Orange Chinese Chicken

Have I ever mentioned that I love Chinese food? Hmm… yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s come up once or twice before that Ryan and I might be slightly addicted to the food at Hong Kong Star. (Yes, that is where the waitress knows us and what we order.) In that vein, we are always trying to make something at home that will eliminate the need for going out. I’ve yet to completely recreate our favorite dishes in a way that would replace wanting them from a restaurant, but I will keep trying.

Despite our shared love of Chinese food, we vary dramatically in what kind of Chinese food we like. I usually get mine stir-fried in some sort of salty, spicy sauce. Ryan prefers his deep-fried in a sweet sauce; he’s a fan of sweet heat. Even though I don’t usually go for the sweeter dishes, when I came across this recipe on the Weight Watchers recipe page, I decided to try it. The only experience I have with orange/citrus chicken is the frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken from Trader Joe’s. (Tired of hearing about them yet? I feel like I’ve referenced them a lot lately, but I promise I’m not sponsored by them or anything… though maybe I should be since I try all their stuff anyway!) I wasn’t a huge fan of it because it is both fried and sweet, but it was right up Ryan’s alley. As I mentioned, last week the menu was catered to him, and this is one of the dishes I made specifically with him in mind.

I was pleasantly surprised; it was actually really good. When I am excited to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, I know dinner was a success. I had worried that the oranges would make the sauce too sweet, but it was actually just a nice hint of citrusy sweetness. I noticed that, at first, I was avoiding the pieces or oranges, but, after a few bites, I was going straight for them. It was definitely different than what we’re used to since I do tend to make more savory recipes, but it was a nice change. I will definitely be making this again.

Orange Chinese Chicken

2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons orange zest, strips
1 pound uncooked, boneless, skinnless chicken breast
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
15 ounces mandarin oranges in light syrup
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add zest strips and cook, stirring, until fragrant and slightly cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile, season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. When zest is finished, increase heat to medium-high; add chicken to skillet and cook until golden, flipping once, about 2 minutes per side.

Drain oranges and reserve 1/4 cup liquid. Add oranges with reserved liquid to skillet and simmer 2 minutes. Whisk together broth, soy sauce, finely grated zest and cornstarch in a small bowl; add mixture to pan and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes more.

Source: Weight Watchers
4 servings | 5 POINTS


July 8, 2009. recipes.


  1. pamela replied:

    Yum! Looks really good.

  2. Ruth replied:

    This recipe looks great. I am a chinese food addict too!

  3. sara replied:

    I would eat chinese food every night if I could. Unfortunately Nick does not really like it, so I can only get him to eat it if I make things like this. I am with Ryan on the deep fried sweet heat – yum!

  4. Rachel replied:

    Yum, sounds fantastic. In terms of “sweet heat”, what would you think about adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mix?

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