Orange Chicken & Vegetables
Orange chicken is a takeout favorite, but it’s far from healthy when the chicken is deep-fried. In this version, boneless chicken thighs and lots of vegetables are smothered in an easy and delicious orange sauce. I cook a bowl of jasmine rice in the same pot for serving, but you could also serve this with Easy Cauliflower “Rice” for a low-carb alternative.
Prep: 10 minutes
Pressurize: 10 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
Total: 42 minutes
Juice and zest from 1 orange (⅓ cup juice and about ½ tablespoon zest)
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
⅓ cup soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (about 1-inch knob), or ½ teaspoon dried ginger
1 clove garlic, minced, or ¼ teaspoon ground garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup white jasmine rice, rinsed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 8 ounces)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
Chopped green onion and sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1 Combine the orange juice and zest, maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes in the Instant Pot and stir well. Place the chicken thighs on top of the sauce. Arrange a 2.5-inch trivet over the chicken and place a 7-inch oven-safe bowl on top. Add the rice and 1 cup of the water to the bowl. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing . Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
2 When the cooking cycle is complete, quickly release the pressure by moving the steam release valve to Venting . When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and press Cancel . Use oven mitts to lift the trivet and the bowl out of the pot. Fluff the rice with a fork. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a cutting board.
3 Press Sauté and add the onion, bell pepper, and broccoli. Stir well and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 8 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the arrowroot and the remaining 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry.
4 While the vegetables are cooking, cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and stir them into the simmering sauce. Add the slurry to the pot and stir well. The sauce will thicken and become glossy within 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the orange chicken warm over the rice with green onion and sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
MAKE IT VEGAN Omit the chicken, and use green lentils instead. Because the lentils won’t become tender if you cook them in the sauce, you have to cook them first. Add 1 cup green lentils and 1¼ cups water to the Instant Pot. Arrange the trivet on top of the lentils and add the rice as instructed. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Add the sauce and vegetables and simmer as directed.
MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE Use tamari instead of soy sauce.