Air Fryer Mandarin Chicken
Trader Joe’s orange chicken was an unhealthy favorite of my son and husband for a quick and easy weeknight meal. However, it contains some major allergens that won’t work for my daughter. Add an overabundance of mandarins from our backyard tree and we have the Allergic Foodie version of orange chicken- quicker, healthier and allergen free! The best part is that this delicious recipe is ready in less than 25 minutes.
Like I said, we had a bumper crop of mandarins in our yard this year. We made juice, we froze the fruit, we even made a mandarin sugar scrub… and we still had a ton of mandarins. So I decided to take a stab at creating a version of orange chicken with our mandarins. Now this recipe was made with mandarins, but can easily be substituted with oranges or even store bought orange juice. The flavor of mandarins is a bit more intense, so if using oranges, I would add in some orange zest.
Start by warming up the air fryer. I use the Cosori brand air fryer and have been very happy with it. While the air fryer preheats, combine the gluten free flour and corn starch. Cube the chicken and dredge in the flour mixture. Spray the air fryer basket lightly with avocado oil. Add the chicken to the air fryer basket and lightly spray with avocado oil. You may need to cook the chicken in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, tossing the chicken half way through. All air fryers are different, so cook until the chicken is crispy and golden.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, add the mandarin juice, honey, rice vinegar, soy free soy sauce, ground ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. As a side bar, we need to talk about how amazing Ocean’s Halo no soy soy sauce. Soy free, gluten free- top 9 free, in fact- and tastes just like the original! But back to the recipe… Whisk together and bring to a simmer, simmer on low for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the corn starch and water until it forms a slurry. Whisk the corn starch slurry into the sauce pan and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the air fryer and place in a medium bowl. Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to combine. Serve over brown rice with broccoli on the side for a balanced meal. Frozen brown rice is the best thing ever for a crazy weeknight- ready in just a few minutes! Garnish with green onion and cilantro.
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Yield: 5 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
Mandarin Chicken Ingredients
For the chicken:
- 2 pounds chicken breast, cubed
- 1/3 cup gluten free flour
- 1/3 cup gluten free corn starch
- Avocado oil spray
For the sauce:
- 1 cup fresh squeezed mandarin juice, about 6 mandarins (can substitute with orange juice. If using store bought, add in zest of 1 orange)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Ocean’s Halo NoSoy soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons gluten free corn starch
- 1/4 cup water
- Cooked brown rice
- steamed broccoli
- cilantro garnish
- green onion garnish
Mandarin Chicken Instructions
- Preheat the air fryer. Combine 1/3 cup gluten free flour and 1/3 cup gluten free cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with avocado oil. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, tossing to coat. Add the chicken the air fryer basked and lightly spray with avocado oil (you may have to work in batches. Cook at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, tossing the chicken half way through. If the chicken does not appear crispy and golden brown, cook for another minute or two.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small sauce pan, add the orange juice, honey, rice vinegar, ocean’s halo no soy soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chili flakes Bring to a light simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and water to make a slurry. Whisky the slurry into the juice mixture and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until thickened.
- In a medium bowl add the cooked chicken and pour the sauce over it. Toss to combine.
- Serve the chicken over brown rice and/ or broccoli. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onion.