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Paleo Orange Chicken

By January 31, 2013July 27th, 2013Food, Main Courses, Paleo, Recipes


Happy Thursday! I had the best time at an event I attended last night. We have a  group of women in town that meet every so often called Girls in Tech (or is it women?) They throw little mixers or structured informative events. This was the latter,  so  it was so cool to not only socialize with people in-person but also swap ideas and talk shop. The conversation also turned to topics like guns, Mexican food and cats eating spools of fishing line, but we’re in the Midwest so that’s pretty par for course. The group has smaller break-out groups I sometimes co-work with, so it was nice to hang out and not work. However an evening out kind of threw my whole day around, so I was working on projects super early in the morning, and doing CrossFit over lunch and this little gem of a recipe didn’t get blogged.

A few years back, we tried our hand at one of our favorite take-out meals, Orange Chicken. I wrote what I thought was a pretty bulletproof recipe for our crock pot to do all the work. We assembled everything in the morning, left for work for the day, and came home to a crusted, blackened mess at the bottom of our crock pot. I still don’t know what could have gone wrong, or how a crock pot set to low can achieve full-on char, but needless to say, we were pretty disappointed because we haven’t tried it since.


Until now.

We did it! And it was amazing. It tasted just like our old take-out favorite. We’ve obviously altered some things to make it Paleo, but they were really just ingredient swaps and not major changes. Also, instead of the crock pot, we made it on the stove. And  we served it with steamed rice this round — we were a little extra hungry after our workout.


for the sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed coconut sugar sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons water

for the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil


  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and liquid aminos in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the orange zest, coconut sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Then, remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag, reserving the remaining sauce in the pan. Seal the bag, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  4. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the coconut flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
  5. Line a plate with several paper towels. Heat olive oil/coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken pieces evenly into the skillet, and brown on both sides. transfer to the plate of paper towels and cover to keep warm.
  6. Wipe out the skillet, and add the reserved sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir arrowroot powder into 2 tablespoons of water and then slowly stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can prepare remaining sauce and pour over chicken. Serve with cauliflower “rice” or steamed white rice.

Serves 4.


Tangy and Sweet with a little kick of spice via Sriracha that Neil added post-cooking. The sauce is truly pure addiction. We had some leftover, and made another batch the next day for lunch. As you can read, the recipe is a little time consuming, so if you’re looking to save some time (like we were over lunch), just prepare the chicken naked sans breading.


  • Rachel says:

    This looks super yummy! I may need to try this out. Next you should do a sesame chicken 🙂

  • Laura says:

    In the process of making this right now. I can’t wait!

  • Alissa says:

    Thank you so much for this post!! I am slowly working on getting myself & my husband to completely follow the Paleo thoughts. We are 85% the way there, but I have been having trouble finding recipes. We are in the middle of moving and don’t have our kitchen supplies with us. This will be a great recipe!

  • Amber says:

    I’ve really missed Chinese food doing low sugar and no grain. I’ll have to give this a try! Thanks for the creative recipe!