Sweet and tangy keto orange chicken coated with gluten-free breading is a perfect low carb dish for those who like Asian notes in their food.
Ingredients and substitutes
Chicken - You can use skinless and boneless chicken thighs as well as chicken breasts for this recipe. However, chicken thigh meat has more fat and will make the dish juicier and more keto-friendly.
Protein powder - Who knew that whey protein powder is perfect to use for breading the chicken? Of course, you'll need an unflavored powder! Alternatively, you can use crushed pork rinds or coconut flour (if you don't mind the flavor) for coating.
Seasoning - We'll need salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, as well as ground ginger and garlic powder.
Egg - One large egg will be enough to coat all the chicken.
FOR THE SAUCE
Orange zest and orange juice - To make this orange chicken sauce, we need oranges (duh!) Even if they're not low in carbs, we still need them! However, we're going to be smart and use only the juice of half of one medium orange (which is only 2 tbsp ). The rest is going to be zest.
Coconut aminos and granulated sweetener - We use these ingredients to add more sweetness without adding too many carbs to our sugar-free dish. Use any granulated sweetener you like!
Soy sauce - Make sure you use tamari soy sauce to make this low carb chicken dish gluten-free.
White wine vinegar - Orange chicken is famous for its sweet and tangy taste; vinegar is in charge of the tangy part. You can also use rice wine vinegar.
Garlic and ginger - For a more authentic taste, use fresh garlic and ginger.
Chili flakes - A pinch of spiciness is a must in this dish. Of course, you can adjust the amount to your taste!
Sesame seed oil - It's an optional ingredient, but I think it adds a lot of flavor to our dish.
Step by step directions
Prepare the breading mixture by combining protein powder, salt, pepper, ground ginger, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Set aside.
Add the chicken and the beaten egg to a large mixing bowl and mix to coat. One by one, take the chicken pieces and place them into a bowl with the breading mixture until coated on each side. Then place the chicken on a large dry plate or rack. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Add the oil onto a large skillet so it completely covers the bottom, then heat over a medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add one layer of chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the chicken onto a paper towel to rest and crisp up. Add more oil if needed, then cook the next batch of chicken. I managed to cook all the meat in two batches on an 11-inch or 28cm non-stick skillet.
Easy orange sauce
First, let's prepare all liquid elements and zest, so we don't need to measure them during the cooking process. In a medium mixing bowl, add the coconut aminos, soy sauce, vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, sweetener, and sesame seed oil, then set aside.
Next, we need to sauté the rest of the ingredients to bring all the flavors out. To do that, add 1 tbsp of oil, pressed garlic, ginger, and chili flakes to the same skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the liquid mixture and bring it to a light simmer. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it starts to thicken.
When done, return the chicken to the skillet and toss well until fully covered in sauce. Serve immediately!
How many carbs in orange chicken
I usually split this keto low carb dish into 5 servings with only around 5g net carbs per serving.
Sometimes I have this healthy orange chicken with a fresh salad; it's an amazing lunch idea and perfect for meal prepping. But when I make this recipe for dinner, I serve it with my LOW CARB KETO CAULIFLOWER RICE on the side. You should try it too!
More low carb recipes to try
Keto orange chicken
- Large (11-inch/28cm) non-stick skillet
- ½ cup (40g) unflavored whey protein powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 lb (650g) skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Coconut of avocado oil for frying
- ¼ cup (60g) coconut aminos
- ¼ cup 60g tamari soy sauce, or any gluten-free soy sauce
- ⅛ cup (30g) white wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar
- Orange zest of 1 medium orange
- Juice of ½ medium orange
- 1 tbsp sweetener
- ½ tsp sesame seed oil, optional
- 1 tbsp coconut or avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- ½ tsp fresh ginger, peeled and pressed or the same amount of ground ginger
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- In a large plate or a wide bowl, combine protein powder, salt, pepper, ground ginger, and garlic powder, then set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the chicken and the beaten egg and mix. One by one, take the chicken pieces and place into a bowl/plate with dry mixture until coated on each side. Then, place on a large dry plate or a rack. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Add the oil into a large (11-inch/28cm) skillet so it completely covers the bottom, then heat over a medium-high heat.
- When hot, add one layer of chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove onto a paper towel to rest. Add more oil, if needed, and cook the next batch of chicken. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the coconut aminos, soy sauce, vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, sweetener, and sesame seed oil. Set aside.
- Into the same skillet, add 1 tbsp of oil, pressed garlic, ginger, and chili flakes, then cook for 30 seconds. Then add the liquid mixture and bring to a light simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce starts to thicken.
- When done, return the chicken to the skillet and toss well until fully covered in sauce. Serve!
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