Orange Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice


Finely chopped cauliflower perfectly mimics white rice in this side dish that's just as satisfying as the original but with way fewer calories and carbs.

Orange Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice
Photo: Scott Little
Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
18 mins
Bake Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 13 mins
4 chicken thighs plus 1 1/3 cups caulifllower rice


  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil (not toasted)

  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds total), skin removed

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 4 cup coarsely chopped cauliflower florets

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a very large nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken to hot oil; cook about 10 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Transfer chicken to prepared dish, arranging in a single layer. Drain and discard drippings from the skillet.

  2. In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, orange peel, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons cold water, and the cornstarch; add to the skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; pour sauce over chicken thighs in dish.

  3. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until chicken is done (at least 175°F).

  4. Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a large food processor. Cover and pulse several times until cauliflower is evenly chopped into rice-size pieces.

  5. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat; add the cauliflower, salt, and pepper. Cook the cauliflower for 8 to 10 minutes or until you begin to see caramelized flecks throughout, stirring occasionally. If desired, sprinkle cauliflower with cilantro and additional orange peel. Serve with chicken thighs.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

285 Calories
13g Fat
9g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 285
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 526mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 50.8mg 254%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 1.6mg 9%
Potassium 612mg 13%
Folate, total 62mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.6mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.7mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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