April 1, 2014

Alright my dear blog readers, this post comes with a disclaimer: this is not Paleo. If you don’t want to eat rice on the side, and you want to make your own orange juice, and you want to sub arrowroot powder for cornstarch, then sure, it can be Paleo. But here’s the deal, Paleo hates my genetics. I went to the doc a few months ago and they told me my cholesterol was slightly too high. (Somewhere in the ballpark of twice what they want it to be, but whose really keeping track?) Doc told me to lay off of: bacon, red meat, high fat foods, coconut oil, egg yolks, sausage, butter (even grass fed!) basically the staples of Paleo I was advised to limit very much.

I was maybe being a little bit dramatic when I got the news. I might have told my husband my entire world would have to change. I may have thrown a pity party. But then I realized that, one, it’s only food, and two, now I can eat rice and low fat yogurt without feeling like a failure! Yay!

So if you were a faithful recipe reader of mine (like the 800 of you who viewed my roasted chicken recipe), I have to let you know that, no, my recipes won’t be Paleo anymore. However, I still can’t bring myself to used processed foods and junk in the things I cook. But now I’m not afraid to make a turkey burger and eat it with a gluten free bun. I like lean meats. And I’ve discovered I really really really like quinoa with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

This orange chicken is one of my favorite things ever. If you’re looking to save some time, you can mix up the sauce and chop your chicken before hand. But, this dish is pretty simple to whip up after work.
I got to use some of my favorite tools during this little cook up. Ever since my mom gifted me this Garlic Zoom, I have been hooked on kitchen gadgets.

I branched out and registered for a ginger grater when we got married. I was shocked someone actually got it for us! It’s been the best thing for grating ginger. I don’t love ground, dried, ginger. In my humble opinion, it lacks immense amounts of flavor. So, I have this nifty little ginger grater that has solved all of my flavorless ginger problems.
If your kitchen is not blessed with a ginger grater, you can just use a normal micro plane grater, OR you can use this awesome cup grater. I love it for zesting oranges. It collects everything so I can just dump it into whatever I need without creating an unnecessary mess.
Now let’s get something straight, this recipe requires you to heat the skillet on medium to medium-high (you know your stove better than I do). Medium to medium-high does not mean crank the heat up to 10 and sear the life out of the chicken. No. Don’t do that. Your chicken will be tough and burnt. This is what medium to medium-high looks like. If your heat is too low, you will notice water coming out of your chicken and starting to boil. Gordon Ramsey addressed this on Master Chef once, cue British accent “You’re boiling the bloody chicken. It is going to taste like crap! You have to turn the heat up and let it caramelize and then lower the heat!” But he used more colorful language. So just learn the lesson now; before you have Gordon screaming at you, your heat should be high enough that your chicken isn’t boiling in it’s own juices but low enough so that it doesn’t sear it as soon as you throw it on the skillet. Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of the recipe.

Orange Chicken

Yield: About 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven


2 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey (you can add more if you like it sweeter)
1/3 cup Coconut Aminos
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
zest from one orange

Toppings and Sides:
brown Rice or quinoa
chopped green onions
sesame seeds


Coat chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

whisk together sauce ingredients into a bowl and begin cooking rice or quinoa per package directions.

Drizzle olive oil into large skillet and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Once skillet is heated, throw on the chicken, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is mostly cooked, about 5 minutes.

Add sauce into skillet with chicken and stir well. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes or until sauce is thick. Remove from heat and serve over rice or quinoa. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.

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