Kirbie's Cravings

Keto Orange Chicken

A low carb and keto-friendly version of the popular Chinese orange chicken. Chicken cubes are lightly battered and fried and then coated in a sweet and savory orange sauce.

We’ve been eating a lot of orange chicken lately and it occurred to me that I’ve never shared a keto version. So here it is! This version is very similar to my classic orange chicken but with a few tweaks to keep it low carb.

Low Carb Coating Alternatives

There are a few different low carb breadcrumb coatings I like to use when frying food.

Coconut Flour

This is the breading that I used for this recipe. I chose this breading for several reasons. First, it is easy as it is just one ingredient. Second, the mild sweet coconut flavor blends really well with the orange sauce. The one big drawback about this coating is that it doesn’t get as crunchy as some of the other breading options and it softens pretty fast once you add the sauce.

Almond Flour and Parmesan Cheese

My favorite low carb breading is an almond flour and parmesan mixture. The breading creates a thick and crunchy coating and fries up an even and lovely golden brown. I didn’t use it for this recipe because I didn’t want the breading to be too savory. You don’t really taste the breading in orange chicken so I wanted something with a more neutral flavor. However, if you are looking for a super crunchy breading, you can use this breading. You can find more details about my almond flour and parmesan breading here.

Pork Rinds Breadcrumbs

Like the coconut version, this is just one ingredient and you can buy pork rinds breadcrumbs so you don’t need to grind your own. It also creates a very crispy coating. I didn’t use this one because the pork flavor is quite strong which I don’t think works as well with the orange sauce. Also when you fry it, the coating tends to be uneven in color. Again, if you’re okay with a strong pork flavor in your orange chicken, you can use this for the breading. You can read more about the pork rind breadcrumbs I use here.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Chicken breast can be replaced with chicken tenders or boneless chicken thighs.
  • Sriracha can be replaced with red chili paste but use it sparingly so the sauce does not get too spicy.
  • Make sure to use fresh squeezed orange juice otherwise your sauce won’t have enough orange flavor.
  • Erythritol can be replaced with Swerve.
  • Soy sauce can be replaced with coconut aminos.
  • Xanthan gum can be replaced with cornstarch though keep in mind cornstarch is not as keto-friendly. If you use cornstarch, you need to dissolve it in water before adding it to the sauce otherwise it will clump up. You would likely need more cornstarch (between 1/2 to 1 tbsp).

More Keto Chinese Recipes

Keto Orange Chicken

Servings: 3
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
A low carb and keto-friendly version of Chinese orange chicken.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • oil for frying
  • 1 green scallion thinly sliced

Orange Sauce

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice (approximately one orange)
  • 1/2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup erythritol granular
  • 2 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp ginger minced
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp sugar free ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk egg with heavy cream. Set aside. In a medium bowl, add coconut flour. Set aside.
  • Dip a piece of chicken into the egg wash. After it is fully coated, shake it a few times, making sure to shake off any excess egg drippings back into the egg bowl before adding it to the breading. The reason for doing this is that you don't want the egg drippings going into the breading. The moisture will cause the breading to clump and the clumped up breading won't stick to the chicken.
  • Roll the chicken in the coconut flour a few times until fully coated. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Add about 1 inch of oil to a pot being used for frying. When the oil reaches 350°F, add breaded chicken. Cook a few minutes until a deep golden brown. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel-lined plate. If needed, you can fry in several batches.
  • While the chicken is frying you can begin making the sauce. Using a small saucepan, add all ingredients listed except the xanthan gum. Bring sauce to a simmer. Taste and adjust if needed. Sprinkle xanthan gum and stir until it dissolves into the sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens. If sauce is not thickening enough you can add a little more xanthan gum. Keep in mind that while the sauce is simmering, it will still be very liquidy but will thicken once it starts to cool. You can tell if the sauce has thickened by observing the bubbles popping on the surface. They will slow down as the sauce thickens. You don't want the sauce too thick because then you won't have enough sauce to cover the chicken.
  • Working quickly, spoon sauce over chicken cubes. Garnish with scallions if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you have ingredient substitution questions, I discuss some possible substitutions in the post.
  • Make sure to use fresh squeezed orange juice otherwise your sauce won't have enough orange flavor.
  • Heavy cream is mixed with the egg to create a thicker egg coating which makes it easier to bread the chicken.
  • I discuss more in detail in the body of the post that this coconut flour breading does not get as crispy as some other low carb breading options. If you want something super crunchy, you can use one of the other ones I mention in the post.
  • Xanthan gum can be replaced with cornstarch though keep in mind cornstarch is not as keto-friendly. If you use cornstarch, you need to dissolve it in water before adding it to the sauce otherwise it will clump up. You would likely need more cornstarch (between 1/2 to 1 tbsp).
  • The nutrition estimate is a very rough estimate. It does not include oil for frying since it is difficult to determine how much oil is absorbed into the chicken. It also assumes that all of the breading and all of the egg batter is used but in reality you will have some leftover. The estimated carbohydrates count excludes sugar alcohols. The net carbs exclude both fiber and sugar alcohols.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.3of recipe, Calories: 281kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 134mg, Sodium: 611mg, Potassium: 521mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 227IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg, Net Carbs: 9g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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