What is it about the holidays that makes you crave Chinese food? Is that just me?
I think it’s because American comfort food abounds during this season- turkey, ham, green beans, potatoes… you name it. Plus TONS of sweets. Between needing a break from this heavy (but delicious!) fare, and being generally very very busy, Chinese take-out is pretty darn tempting during the month of December.
But you know me- why order take-out when you can make the same thing MUCH healthier, cheaper, and in less than the time it would take you to order and get something delivered?
Behold: Homemade Skinny Orange Sesame Chicken! Made in only 20 MINUTES, with 100% real food!
This does not mean I’m not getting into the Christmas Spirit. Why, just today Zach hung Christmas lights outside of the house, while I basked in the 70 degree weather in shorts and a tee-shirt and read my book.
The Texas Christmas season is most definitely different than the New England Christmas Season :-)
Oscar, too, is fully embracing the Spirit of Christmas by claiming the Christmas lights as his own. Whenever we turned them on, he immediately pranced on over and plopped himself right on top of them! How adorable is he?!
Back to the Orange Sesame Chicken. Usually, this dish is served deep fried from typical restaurants. This version is lightened up and made more “real” in a few ways. First, the chicken is sauteed rather than deep fried. Second, the sauce doesn’t contain any refined sugar- just honey and fresh orange juice for sweetness. Also, no MSG! Finally, serving this on a bed of brown rice is far healthier than the refined white stuff you’d get with take-out.
All-in-all, this is a pretty darn healthy meal. And it takes SO LITTLE time to make! Because the chicken is cut into 1-inch pieces, it cooks up in only about five minutes. The sauce is simply mixed together and heated for a few minutes in the same skillet as the chicken. As long as you have cooked rice ready to go, you’ll have dinner on the table in less than twenty minutes with this recipe.
Recipe below- enjoy!
Skinny Orange Sesame Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 breasts)
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- juice and zest of one orange
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated (about a 1" piece)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- cooked rice, noodles, sesame seeds, and sliced green onions for serving (optional)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté on medium-high in a large skillet until fully cooked through (about 5 minutes).
- Meanwhile, whisk together all remaining ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Remove the cooked chicken to a plate.
- Add the sauce to the skillet and continue to heat on medium-high, stirring with the whisk, until thickened (about three minutes).
- Add the chicken back into the skillet and stir to cover in sauce.
- Serve chicken on brown rice with green onions and more sesame seeds, if desired.