I love Chinese food. I used to love Chinese takeout. The crab Rangoon at the local joint, and the shrimp lo mein, and the beef with pea pods and broccoli . . . it was all amazing. And then I started thinking about what went into the food I was consuming, and I came to this conclusion . . .
So for this meal I created a Chinese -inspired dish that is like take-out, just better: no HFCS, no MSG, no hydrogenated vegetable oils for frying, and no glutenous sauces. This dish captures the sweet indulgence of orange chicken with very little added sugar (and none of it refined!), and is easy to assemble, ready and waiting in the crock pot when you return from work – even easier than take-out, since you do not have to swing by the restaurant!
1 lb boneless chicken, cut into chunks
Coconut flour for coating the chicken
Olive oil for browning the chicken (or whatever cooking oil you prefer)
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ cup orange juice (I would opt for no pulp, as the pulp can taste bitter when cooked)
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Dredge the chicken pieces with coconut flour, and shake off the excess. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown the chicken on all sides. (No need to worry about cooking it fully, just aim to get a nice brown coconutty coating.) Place the chopped red onion and chicken pieces into your slow cooker. A smaller slow cooker will yield better results – I used my crockette. (Yes, I have a crock pot and a crockette.) In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange juice, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken, cover, and cook on low for six hours, or on high for three to four. The sauce will not be as thick as the orange chicken at, say, Panda Express, (since it contains no glutenous thickening agents) but it will be just as tasty, probably more so, as it will lack the fake overly-sweet taste of HFCS. If you would like your sauce thicker you could always thicken it with a bit of arrowroot powder.
I am sharing this recipe at Frugal Food Thursday, Turning the Table Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, It’s a Keeper Thursday, The Ultimate Recipe Swap, Fight Back Friday, and Fresh Bites Friday.