MSG may be on the ‘safe list’ for Celiacs, but it gives me problems. This is something I’ve known since I was younger. And every single time I eat at a Chinese restaurant (unless it’s P.F. Chang’s gluten free menu), I get sick. It almost never fails. And trust me, I’ve tried it again and again – because I LOVE Chinese food! Well, Americanized Chinese food. Can’t say that I’ve had much of the real thing. And I don’t want to say that the majority of Chinese restaurants use MSG, but from my track record, it seems like they do. And because I can never truly know if cross contamination occurs, it might just be that soy sauce sneaked in to my dish, or the dreaded TVP chicken (some lower-end Chinese restaurants claim to use chicken but really use a combination of chicken and texturized vegetable protein that isn’t necessarily gluten-free).
There are ‘safer’ ways to eat at a Chinese restaurant, like asking for your order to have the white sauce, which is thickened with cornstarch. But of course I crave the breaded, soy sauce laced, and likely MSG containing Orange Chicken…
So here is my take on it. Not perfect and not exactly like they have at Panda Express or at ‘Golden Dragon’. But wow – so good! And The Hubs loves it too :)
GF Crispy Orange Chicken
4 medium chicken breasts
1 cup your favorite gluten free pancake mix (I used Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs mayonaisse
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Cube the chicken breasts into 1″ pieces. Put in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until they are blended and somewhat frothy. Add the olive oil, then pour the eggs over the chicken and make sure the pieces are all well coated.
In yet another mixing bowl (sorry about all the cleanup), add the dry pancake mix. Combine the eggs and chicken pieces in another bowl. Gently dip the chicken pieces into the dry pancake mix, adding them instantly into your frying pan. I actually didn’t use oil here, I used cooking spray. Oil would still work fine though, I”m sure.
Once chicken pieces are individually cooked, add them to a bowl/set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the remaining ingredients and whisk together well. As you can see from the image, my orange zest was really small pieces of orange peel. I don’t have a zester and so used a knife to make small cuts. I actually liked this approach because the pieces left bursts of flavor! But if you have a zester, feel free to use it so the pieces are smaller.
Bring the orange sauce to a roiling bowl, but do so slowly. I started it out on low heat and increased it up to medium as I cooked the chicken. Once it boils, let it continue for 5 minutes. This should coincide well with the completion of the chicken being cooked and crisped up.
Add the chicken to the orange sauce and mix it all up, covering the chicken as evenly as possible. Continue cooking, on low now, for an additional 5-10 minutes.
I served it with brown rice and broccoli. So it wasn’t exactly the same meal as we would have had at our local Chinese restaurant, but it did it’s job in curbing a craving – and in a much healthier way than ‘the real thing’!
~Aubree Cherie Davis
This recipe is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Parade of Food, Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Food on Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Favorites, Focus on Food Friday, Fresh Bites Friday.