Whole30 Orange Chicken with Cauliflower Rice

Day 28 and feelin’ great. That’s my mantra for today. Judge me.

I really just want the wine. I could totally do Whole30 long-term if it wasn’t for the wine. And don’t tell me to drink kombucha. Been there, done that and will never–I repeat, never–do that again.

What I would do if I were to start all over again? I would invest in these essentials immediately:

  • Mason Jars, Immersion Blender and Pasteurized Eggs: There are some really great compliant brands of mayo out there–this is my favorite–but really, I preferred making my own. Once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy to add random ingredients and make your own aïoli or ranch or whatever your heart desires. But if you really don’t want to make your own ranch, this one’s pretty great too.
  • Frozen Cauliflower Rice: A Trader Joe’s staple. I grab at least three bags every time I shop. Depending on how it’s cooked, cauliflower rice can be exactly what you need to finish off literally any dish. Plus, it’s pre-riced and I’m awful at ricing. #winning
  • The biggest jar of olive oil or coconut oil you can find: I wasn’t big into ghee, but I’m also not big into butter. Trader Joe’s (they should pay me for this) has a great olive oil with pour spout that’s relatively inexpensive. Costco sells the most massive thing of coconut oil I’ve ever seen in my life, so of course we bought that too.
  • Dates: Throw some of these bad boys into a food processor with almonds and you’ve got the foundation of what have been my go-to snacks for the past 28 days. Kudos to my husband for discovering these (and then making me a new batch every Saturday). Recipes to follow.
  • Coconut Aminos: I found these at a local grocery store next to the soy sauce–nothing fancy, just your typical supermarket! Coconut Aminos are basically the sap that comes from coconut blossoms. It’s nutrient-rich and can really open the doors to a whole new world of (Whole30) cooking.

I was actually a little nervous when I saw soy wasn’t allowed on Whole30. Not that I’m a big fan of soy, I just seem to gravitate between recipes that are Asian-inspired or just really, really spicy.

Once I finally tracked down some Coconut Aminos (the one thing Amazon doesn’t Prime), all was right with the world–and our bellies.

Orange Chicken with Cauliflower RiceOrangeChicken2

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 1 TBSP oconut aminos
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp coconut flour

For the chicken:

  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 3 TBSP coconut flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chicken, cubed

For serving:

  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented
  • Green onion, sliced
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 pkg Trader Joe’s cauliflower rice

Here’s what you do:

  1. Whisk together the orange juice, zest, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set aside
  2. In a large, high-sided frying pan heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant. While this is cooking, place 1 tsp of coconut flour into a medium bowl.
  3. Turn the temperature up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 tsp of the orange sauce into the coconut flour and whisk until smooth.  While whisking, pour the coconut flour into the sauce and stir in well.
  4. After you add the coconut flour, boil the sauce for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy.
  5. Transfer the sauce back into the bowl, cover and let stand to thicken while you make the chicken.
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  7. While the oil heats, place the coconut flour, salt and pepper into a large Zip-loc bag. Add the chicken cubes, seal and shake until the chicken is coated.
  8. Cook the chicken in the coconut oil until golden brown and crispy. If you find that your chicken is browning but not cooking all the way through fast enough, cook for a minute or two while covered.
  9. Once chicken is fully cooked, reduce heat to low and mix in the sauce. Add in orange segments and toss to coat.
  10. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds before serving over cauliflower rice.

When it comes to the cauliflower rice, I usually wait until about step 6 or 7 before cooking. If you’re buying the pre-riced, frozen cauliflower from Trader Joe’s, I like to thaw completely and let drain prior to cooking. If you have too much moisture in your cauliflower, it’s going to get soggy and I like mine a little more on the crispy side.

This recipe passed the Connor test and let me tell you, this guy is an Orange Chicken Champ. The frozen orange chicken from TJ’s (not looking for an endorsement, people) was a staple in our weekly hustle and bustle.

…before Whole30 told us not to eat it. Two more days.

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