In college, mandarin chicken was my weakness. I loved Chinese food and ate mandarin chicken from a local chinese restaurant many late nights while studying. Healthy… not so much. Delicious… absolutely.
As with practically all foods, I’ve found that healthy versions can actually taste better even without the MSG and chemical flavoring agents. Served over some cauliflower rice or fresh steamed broccoli, this mandarin chicken is delicious, filling, and nutritious. If you like Chinese food, try this recipe!
Healthy Mandarin Chicken Recipe
Yield 4 cups
A delicious orange mandarin chicken that rivals the best restaurant versions but without the high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, and refined white flour!
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup + 1 TBSP arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground ginger (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 1 TBSP water
- 1 cup coconut oil, tallow, or lard for frying
- 3 organic oranges
- 1 organic lemon
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 1 TBSP chili garlic sauce (optional)
- ¼ cup honey (optional)
- Cut the chicken bite-sized pieces.
- In a medium size bowl, mix the almond flour, ¼ of the arrowroot, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and ginger.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the water.
- Heat the coconut oil, tallow or lard in a large skillet.
- Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then into the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess flour.
- Carefully drop the breaded chicken pieces into the hot oil, cooking about 3-5 minutes per side until cooked through. Do not stir or move chicken except to flip once during cooking as it may knock off the breading.
- Carefully remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate to cool.
- Repeat with all the chicken until cooked.
- While chicken is cooking and cooling, zest the oranges and lemon into a medium sized saucepan.
- Squeeze the juice of the oranges and lemon into the pan and add the coconut aminos, chili garlic sauce, and honey.
- Stir well and slowly add the remaining arrowroot powder.
- Bring to a simmer and continue simmering over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness. Do not let it boil or burn! If you want a thicker sauce, add a little more arrowroot.
- If you are serving with cauliflower rice or steamed broccoli, cook it while the sauce is thickening.
- When everything is done, pour the sauce over the chicken and lightly toss to incorporate.
You can completely skip the flour and egg steps if you don't want to bread the chicken and can just stir fry the bite-sized pieces of chicken in 2 tablespoons coconut oil until cooked
Alternately, you can bread the chicken and place it on a well-oiled baking sheet and bake at 375°F for least 30 minutes or until cooked through in the oven.
Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 18.4 g
Saturated Fat 14.4 g
Cholesterol 83 mg
Sodium 279 mg
Total Carbohydrates 51.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Sugars 32 g
Protein 12.8 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ever made healthy versions of your favorite foods? How did they turn out?