Following a gluten-free and keto diet doesn't have to be boring! This takeout fake-out Keto Orange Chicken recipe is just as good as the original. It has tender chicken in a crispy crust coated in a flavorful orange sauce that's to die for!
Place the pork rinds in a large resealable baggie. Seal, removing as much air as possible. Crush with a rolling pin or mallet until very finely ground. Alternatively, you can crush them in a food processor or very dry blender. Depending on the size of your food processor or blender, you might need to process them in batches. Set aside.
Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.
In a shallow mixing bowl, combine the pork rinds, almond flour, sea salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
In a separate large shallow mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.
Use tongs to dredge the chicken in the eggs. Then, dredge chicken in the pork rind mixture and set aside on a plate.
Pour the avocado oil into a medium/large skillet (oil should be around ¼-inch deep, I prefer using a cast iron skillet) and heat over medium heat.
Once heated, add as many chicken pieces as will comfortably fit into the hot oil.
Fry 3-4 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. Set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat until all chicken is cooked. *Note-The oil is only good for 2 batches. After that, you'll need to start with new oil or the chicken will taste burned.
Add the chicken to the keto orange sauce and toss to combine. Serve with fried cauliflower rice.
Keto Orange Sauce:
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the chicken broth, sweetener, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, red pepper, black pepper, white wine or rice vinegar, garlic, coconut aminos, sesame oil, and ketchup.
In a medium-sized skillet (I rinse out and use the same one I fried the chicken in), add the orange sauce and heat over medium heat until heated through.
Very slowly sprinkle in the xanthan gum while whisking vigorously until sauce is thickened. Alternatively, you can place the sauce in a food processor or blender and blend on low while slowly adding the xanthan gum.
Each serving is approximately 5 pieces of chicken, assuming the recipe made 40 altogether.
For the sweetener, any keto sweetener will work. However, erythritol-based sweeteners don't dissolve as well as other sweeteners. So if you using erythritol, make sure it's powdered.
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Xanthan gum will clump if you just dump it into the sauce! Because of this, you need to very lightly and slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum into the sauce while whisking vigorously! The sauce will thicken in as little as 20 to 30 seconds. There may be a few tiny clumps when whisking in xanthan gum. Simply remove the clumps or leave them - it's no big deal. Or, you can transfer the sauce to a blender and blend on low while slowly sprinkling in the xanthan gum. If using a blender, the xanthan gum shouldn't clump at all.
For the ketchup, I love Primal Kitchen and Tessamae’s, both are Keto & Whole30. However, any sugar-free ketchup will work. While the ketchup is optional, it adds a lot of flavor. So I don't recommend skipping it!
I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs because I think the chicken turns out more tender. However, chicken breasts will work too.
For Paleo, use honey as the sweetener and replace the xanthan gum with tapioca or arrowroot flour. To thicken with tapioca or arrowroot, mix 1 ½ Tbsp with 2 Tbsp of cold water in a small bowl. Bring the sauce to a boil. Then, add to the sauce and stir until thickened.
Don't try to bread the nuggets as you fry them - it will be a disaster! Save yourself the headache and bread the chicken before you start frying.
If you’re egg-free, add the chicken to a large plastic baggie or container. Add some 1 cup of non-dairy milk and 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar. Seal the baggie and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 to 3 hours before breading. The egg-free version isn’t quite as crispy but still very good!
Serve with cauliflower rice and garnish with green onions. For the cauliflower rice, I like to add some coconut aminos (or gluten-free soy sauce), sauteed onion and garlic, and 2 scrambled eggs to make cauliflower fried rice.