I thought I hated Chinese food. Like, the other night we had to go out for Chinese food for my brother’s birthday, and I was all bent out of shape about it. I told Steve that I hate Chinese food, and I was going to eat at home first. I’m a really pleasant human sometimes.
I guess it’s kinda like how I thought I hated Thai food. And vegetables. And tomatoes. I just decide I have an opinion about something, and I get all kinds of grumpy about it. In fact, sometimes I get worried that I am well on my way to becoming one of those grumpy old people.
As if aging isn’t bad enough, does grumpiness, and that whole being set in your ways business really have to come with it??? And while we’re on the subject, does anyone else absolutely freak out over the fact that the older we get, the closer we are to our lives ending without having the chance to do all the cool things we want to do?????
I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s come over me. Too much real world. I need to go back to vacation. Sigh… Anyway, let’s stop talking about things that are depressing, and instead focus on my favorite subject. No, not me. Okay, my second favorite.
I knew I was going somewhere with the whole Chinese food business. Turns out it’s delicious. I mean, orange chicken is about as Americanized as you get. It’s almost like calling Domino’s pizza Italian, but whatever. It’s delicious. And usually deep fried, and overly sticky sweet. I don’t like that kind of orange chicken. The kind you get at Panda Express? Ew, gross. I used to, but not the grease and stickiness make my mouth feel funny.
This orange chicken is sweetened with real orange juice and honey for a true orange flavor. It’s coated in flour, then browned on the stove top so that it can hold on to all of the delicious juice, then transfered to the crockpot where it cooks the rest of the way while you go about your day.
The flavors are bold and satisfying. It’s what you would imagine orange chicken to taste like if you had never tried the sticky fried version. So if you’re a lover of the Panda Express kind, it won’t be an exact match, but I promise you will still love it!
Healthy Crockpot Orange Chicken
yield approx 6 servings
- 1-2 tsp coconut oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 3 tbsp whole grain flour of choice (whole wheat, brown rice, etc.)
- 4 large oranges
- 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp low sugar ketchup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp sriracha (optional, but recommended)
- brown rice and steamed broccoli for serving (optional)
- Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place flour in a large shallow bowl. Dredge cubed chicken in flour to coat then transfer to cooking pan. Brown chicken, then remove from heat. Don’t worry about fully cooking chicken–it will finish in the crock post. You want it just browned.
- In a medium bowl, zest 2 oranges, then juice all 4. Add vinegar, ketchup, honey, and sriracha. Whisk together to combine.
- Transfer cooked chicken and sauce to crockpot, and cook on low for 4:30-5 hours.
- To serve, place cooked chicken on top of brown rice (or just on your plate), then spoon over an extra 1/4 cup or so of sauce–trust me, you’ll want extra! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.