1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless pasture-raised chicken thighs, trimmed of all fat and cut into strips
Himalayan salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cassava flour (if gluten free) OR sprouted spelt flour (if not gluten free)
1 cup vodka
15 Deglet Noor dates (see notes below)
3 to 4 drops orange essential oil, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon raw honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped oranges
2 cups chopped fresh basil
Season chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour and evenly coat all sides.
In a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix), add the vodka, dates, orange essential oil and honey. Process on high speed until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add more essential oil if necessary. Set orange sauce aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until lightly brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
Pour 1/4 cup of the orange sauce over the chicken and stir in 1/2 cup of the basil; cook for 2 minutes, or until liquid cooks down. Pour another 1/4 cup of the orange sauce over the chicken and stir in 1/2 cup more of the basil; cook for 2 additional minutes, or until liquid cooks down. Add another 2 or 3 tablespoons of the orange sauce along with all of the oranges; cook for another minute.
Stir in the remaining 1 cup of basil and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Note: If you want a stronger orange flavor, add one drop of essential oil at a time until desired flavor.
Serve orange chicken warm over spaghetti of your choice or zucchini noodles. Leftover sauce can be saved and stored in the refrigerator in a mason jar for up to a week.
Deglet Noor dates are the most widely available dates. In comparison to Medjool dates, they are smaller and firmer. Deglet Noor dates are sold at supermarkets nationwide.