I believe we all crave non-healthy foods at times, especially on the weekends. A time to rest, unwind, lay back, watch TV, and spend time with our families and friends. And we also get that sense of laziness where we just do not feel like doing anything, especially cooking a meal and then the dreaded clean-up. But because we care about our health and are trying to eat healthier we are always searching for better alternatives than calorie laden take out food that is usually loaded with so much fat and off the charts sodium.
In America, Chinese take-out is one of the most popular meals to order. It is quick, often tasty, a comfort-food and fun to eat with chopsticks. But I assure you, once you try this quick and healthier version of my “Orange Chicken” you’ll find it hard to order Chinese take-out. You’ll be eating from start to finish in under 40 minutes, and that could be even faster than your local take-out.
For this recipe I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breast because it offers a bit more flavor. But if you are totally opposed to thighs then by all means use skinless, boneless chicken breast.
By not frying the meat you are saving many calories and unnecessary saturated fat that will surely make your heart happy and provide a healthy life. And trust me, you will not miss it. You can serve this with some rice and/or steamed vegetables of your choice.
So go ahead and create your own Chinese take-out week-end meal and feel better about your healthy choice, and as always, Enjoy!
Healthier Baked Orange Chicken
Ingredients: Serves 2
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 extra large egg, whisked
for the sauce:
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 cup light soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon sriracha
2 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dip the chicken pieces in egg and then roll in bread crumbs until fully coated and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Repeat until all chicken is coated. Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken coating is a light brown and is crunchy.
While chicken is cooking, make the sauce on the stove. Add all sauce ingredients except the 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water. Bring to a low boil. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water, then add to the mixture. Stir until sauce boils again and cook until sauce thickens. Toss chicken in sauce right before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped scallion if desired.