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Healthier Orange Chicken

Here is a healthier version of a favorite dish which uses no batter but tastes truly delicious. With this recipe, you get a serving of fruit in every portion plus a spicy chile pepper you can consume if you want to heat the dish up a bit. Dice the orange if you prefer smaller pieces and - if you're feeling creative - use a vegetable peeler to create curls of orange zest.

Note: If you want to use the orange peel zest (and doing so definitely makes for a for a tastier recipe), avoid brightly colored oranges - they may contain a food dye that is carcinogenic but somehow approved due to the FDA's faulty reasoning that orange peels aren't consumed.


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil and coconut oil - plus extra oil to coat the skillet.
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
1/4 tsp white or black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic)
2 small to medium oranges
4 small red chile peppers (or, if you can find them, use genuine Chinese chile peppers - also known as Tien Tsin chile peppers)
3 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
2 tbsp raw honey

(As always, The Best Years in Life recommends choosing organic content and fresh content as much as possible for the healthiest recipe. Also, wash all fruits and vegetables before cutting or adding to the recipe.)



1. In a glass dish, mix together the oil, thyme, salt, and pepper for a quick marinade.

2. Place the chicken flat on a cutting board, remove any fat, and slice each breast into quarters so that you have 1 - to 1-1/2-inch thick strips. Add the meat to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. (You can also do this in the morning.)

3. Zest the orange by using a grater to remove just the orange part of the peel (not the whitev pith). Using a sharp knife, cut away the remaining peel and pith, then, holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juice, cut sections from the orange, working in a V fashion to cut away any membrane. Reserve the fruit and juice for the sauce.

4. Coat a cast iron or nonstick skillet or pan with oil and preheat to moderate heat. Add the chicken once the pan is hot. Discard the marinade. Cook the chicken until firm and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

5. While the meat is cooking, place the vinegar and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half. Add the orange, chile peppers, juice, and the zest to the sauce, stir, and remove from the heat. Divide the chicken onto 4 plates and pour the sauce over the meat.


*Serve it with side dishes of 1/2 cup brown rice and green beans sauteed with slivered almonds and a cup of milk.

*You can dice the fruit if you prefer smaller pieces.

*If you're feeling creative, use a zester to create curls of orange zest.

*Do all of your prep work (such as cutting the oranges) before you break down the chicken breasts to prevent cross contamination.

Number of Servings: 4

Per serving: Calories: 222.5, Total Fat: 6.5 g, Cholesterol: 70.2 mg, Sodium: 351.9 mg, Total Carbs: 14.5 g, Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g, Protein: 26.2 g

Original recipe (modified) and image source:


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