In college, Mandarin Chicken was my weakness. I loved Chinese food and ate Mandarin chicken from a local chinese restaurant many a late night of 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
A delicious orange mandarin chicken that rivals the best restaurant versions.
- 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breast but thighs are used in restaurant versions)
- 1 cup of coconut oil, tallow or lard for cooking
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 organic oranges (organic is important since you'll use the zest and juice)
- 1 organic lemon (organic important!)
- 1/4 cup naturally fermented soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional but good)- You can also just add a teaspoon of garlic powder but the texture and flavor isn't quite as good.
- 1/4 cup honey (optional, adds sweetness and thickness)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- Cut chicken thighs into bite sized pieces with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Mix the almond flour, arrowroot, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger in a bowl. Beat the egg with water in another bowl.[ Note: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.]
- Heat the coconut oil, tallow or lard in a large skillet. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then into the flour mixture and shake 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 can remove the breading. Carefully remove and place on a plate to cool. Repeat with all the chicken until cooked. (alternately, you can bread the chicken this way and place on a well oiled baking sheet or baking dish and bake at least 30 minutes or until cooked through in the oven).
- While chicken is cooking and cooling, zest the oranges and lemon into a medium sized pan. Squeeze the juice of the oranges and lemon into the pan and add the soy sauce/coconut aminos, chili garlic sauce and honey. Stir well and slowly add the tablespoon or arrowroot powder. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering over medium/low heat for 15-20 minutes or until desired thickness. Do not let boil or burn! If you want a thicker sauce, add a little more arrowroot.
- If you are serving with cauliflower rice (can use this one without the shrimp) or steamed broccoli, cook it while sauce is thickening. When all are done, pour the sauce over the chicken and lightly toss to incorporate.
Ever made healthy versions of your favorite foods? How did they turn out?