Recipe: $5.56 | Per Serving: $1.39 | Yield: 4 Servings
This is not your average take-out Chinese Orange Chicken. This orange ground chicken dish is much faster and much easier! Orange ground chicken rice bowls are a riff on the classic flavor combination – but ready in a quarter of the time!
This is a super easy 30-minutes-or-less type of thing. With no cornstarch and no frying, but lots of delicious orange flavor. You basically brown ground chicken (or turkey…or even pork!), add some garlic, ginger, spicy flavor, orange juice, and soy sauce. Simmer. The end!
It’s really unbelievably delicious. Pile it all on brown rice and add some steamed broccoli and it’s a very happy meal. Or, you can mix the rice and broccoli together in the pan for easy serving.
Recently I was craving some sort of orange chicken. Probably because the Japanese mikan (clementines or tangerines) are so sweet and delicious and cheap right now. But the task of making an all-out Chinese Orange Chicken recipe just wasn’t in the cards for me this time around.
So, I opted for my go-to cheat: ground meat. It’s the perfect solution! You can make this any weeknight. You can substitute the chicken for another ground meat, or swap out the broccoli for whatever vegetable you’re in the mood for. Just don’t skip the orange sauce!
Other Ground Meat Recipes:
What is Ground Chicken?
Ground chicken is basically just minced white meat and dark meat chicken. Just like with turkey, you sometimes have the ability to choose your desired lean meat to fat ratio.
However, we don’t see tons of ground chicken in the states, so if you’re back home and you want to make this dish, you can definitely make your own ground chicken, but that will add significantly to the time it takes to make this dish!
To make ground chicken: cut chicken breasts and thighs into chunks and freeze for one hour. Place them in a food processor and pulse until it reaches a minced consistency. Done!
You can also replace the chicken in this dish with ground turkey, or just chop chicken into small bite-sized pieces and follow the recipe as written, double checking the chicken with a thermometer before serving.
How to Make Orange Ground Chicken:
Basically, this is a 3-step recipe.
- Cook the brown rice.
- Steam the broccoli.
- Brown the chicken and add the sauce ingredients.
Put it all together and that’s it! Using ground chicken makes this such a fast and simple process – it only takes a couple of minutes to cook ground chicken, so the dish can come together any night of the week.
You can steam fresh or frozen broccoli, or even add the broccoli to the same pot as the chicken while it is simmer, cover with a lid and let it steam atop the chicken! This will release more water into the chicken and prevent the sauce from thickening, but it’s a good hack to make this even faster with fewer dishes.
Time-Saving Tips for Orange Chicken:
- Use pre-cooked brown rice. You can get pre-cooked organic brown rice packets in the freezer section of most grocery stores these days – and they’re time savers for busy weeknights!
- Buy frozen broccoli! I love buying organic frozen broccoli florets to save time – and I especially like them for making weeknight dishes like this one even simpler.
Paleo: Not really, but you could use cauliflower rice instead of brown rice and replace the soy sauce with half coconut aminos and half fish sauce and it would be Paleo!
Vegetarian: No, cause of the chicken.
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER! ↓
Easy orange chicken using ground chicken, ginger, and fresh orange juice! Paired with broccoli and brown rice this is a delicious and healthy easy weeknight dinner!
- 1 cup brown rice + 1.75-2 cups water or broth (cook according to your preference)
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
- 2 Tablespoons freshly grated or minced ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tablespoon asian spice sauce (or maybe 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes*) try chili-garlic sauce, sambal oelek, or sriracha
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I juiced 8 clementines/mikans/tangerines)
- 3 Tablespoons (organic) soy sauce or tamari
- optional: 1/2 – 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 small heads fresh broccoli – about 6–7 cups florets & some stems
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Cook brown rice according to your preference, I usually prefer a Japanese rice cooker and short-grain brown rice. You can also toast the rice in a little oil ahead of time for extra flavor!
- In a large pan or wok, warm sesame oil over low-medium heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides. (Doesn’t have to be fully cooked yet.)
- Add the ginger, garlic, spice sauce, orange juice (and zest), and soy sauce. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir well and remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, fill a pot with 1 inch of water. Add steamer basket and add chopped broccoli florets & stems. Cover and steam for 4 minutes.
- Make the bowls by either dividing the brown rice among four bowls and topping with chicken and broccoli, or by mixing it all together in the nonstick pan. Top with sesame seeds and enjoy!
- Drizzle with a little more sesame oil or soy sauce as desired.
- I have made this orange sauce with Lee Kum Kee Chili Garlic Sauce, and their spicy chili sauce, as well as Huy Fong Foods Sriracha, and their Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce. You could also use red pepper flakes or Vietnamese spicy chili peppers.
- One commenter mentioned that the red pepper flakes make it too spicy, so I recommend adding your spicy component in small amounts to avoid this!
- I highly recommend freshly squeezed orange juice. If they’re not in season, or if the juice comes from a box/jug, it won’t have the same fresh orange flavor.
- You can steam fresh or frozen broccoli, or even add the broccoli to the same pot as the chicken while it is simmer, cover with a lid and let it steam atop the chicken! You may have to add a little more soy sauce / Tamari and hot sauce to compensate for the water released from the broccoli.