepper, cook 2-3 minutes then grate in the garlic and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodculture/there%E2%80%99s-a-reason-potato-chip-bags-are-always-empty-at-the-top/ar-AApJJL8?li=BBgdrt0&ocid=spartanntp

Return the chicken to the skillet, stirring to combine with the vegetables and reduce the heat to low.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodculture/there%E2%80%99s-a-reason-potato-chip-bags-are-always-empty-at-the-top/ar-AApJJL8?li=BBgdrt0&ocid=spartanntp

Whisk the sauce together making sure to completely combine the honey, then pour it into the skillet scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook a few minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodculture/there%E2%80%99s-a-reason-potato-chip-bags-are-always-empty-at-the-top/ar-AApJJL8?li=BBgdrt0&ocid=spartanntp

That’s it! Serve the Honey Orange Chicken over Uncle Ben’s or your favorite rice or noodles and if you’d like garnish with some thinly sliced green onions or sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Honey Orange Chicken ~ a lighter version with fresh citrus flavor, sautéed vegetables, tender chicken without heavy breading 

Honey Orange Chicken
Ingredients
Honey Orange Chicken Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of boneless chicken cut in 1” cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables of your choice  suggestions: onions, carrots, bell peppers, edamame, sugar snap peas, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini
  • Note: these vegetables are suggestions. Choose 3 or 4  of your choice but not all of them).
Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Juice and zest from one medium size orange
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha or more to taste Note: sriracha can be completely omitted.
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat then season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add it to the skillet browning on both sides until it’s cooked through then remove it from the skillet.

  2. Add the vegetables to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, cook 2-3 minutes then grate in the garlic and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes.

  3. Return the chicken to the skillet, combine with the vegetables and reduce the heat to low.

  4. Whisk the sauce together making sure to completely combine the honey, then pour it into the skillet scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook a few minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens.

  5. Serve over rice or noodles.