Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Orange Chicken

This has got to be one of my new favorites:  My daughter-in-law introduced me to it.  The original recipe is from Mel's Kitchen cafe.  It's not a totally "healthy" dish, but a nice transition from eating out. I think it was inspired by Panda Express Orange chicken, but is WAY better than ANY I have had ANYWHERE!  I tweaked it a bit, so I can call it my own. It does NOT deep fry the chicken and is super easy!  (Makes 3-5 servings)

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2" cubes
Heat oven to 350.  In a shallow dish, combine the following:
1/2 C. flour (can substitute corn starch or arrowroot for gluten-free)
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. pepper
(Dip each piece of chicken in the flour mix and coat evenly)
Pour  2-4 Tb.  oil (Coconut oil works well) or melted butter in a shallow baking dish or cast iron skillet, large enough to accommodate chicken in a single layer.  Arrange chicken in the pan and bake uncovered for 15- 20 mins.

Meanwhile, combine the following in a medium saucepan and whisk over med heat for a few minutes:
2 C. orange juice
1/3 C. rice vinegar or lemon juice
2 1/2 Tb. soy sauce ( or one of those little packets)
1 Tb. orange zest
Then stir in:
1/4 to 1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 t. finely minced fresh ginger root
1 t. minced fresh garlic
2 Tb. minced green onion or chives
Bring to a boil.  Turn down heat.
Combine in a separate cup until dissolved:
3 Tb. corn starch
1/4 C. water
Add to sauce and simmer until thickened (about 1-2 mins) Add 3 drops orange or tangerine essential oil.
After the chicken has baked, turn each piece over and pour 1/2 of the sauce mixture evenly over chicken.  Bake another 15-20 mins. basting occasionally until chicken is done. Add the rest of the sauce before serving, garnish with fresh chopped green onion. Serve it  with brown rice and stir fried veggies.  Yum!!

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