Skinny Pulled Orange Chicken (Paleo, GF, DF, Oil-Free)


The simplest 7 INGREDIENT Mexican Inspired Pulled Chicken. No SLOW COOKER needed. Tender, succulent. Deceptively Easy – all in 1 HOUR! 

February 2017 Recipe Redux Challenge:

Taco Tuesday

“February 21 is a Tuesday. So show us your healthy, creative take on the taco.”


I walked pass the beautiful vibrant shades of oranges, yellows and greens. I paused to lean over. I picked up an orange, lifting it close to my nose and took a deep breath. The faint citrusy notes made its way up my sensory faculties delivering a delicious whiff of freshness. The notes of sweet fruitiness paired with the after scent of bitterness from the rind was mellow and pleasant. There is something so therapeutic and soothing about its fragrance. The array of clementines, oranges, grapefruit had filled up the aisles ever so gradually I had barely noticed it was already mid- February.

The pavements piled up with white heaps of snow; the icy wind blowing away – it seems as though summer will never be here. Ironically, as much as I long for summer to arrive, I find myself also wondering how fast time goes by. With every second that slips away, another second now has become the past. Throughout our lives, experiences of laughter, heartaches, regret, anger are all simply part of a larger mosiac/fabric of a masterpiece of ourselves. We become better individuals as a result of the plethora of experiences we have. Like a toddler picking up his first crayon, we learn by trial and error. We become perfected through imperfection; we become refined through heartaches; we become stronger through failure; we become courageous through trials. The grandeur and value of each experience is unknown presently, but as we trust, move forward – someday we will see the real beauty behind the trials we have.

Lately, I’ve seen many of those around me go through hard times. I’ve been through personal struggles as well. Time and time again, whenever I’m going through something difficult, I turn to what I love doing most: Creating, cooking and baking. I feel it provides a blank canvas where possibilities are endless and second chances are existent. There are no judgments, no fear, no boundaries – I can simply do whatever I want. Metaphorically, it would seem like I’m rewriting my own story. And the start of my creative explorations today begins with one of the most versatile ingredients: Citrus Fruit.

It is amazing how well they pair with simply anything. Poultry. Red Meat. Chocolate. Coconut. Nuts. Cakes. Breads. Salad dressings. Toast. Cupcakes. This somewhat disorganized, random list of combinations is just evidence of how incredibly adaptable and flexible this fruit can be. Literally it is the golden nugget of winter.

This super simple pulled chicken recipe uses a mixture of citrus fruits: orange and lime. The tender braised chicken is absolutely finger licking delicious. Savory, meaty, fruity and succulent. My dad (an excellent cook), who enthusiastically accepted my invitation to help pull the chicken, thoroughly enjoyed his task of working and taste testing every several minutes, claiming “it was delicious!” And it is absolutely delicious, especially when paired with our homemade ranch dressing. Not to mention super fast to make.

For those who are going through hard times right now, find something you love or something you’re passionate about. Allow those things to become a distraction for you. Allow the thrill of attempting something new, the excitement of learning, the passion of doing what you love run through you and cast away those burdensome feelings. And for me it would be to put on my apron and head into the kitchen. In fact, this pulled chicken recipe is the perfect outlet to relieve stress and worries. It is hearty, delicious and succulent – a great healthy meal to enjoy whilst continuing on our daily journeys.

Yes life is hard but I promise things will always get better. “Our future is as bright as our faith.”


“Most of you are no strangers to Mexican style pulled chicken. This particular rendition utilizes this season’s fresh produce! Most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry and really just consists of you throwing everything into a pot. I love how flavorful and moist this chicken is. It tastes great just by itself, but would go well with absolutely anything. I can imagine this on sandwiches, or in pita bread with salads; on rice with steamed vegetables; or even on tacos – like ours would be amazing. This is a deliciously heartwarming meal that can be prepared in advance in large quantities perfect for a busy week in the middle of winter. Serve it to your loved ones or even guests and they will be blown away!”

Adapted from ClosetCooking

Ingredients – serves 8

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice (4 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (4 limes)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 cups Chicken Broth/Water
  • 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp sea salt

How to Make:

  1. First trim off any excess fat from the chicken. Cut into 2″ chunks.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together (except the chicken and the chicken broth).
  3. In a large heavy bottom pot/wok, put the chicken in and pour over the marinade.
  4. Add the chicken broth/water – just enough to cover the chicken.
  5. Bring everything to a boil. Then simmer on low for an hour or until the chicken is tender.
  6. Remove the chicken and shred. Set aside.
  7. When ready to serve, heat up the marinade with a little water and pour into a separate bowl to serve alongside the chicken.

To Serve:

  1. Layer 1: Tortillas (GF, Paleo)
  2. Layer 2: Shredded Lettuce
  3. Layer 3: Pulled Orange Chicken (above)
  4. Layer 4: Guacamole (DEFINITELY MUST HAVE)
  5. Layer 5: Our Vegan Yoghurt Dressing/Ranch Dressing (!!!!)
  6. Layer 6: Fresh Coriander


Chicken Thighs: You can use chicken tenderloins or even breast, but we personally prefer a more tender cut.


Zoe & Mia

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)


(This post is featured on Twinkly TuesdayHearth and SoulWeekend PotluckTraffic Jam Weekendfanday FridayFood FridaySunday Food & Fitness)


12 Comments Add yours

  1. What a beautiful post – so inspiring and uplifting! I love that quote – “Our future is as bright as our faith”! This is a wonderful recipe too. Orange goes so beautifully with chicken and I love the idea of using it in a taco. Thank you for sharing with us at Hearth and Soul. Pinned and will tweet. Hope to ‘see’ you at the party again this week!


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank You April!!!! 🙂 Orange and Chicken definitely go well together! Can’t wait till the next link up party!!!


  2. Life can be difficult and challenging so many times… I hope things settle down for you soon (and for us also!), but knowing and serving the Lord and trusting Him does help. 🙂 Your recipe looks great…. I need to do more cooking w/ citrus…. I do some, but haven’t tried it like this. Thank you for sharing your great idea. 🙂


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank you so much!! 🙂 I appreciate your encouraging words!! Yes we do need to have a little more faith instead of doubt! I hope you get to try this recipe 🙂 Its honestly so delicious!!!


  3. tinmccarthy says:

    I love a good simple clean dish like this!


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thanks so much 🙂 🙂


  4. Heather says:

    Almost all shredded chicken recipes I see are in the crock pot, but I can’t use my crock pot every single day! Thanks so much for sharing an alternative technique!


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thanks Heather! 🙂 We just wanted to make it a recipe than anyone even without a crockpot can make! Hope you’ll get to try it!!! 🙂


  5. says:

    This sounds amazing! I am going to give it a try this week, I think my entire family will LOVE it!! 🙂


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Yes please do! Let us know how it turns out!!!!


  6. ilkasblog says:

    This is seriously one of the most delicious chicken recipes I have ever seen! Such a fab idea to cook it in orange juice! I need to give this a try! Pinning, stumbling and featuring it next Sunday!!


    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank you!!!! 🙂 Please give it a try and let us know how it goes!!!


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