Go Back
healthy paleo orange citrus chicken served with rice and cucumber

Easy Chinese Citrus Chicken Recipe

Skip the line at Panda Express and make this easy Healthy Chinese Orange Chicken Recipe! It’s made with a tasty blend of fresh citrus juices like orange, lime, and tangerine and is Paleo and gluten-free! The best healthy Chinese chicken Stir-fry recipe made with simple and healthy ingredients!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian, Chinese
Keyword Chinese Orange Chicken recipe, healthy orange chicken, panda express orange chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 360 kcal


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts - 800 g
  • Salt + pepper
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp crushed or ground fennel seeds ground star anise, or ¼ tsp Chinese 5 Spice


  • Juice of 3 tangerines
  • Juice of 3 oranges
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cube chicken broth or ½ tsp broth powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric for color - optional
  • 60 ml white wine Japanese rice wine, mirin, or water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp juice or water
  • Serving suggestion: Steamed Lime Rice and Chinese Cucumber Salad or asparagus


  1. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 10 minutes, until browned and nearly cooked through.

  2. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of chicken breasts and the sizes of pieces. Chicken should be about 90% cooked through.
  3. As the chicken is cooking, stir together the sauce mixture apart from cornstarch in a separate bowl. The citrus juice alone should yield 2 cups (500 ml).
  4. Once the chicken is cooked remove it from the pan put it in a separate bowl.

  5. Quickly fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, add in the star anise, fennel seeds or Chnese 5 spice and then pour the entire citrus sauce into the same pan you cooked the chicken in.

  6. Bring the citrus sauce to a boil for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring gently until it starts to thicken. (You will know it has thickened when the sauce pulls away from the sides of the saucepan)

  7. Mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water or juice and stir into the pan. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  8. When the sauce has thickened, add the cooked chicken and the gathered juices back in + stir to coat the chicken
  9. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds over rice alongside the rice.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Use a big frying pan – you want as much surface as possible.
  • As for spices, add 1/4 tsp of Chinese 5 Spice or 1/4 tsp of ground star anise or fennel.
  • If you cannot find tangerines, use orange juice instead. Lime can be swapped for lemon.