Thursday, February 4, 2016

Quicker-Than-Take-Out Orange Chicken

A few years ago I discovered a series of cookbooks by Marlene Koch.  I now have three of them.  She's wonderful....she takes tradition and restaurant recipes and lowers the calories and fat grams.  And the results are fabulous!

She has a son whose favorite take-out meal is the Orange Chicken at "Panda Express."  She revamped the recipe to make it so much healthier and really, really tasty.  I've never had their Orange Chicken and feel no need to try this guilt-free version.  Originally  posted on November 3, 2011.

I caught a show featuring a new cookbook, "Eat What You Love" by Marlene Koch.  She likes to take favorite recipes and make them a bit healthier by lowering the fat/calorie contents.  Her favorite makeover is this take on "Panda Express'" Orange Chicken.   This entire recipe serves 4 and each serving (1 cup) contains just 290 calories with just 9 grams of fat.  I served this over steamed brown basmati rice and steamed asparagus.  It was absolutely delicious.  Fantastic make-over meal.


1/2 cup water
1/3 cup light orange juice
1/2 cup Splenda granulated sweetener
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch

1+ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into about 1" cubes, or bite-sized
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute) beaten
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 small red pepper, cut into small strips, or chopped
1 small onion, chopped

To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan whisk together the first nine ingredients (water through pepper flakes).  Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a low simmer.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp of water and the cornstarch to create a slurry and whisk into the sauce.  Bring the sauce to a low boil and cook for 1 minute, or until the sauce thickens and clears.  Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer.

Roll the chicken in the egg and toss with flour to coat.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in the large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half of the chicken and cook 4-5 minutes, or until well browned on all sides and chicken is cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a bowl and cover.  Heat the remaining oil and cook the remaining chicken pieces.  Add the chicken to the bowl and set aside.

Add the red pepper and onion to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly softened.  Add the chicken to the pan and then the orange sauce.  Stir to coat and serve.

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