Keto Orange Chicken
My Gluten-Free Spicy Orange Chicken recipe is one of my most popular recipes - definitely in the top 5 for my gluten-free recipes - and for good reason. It’s a really tasty dish, and absolutely fills in, when you’re missing takeout.
So, this holiday season - when we normally end up ordering Chinese takeout at least once - it was definitely in the front of my mind!
The thing is, it’s super tasty for a reason - it’s loaded with orange juice and honey, among other things!
For reference, there are 78 grams of carbs in my original spicy orange chicken recipe. 46 are from sugar, and only 7 from fiber - so 71 net carbs per serving. YIKES.
So... not so much of an option, when you’re low carbing!
This was going to involve getting creative!
Keto Orange Chicken
There are 3 main things contributing to that astronomical carb count: Batter, OJ, and Honey... all of which were pretty important to this actual dish.
It doesn’t crisp up QUITE as much as the original, but it definitely works!
The Orange Juice
The OJ was a HUGE issue - it’s ORANGE chicken, after all!
Orange juice has a ton of carbs, so I cut it out entirely.
I increased the use of orange zest - not only does the zest have far less in the way of carbs, but it’s also where the oils are - the source of a LOT of the orange flavour.
This was able to take care of most of the problem, with one small caveat - the sauce tasted a bit “flat”, lacking the acid from the juice.
So, I added a small amount of citric acid, which definitely corrected it. It wasn’t *exactly* like my original spicy orange chicken recipe, but it was definitely identifiable AS orange chicken now!
This is where I really had to get a bit weird with it.
I used a fair amount of Monkfruit/Erthyritol blend to take care of the *sweetness* of honey, but it didn’t touch the viscosity or flavour.
So, my solution was twofold:
1: I mixed a bit of xanthan gum in. This not only took the place of the corn starch in the original recipe, it thickened enough to take the place of the mouthfeel that the honey added.
2: As for the flavour, sugar substitute just doesn’t have the rich flavour of honey, which adds a very specific SOMETHING to the original recipe.
Lorann is a very popular flavouring from my caking days, primarily used for baking. It’s a very concentrated product, so it didn’t take much to add a hit of honey flavour to the dish!
But hey, I took the recipe from 71 net carbs per serving to less than 8 net grams per serving, while still absolutely satisfying the craving, so... embrace the weird!
Low Carb Orange Chicken Variations
While this recipe is fantastic as-is, there are other ways you can customize it to your tastes. Feel free to mix and match these options:
Unbattered - Skip the battering and deep-frying entirely. Brown up the chicken in a pan, add the sauce, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Broccoli - Add broccoli to it! If doing battered and fried, I’ll steam the broccoli separately and toss it with the sauce/breaded chicken. Usually, I just add it to the chicken when doing unbattered.
Keto Spicy Orange Chicken - Add more crushed chilis, or a little sriracha.
A Note About the Nutrition Information Provided
Software can be a funny thing, and this recipe is a great example of testing its limitations.
Please note the following info:
- There are 24 grams of carbs per serving, with 16 of those coming from sugar alcohols. As a result, this recipe is 8 grams of net carbs - SORT OF.
You see, the nutrition info reflects the use of the full amount of batter, you will NOT use the full amount of batter. Therefore, the carb count is shown a bit higher than it actually is.
It’s just impossible to really account for how much batter you’ll use, as that’s going to be heavily dependant on how you cut your chicken, how well you drain it off, etc.
The nutrition info does not include the fat from deep frying, as the software has no way of calculating how much of the oil is absorbed when cooking.
How to Make Keto Orange Chicken
The full recipe follows at the end of this post, here is the pictorial overview:
Start heating your oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
Keto Spicy Orange Sauce
In a medium saucepan, whisk water and xanthan gum until no big clumps remain. Add remaining sauce ingredients, whisk to combine.
Update: In a medium saucepan, whisk your sugar substitute and xanthan gum together. Add remaining sauce ingredients, whisk well to combine. This order prevents lumps from forming!
Heat over medium, simmer until it thickens slightly.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Remove from heat, set aside while you prepare the chicken.
Keto Battered Chicken
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the eggs and water, add to the dry ingredients, and stir well to form a thick batter.
Allow batter to sit for 10 minutes.
Use a paper towel to blot all surfaces of the chicken, then dredge each piece in the batter.
Carefully transfer a few battered chicken pieces to the preheated oil.
Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried chicken to paper towels.
Once all chicken is fried, toss with spicy orange sauce, serve immediately.
More International Keto Recipes
Looking to add some international flavour to your menu? Try some of these low-carb versions of my favourites!
Egg Roll in a Bowl
Keto Cabbage Rolls
Keto Fried Cauliflower Rice
Keto Chicken Biryani
Low Carb Chicken Korma
Keto Doro Wat
Keto Gyoza [Potstickers]
Easy Keto Ramen Recipe
Keto Pad Thai
Keto Sauerkraut Buns
Keto Sushi Rice
Low Carb Shanghai Noodles
Keto Sesame Chicken
Low Carb Vietnamese Noodle Salad
Paleo Stuffed Grape Leaves
Sugar Free Furikake Seasoning
Easy Keto Butter Chicken
... also, be sure to check out our International Keto Recipes for even more options!
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Keto Spicy Orange Chicken
- ⅓ cup Sugar substitute
- ½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoon Soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Grated Ginger
- 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 + teaspoon Pepper Flakes
- ½ teaspoon Lorann honey flavour oil optional
- Zest of 2 Oranges
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves pressed or finely minced
- ⅛ teaspoon citric acid optional
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup Almond flour
- ¼ cup Unflavoured protein powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 Large eggs
- ⅓ cup Water
- 3 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
- Oil for deep frying – we used vegetable oil
- Start heating your oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar substitute and xanthan gum together. Add remaining sauce ingredients, whisk to combine.
- Heat over medium, simmer until it thickens slightly.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Remove from heat, set aside while you prepare the chicken.
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the eggs and water, add to the dry ingredients, and stir well to form a thick batter.
- Allow batter to sit for 10 minutes.
- Use a paper towel to blot all surfaces of the chicken, then dredge each piece in the batter.
- Carefully transfer a few battered chicken pieces to the preheated oil.
- Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried chicken to paper towels.
- Once all chicken is fried, toss with spicy orange sauce, serve immediately.