This grilled orange chicken recipe is quick and easy and a fun switch up from your usual.
I love “Chinese” food – and I put it in quotes because the stuff we eat in our garden-variety place here is nothing like what I was served anywhere when I was actually in China. The only (ok, one of the) problem(s) with Chinese food is that it isn’t always the most healthy.
Take orange chicken, for example. I love orange chicken. It’s a perfect sweet and savory combination for me. Making it at home though? I don’t want to know what’s in it.
So I adapted it for the grill. And really, I think it turned out pretty well. My husband agrees since he ate (literally) a pund of chicken at dinner.
Should I use fresh squeezed orange juice in my recipe?
Freshly-squeezed juice will always taste better than store-bought juice. If you can squeeze your own oranges, do it.
Fresh juice skips any added preservatives or artificial flavors that may be present in store-bought options, and you know fresh always tastes better.
Additionally, fresh juice retains more of the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants found in oranges, making it a healthier choice. That said, store-bought juice absolutely works, so if you don’t have fresh oranges, don’t sweat it.
What oranges are best for juicing?
When you juice your own oranges, you want oranges with both the best flavor and plenty of juice. There are several varieties you can easily find in stores starting with valencia and navel oranges.
Valencia oranges are known for their high juice content, vibrant color, and balanced sweet-tart flavor. Navel oranges are renowned for their large size, easy-to-peel skin, and sweet flavor. They provide delicious juice that is often rich and slightly tangy.
When they’re in season, try blood oranges to offer a unique twist to orange juice. They have a slightly more complex flavor profile, often described as sweet with hints of berry or raspberry undertones.
How to Make Orange Chicken
1 cup orange juice
zest of one lemon
1/3 cup lime juice
zest from half a lime
scant 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey
2 pounds chicken breasts
Combine the orange and lime juices and zest in a saucepan, along with the honey, vinegar, and garlic. Bring to a boil while stirring regularly. Simmer 15 minutes.
Let the marinade cool completely, then add it to your chicken breasts. Let this marinate two to three hours in the fridge.
Pull the chicken from the marinade, but don’t discard it. Keep about 3/4 cup to baste the chicken.
Boil the remainder until thick and bubbly, and use for a sauce. Grill the chicken breasts about five minutes on each side until the juices run clear, basting with the reserved marinade every few minutes.
Serve with rice and bok choy and enjoy!
And no pictures again? I know. Did I mention that my husband ate an entire pound just himself? I was sort of expecting to be able to use the leftovers for pics. Whoops.