What’s Inside: This 30-minute gluten-free Orange Chicken and broccoli rice is the ultimate “fakeout” meal you can feel good about since it’s low-carb, Paleo, AIP, and Whole30-friendly!
Healthy Organic Chicken Is Your Weeknight Takeout Upgrade
What’s better than fast, hot, savory takeout? Fakeout! Using simple, wholesome ingredients and just one skillet gets you a flavorful gluten-free Orange Chicken you can trust since it’s homemade! No need to second guess or worry about harmful ingredients and allergens, and no need to compromise on flavor, either.
We’re serving this on top of a bed of easy broccoli rice, making this low-carb and packed with vitamins and minerals.
Why You Should Use Organic, Pasture-Raised Chicken
The benefits of organic, pasture-raised poultry are hard to deny. From the booming nutrient content and fatty acid composition to the ethical issue of treating animals without cruelty, choosing meat from happy, healthy chickens is a no-brainer.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that pastured raised chicken is a completely different bird from organic chicken. Pasture-raised chickens are allowed to roam freely while eating what they forage for natural foods like grass, leaves, and seeds. Organic chicken is not necessarily raised as humanely as pasture-raised poultry, and it may still be fed primarily grains albeit, organic grains.
Additionally — and like pigs and even cows — chickens will have a better or worse fat quality depending on what they eat and how freely they can move. The biggest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids in a chicken’s diet come from green plants (aka grass and leaves) and the bugs that eat them. So, it makes sense that free-range, pasture-raised chickens that are able to eat their natural plant diet, would have higher contents of healthy fats. Pasture-raised chicken also contains 50% more vitamin A compared to conventionally raised chicken. Vitamin A is important for vision, immune system strength, skin health, and cell division and growth.
Of course, buying higher quality meat like organic, pasture-raised chicken can be more of an investment than big-name brand poultry meat that doesn’t take diet or humane treatment for these birds into consideration. However, there are many ways to alleviate cost as you’re able to. And like most health-conscious steps, this is well worth the investment in your health.
When you decide to purchase and consume pasture-raised meat, consider sourcing your product directly from the farmer, as the price of grass-fed/pasture-raised meat can steeply vary from grocery store to grocery store. It’s also beneficial to connect with or at least know of the farms your meat comes from and the farmers who are raising those animals for your consumption.
Sourcing Tip: Grass Roots Coop is one of our favorite sources of sustainably-raised meats. Grass Roots farmers use regenerative agriculture, which means they replenish the nutrients in the soil rather than deplete them. Their rotational grazing practices also improves our environment and slows climate change. Using Grass Roots helps to take the guesswork out of finding farms that are “up to snuff” on their methods, you can learn more here.
Check out my 10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget to learn more about how you can invest in your health and in causes you care about, while saving money!
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Tip: When making a switch to where you source quality, more nutrient-dense food, it’s just like picking up any new healthy habit! Low and slow wins the race, incorporate this into your life bit by bit so it becomes a sustainable lifestyle for you instead of a drain. You’ll feel better even by making small changes.
Key Ingredients for Gluten-Free Orange Chicken
- Olive Oil: A healthy fat option that keeps everything from sticking to the pan.
- Organic, Pasture-Raised Chicken Breasts: This recipe calls for two pounds total, boneless and skinless. You could also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, if you prefer dark meat.
- Arrowroot Flour: This serves as the “breading” for the chicken and the thickening agent for the sauce.
- Baking soda: This also serves as a component of the fried “breading” for the chicken and helps make it crispy.
- Dry seasonings: All you need for this recipe is garlic powder and sea salt!
- Broccoli Rice: Four cups total, fresh or frozen — you can use this recipe to make the best broccoli rice from scratch.
- Scallions: Sliced, for garnish.
Key Ingredients for Gluten-Free Orange Chicken Sauce
- Fresh orange juice
- Fresh orange zest
- Raw honey (omit for Whole30)
- Coconut aminos
- Garlic cloves, minced
- Arrowroot flour/powder
How To Make Healthy Homemade Orange Chicken
- Combine all sauce ingredients and whisk well in a mixing bowl, and set aside.
- Next, combine chicken pieces, arrowroot, baking soda, sea salt, and garlic powder in a separate mixing bowl. Mix well until the chicken pieces are coated evenly, and set aside.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shiny, sauté the broccoli rice, mixing well until tender (approx. 3-4 mins.) and add cooked broccoli rice to serving bowls.
- To the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Once heated, add the chicken. Stir well for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is golden on all sides and cooked through.
- Next, pour the orange sauce over the chicken and mix well, reducing the heat to medium-low and scraping up any browned bits. The sauce will thicken as it cooks for 1 minute or so, keep stirring until thick and covering the chicken.
- Serve chicken over broccoli rice and garnish with sliced scallions.
What To Serve with Homemade Orange Chicken
Looking for more sides beyond or in place of broccoli rice? Any of these grain-free side dishes would pair perfectly with my Gluten-Free Orange Chicken:
How To Store, Freeze, and Reheat Homemade Orange Chicken
- To Store: Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days when stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.
- To Freeze: Store cooked orange chicken in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to two months. Freeze sauce separately, and it will keep for much longer.
- To Reheat: Allow frozen chicken and sauce to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat in your air fryer (the most crispy option), in the oven for 10 minutes or so at 375, or in the microwave at 30-second intervals until desired warmness is achieved (least crispy option). Thaw sauce in the microwave at 30-second intervals until hot, then toss with reheated chicken. Serve over leftover broccoli rice, cauliflower rice, or rice.
More Recipes To Try
If you like this Gluten-Free Orange Chicken, then you’ll love my other Asian-inspired recipes:
- Paleo Crispy Sesame Chicken
- Sesame Squash Kabocha Soup
- Sunflower Seed Pad Thai
- Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp
- Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice
Orange Chicken with Broccoli Rice
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp fresh orange zest
- 1 tsp raw honey (omit for Whole30)
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp arrowroot flour/powder
- In a mixing bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and whisk well. Set aside.
- To a separate mixing bowl, combine chicken pieces, arrowroot, baking soda, sea salt, and garlic powder. Mix well until the chicken pieces are coated evenly and set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once heated, saute the broccoli rice, mixing well until tender (approx. 3-4 mins.) and add cooked broccoli rice to serving bowls.
- Next, to the same skillet, add another Tbsp of olive oil over medium, and once heated, add the chicken. Stir well for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is golden on all sides and cooked through.
- Next, pour the orange sauce over the chicken and mix well, reducing the heat to medium-low and scraping up any browned bits. The sauce will thicken as it cooks for 1 minute or so, keep stirring until thick and covering the chicken. Serve chicken over broccoli rice and garnish with sliced scallions. Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days when stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
This recipe was made in partnership with Grass Roots Coop – Be sure to check out my Nutrition Box to cook along with me using my favorite Grass Roots products. As always, I only recommend and partner with brands I trust and use myself.