We moved to a small rural town with a really questionable Chinese buffet. Needless to say, our cravings for take out style orange chicken run rampant from time to time. This orange chicken recipe is easy, uses ground chicken, and has a clean homemade orange chicken sauce that is out of this world good! Serve with steamed broccoli, white rice, and chopsticks for take out at home!
Reasons To Make This Orange Chicken With Ground Chicken Recipe
If you love Chinese food but don’t love the high sodium levels, MSG, or prices of takeout, then this recipe is for you.
This recipe is fast to make, only uses one pan, and uses clean whole food ingredients. It is also naturally gluten free.
Why Does This Recipe Use Ground Chicken?
Instead of breading and frying chicken breasts, this healthy orange chicken recipe uses ground chicken.
Not only is ground chicken a little less expensive than chicken breasts, it cooks much faster.
You can also substitute ground turkey without making any adjustments to the rest of the recipe.
Orange Chicken Sauce
I particularly love the orange chicken sauce that the chicken is coated in. It is completely homemade and made with clean ingredients like orange zest, tamari (soy sauce), honey, and fresh ginger.
Sometimes we like to add a little bit of hot chili oil to the sauce for some heat, but of course, that is optional.
The next best thing about this orange chicken sauce is that you don’t have to cook it in a separate pot. It goes right into the same pan as the chicken for minimal cleanup!
How To Make Orange Chicken
Mis en place (i.e. everything in it’s place) is your friend when making this ground chicken orange chicken meal.
It cooks quickly and in one pan so having your ingredients measured and ready to go will be very helpful.
Starting your rice, if you’re serving some, at the same time as the chicken is wise too as they will finish about the same time.
After you’ve whisked together the sauce ingredients in a measuring cup, begin cooking your chicken in a hot skillet with sesame oil.
Let the chicken get a nice sear on it before you start breaking it up with your spoon. This sear will slightly mimic the crunch of fried chicken.
When the chicken is all cooked through, pour in the sauce and a slurry (cornstarch and water), and let it simmer on low until your rice is finished. The sauce will thicken up and coat the chicken.
Tamari– regular soy sauce or coconut aminos in equal amounts
Ground chicken– ground turkey, ground beef, shaved beef in equal amounts
Fresh ginger- ground ginger, amount halved
This recipe was inspired by this recipe from Dinner Then Dessert.
- 2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons rice wine
- 2 tablespoons water
- juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup)
- zest of 1 large orange
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- hot chili oil (optional)
- Whisk the sauce ingredients (except the hot chili oil) together in a small measring cup or mason jar. Set aside.
- Heat a larget skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil.
- Place ground chicken in the skillet and allow to cook undisturbed until a nice crust has formed, about 2 or 3 minutes.
- Break apart the chicken with a wooden spoon or spatula into smaller pieces. Cook until no longer pink,
- Add the ground ginger and garlic powder and cook 1 minute.
- Add the sauce mixture and stir well. Let cook 1 to 2 minutes until it begins bubbling.
- Add the slurry and the honey and stir well until thickened.
- Add the hot chili oil, if desired, to preferred spice level.
- If not serving immediately, reduce heat to low and stir frequently.
- Optional- garnish with orange slices, fresh orange zest, and/or sliced green onion.
We like to serve this with steamed white rice and broccoli.