A favorite at Chinese restaurants throughout North America, this low FODMAP Orange Chicken made in the air fryer and the Instant Pot or stovetop is a lot healthier while still delivering amazing flavor. Gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
Low FODMAP Orange Chicken Sauce
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 navel orange)*
- 3/4 cup juice from 2 navel oranges, freshly-squeezed**
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or reduced-sodium tamari***
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)****
- 1 teaspoon tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon cold water
Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken
- 1 pound chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
- 1/4 cup quinoa flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Avocado oil cooking spray (or your preferred cooking spray)
Pot-in-Pot Rice (Optional)
- 1 cup basmati or long-grain white rice
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- Prep ingredients: Prepare all ingredients per the list above before starting to cook.
- Prepare the sauce: In your 6-quart Instant Pot or a small saucepan, whisk together orange zest, orange juice, maple syrup, rice vinegar, coconut aminos or tamari, sea salt, and red pepper flakes (if using them). Set pot aside for now.
- Preheat air fryer: If your air fryer doesn’t have a built-in preheat, preheat air fryer to 400° F for 10 minutes; otherwise, prepare chicken before turning on your air fryer (I use an Instant Pot Vortex Plus 10-quart Air Fryer) and wait until it tells you to "Add Food" before adding the chicken.
- Bread chicken: While the air fryer is preheating, place chopped chicken in a large bowl. Add tapioca flour and toss chicken with your hands to coat. Add the garlic-infused olive oil and toss again to coat. In another large bowl, add quinoa flour, sea salt and ground black pepper and whisk to combine. Dredge the chicken pieces in quinoa flour mixture a few at a time, shake off the excess flour, and place on a large plate.
- Prepare Pot-in-Pot Rice (Optional): If you’re planning on making rice in your Instant Pot using the pot-in-pot method, pour 1 cup of rice into a fine mesh sieve, rinse with cold water, and drain. Pour the rice into an oven-safe stainless steel or glass bowl (I use this one. It's stainless steel, 1.5-quarts and 7.25 x 7.25 x 3.75 inches in dimension). Add 1 cup cold water to the bowl and stir. Place the trivet (that comes with the Instant Pot) inside your Instant Pot containing the orange sauce with the handles up. Place the bowl with the rice and water on top of the trivet. See photos in the post above for more information.
- Pressure Cook (with or without the Pot-in-Pot rice): Close the Instant Pot lid, set the pressure release value to “Sealing,” press the "Pressure Cook" button, and set the timer for 5 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then manually release the remaining pressure.
- If making the sauce in a saucepan: Place the saucepan containing the sauce on medium high heat on the stovetop, whisking occasionally. Once the sauce starts a slow boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- If making rice on the stovetop: Prepare per package instructions.
- Add chicken to air fryer pan: If food tends to stick to your air fryer pan, spray it with cooking spray. Add chicken pieces to the air fryer pan(s), leaving a little space between each piece as best you can. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to air fry the chicken in two batches. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray.
- Air fry chicken: Air fry for 8 minutes at 400°F, flipping halfway through using tongs or a fork (a fork tends to be easier for small pieces of food) and spraying the tops again with cooking spray after flipping. If using an Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer, when the Vortex tells you to "Turn Food," remove trays from the air fryer to a baking sheet, flip the chicken, spray the tops with cooking spray, and put the tray that was on the bottom rack on the top rack and vice versa. Once the timer dings, check the temperature of the thickest piece of chicken using an instant read thermometer. Chicken must be 165°F to be safely consumed. Place the cooked chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl. If cooking in batches, repeat these steps for the other half of the chicken.
- Cancel and open Instant Pot: Once the Instant Pot cooking cycle completes, hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot, quick release the pressure, open the lid, and allow the steam to dissipate for a minute. If making pot-in-pot rice, using hot pads, remove rice bowl to a plate to rest. Remove trivet.
- Thicken sauce (Instant Pot): In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon tapioca flour with 1 teaspoon cold water to make a slurry. Hit the "Sauté" button on the Instant Pot and wait a few seconds for the sauce to start boiling. While slowly whisking the sauce, add the slurry and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot, and using hot pads, remove inner pot from the Instant Pot and place on a hot pad.
- Thicken Sauce (Saucepan): In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon tapioca flour with 1 teaspoon cold water to make a slurry. While slowly whisking the sauce, slowly pour the slurry into your simmering saucepan and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from heat.
- Cover chicken in sauce: Return to the bowl containing the cooked chicken. Pour the thickened orange sauce over the chicken and stir with a large spoon to coat. Allow to sit uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Fluff & serve: Fluff the bowl of rice using a fork, serve the low FODMAP orange chicken over the rice, and garnish with chopped chives (optional). Serve with a vegetable side, such as steamed broccoli (low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¾ cup per serving per Monash University).
- This orange chicken recipe is best when served fresh.
- *Orange zest has not been tested for FODMAPs but is generally believed to be low FODMAP. If you prefer to be safe, feel free to omit it.
- **According to Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App, naval oranges do not contain FODMAPs. Monash lists commercially produced reconstituted orange juice as high in FODMAPs, so it’s important to use freshly-squeezed orange juice from navel oranges.
- ***If not needing gluten-free, you can use reduced sodium soy sauce instead of coconut aminos or tamari.
- ****Although red pepper flakes are low in FODMAPs, some people react poorly to them for reasons having nothing to do with FODMAPs. Consult your doctor or dietitian before adding red pepper flakes to this orange chicken recipe if you have concerns about how your body might react to it.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Time to come to and release pressure: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Air Fryer + Instant Pot / Stovetop
- Cuisine: Chinese
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