One-Pan Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry requires only 10 ingredients, one pan, and just a few minutes. Full of golden-brown chicken, crisp asparagus, and a tangy naturally sweet sauce, it's perfect any night of the week!
Is it spring where you are? Here in Portland it's looking a lot like spring, which means a few warm days mixed in with a whole lot of rain. It's not that bad, really, as long as you have a good rain jacket. No umbrella, mind you. A good Northwesterner never uses an umbrella.
It's still a little early here for asparagus, but that's not going to stop me from diving head first into all the spring recipes. Because I am just over winter. You know? Please, just give me all the bright green, crispy, crunchy spring things! As soon as March rolls around my brain goes right to asparagus, and peas, and chives, and radishes, and all the lovely things ready to pop out of the earth after the long, long winter.
And as soon as I think of asparagus I think of tossing the thin, green spears in a hot pan with chicken. One-pan chicken and veggie dinners are pretty much a staple in our house because they are so easy to get on the table. And these days I've added two newish (to me) ingredients to amp up the standard stir-fry lineup: coconut oil and arrowroot powder.
Coconut oil gives the chicken the most amazing golden brown color, which Elle loves. If you don't have coconut oil, though, olive oil will work just fine in this recipe. Tossing the chicken in a little arrowroot powder (a grain-free alternative to cornstarch) results in a crunchy, almost nugget-like, chicken pieces. The arrowroot also helps to thicken the sauce, so it's almost like one you'd get from Chinese takeout. Only so much less greasy and salty. If you don't have arrowroot powder, you can find it in well stocked grocery stores or online. I've added a link in the recipe. If you don't want to use arrowroot powder, cornstarch will work in its place.
I hope spring is finding it's way to you, and that the days are getting longer and the weather turning warm. As I type this the weather here has taken a turn for the worse, and it's dark, rainy, and 45 degrees. So basically back to January. Whatever. We can still eat this and feel all the happy spring vibes. I hope you'll get your hands on some fresh asparagus and make this one-pan wonder soon. Now, let's make a stir-fry!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Serve the chicken separately, minus the sauce. The golden, crispy chicken pieces are big hit in our house!
2 | If your child or partner doesn't like asparagus (or if asparagus is out of season), swap in any crisp, green veggie. Green beans, snap peas, snow peas, or broccoli are all great options.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Paleo-Friendly
One-Pan Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry
2 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder*, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bunches asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 large garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
Zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 2 oranges)
½ cup reduced sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1. Sprinkle the chicken with 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss together until the chicken is evenly coated.
2. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chicken in an even layer and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until both sides are browned and the chicken is cooked through.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. To the same pan, add an additional 1 tablespoon coconut oil and the garlic. Saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden (garlic burns easily, so keep an eye on it). Add the asparagus, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green and slightly tender.
4. Meanwhile, In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, the orange juice, orange zest, and the chicken stock.
5. Add the chicken back to the pan with the asparagus, then pour in the orange juice mixture. Cook over medium low heat for 1-2 minutes until the stock thickens.
6. Off the heat, add the vinegar or lemon juice. Taste and add additional orange juice, vinegar or salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add additional orange juice or chicken stock. Serve over rice, quinoa, or on it’s own.
*Arrowroot powder comes from the root of an arrowroot plant, and is a great grain-free, corn-free alternative to cornstarch. You can find it in well stocked grocery stores and online. If you can't find it or prefer not to use it, cornstarch can be used in its place.
For exclusive access to FREE meal plans, plus healthy recipes, tips and straight to your inbox, subscribe here.