Better Than Take-Out Orange Chicken

Growing up in a small town means no Chinese food restaurant.  So the first thing I did when I got my driver’s license was drive to the near-by town with my best friend to go to the Chinese buffet.  It was the ultimate sign of freedom.  (although we somehow managed to get lost driving home from Marshfield.  To this day, I have no idea how we did that).

Now that I live in the “big city” getting Chinese food is less of a special event, but it still tastes just as delicious.  Unfortunately, the deep fried dishes and heavy sauces take a toll on the waistband.  This healthy version of Orange Chicken doesn’t sacrifice any of the taste and cuts down the calories.  Instead of deep frying the chicken, the chicken is sauteed.  Plus, the sauce is full of fresh ingredients and low-sodium soy sauce.  Place this chicken and sauce over rice, and it makes a great meal.  Matt and I aren’t big fans of rice so we opted out of the rice.  Without rice, this meal is 5 Weight Watchers Plus Points.


  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts or thighs or tenderloins, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 orange juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger root, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 cups of brown rice (optional. I personally do not care for rice so we opted to not make the rice)
  • Chopped green onions for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large skillet, cook your chicken until brown.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, in a sauce pot, bring the water, orange juice, soy sauce and rice vinegar to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Add in the orange zest, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil.  If you are not a huge fan of ginger, feel free to leave this ingredient out.
  4. Turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix together.
  6. Turn the heat up on the sauce and slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture while stirring at the same time. The sauce will thicken almost instantly. Turn off the heat.
  7. In a bowl, combine the chicken and the orange sauce.  Toss.
  8. Serve over white rice with generous amounts of sauce.
  9. Add green onions on top.

Source: Table for Two

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