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Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

June 5, 2008



Who called me chicken?, originally uploaded by mselderhuis.


About once a week, we really get a craving for some thing fastfood-esque. Typically, it’s pizza that gets us Jones’in, but we really do like good Chinese food.

Last week, we were extra Bad Humans! and walked down to our local neighborhood Chinese Food place, and placed an order for some very tasty, very not eco-friendly food. Our problem wasn’t so much that we didn’t want to cook; our problem was that we wanted good Chinese food (and didn’t want to cook). It was the first time in a while, but that’s really not a very good excuse.

To help solve our fastfood cravings, and enable us to not fall into the trappings of deep-fried goodness, we sought out that which we craved in a make-at-home-friendly version.

We really didn’t have to look too far, as N. found a very good recipe for orange chicken in our New England Cookbook. I’m often mystified by the overall lack of orange flavor in orange chicken, but I wasn’t disappointed by the outcome of this particular dish. It didn’t have that crisp deep fried chicken, accompanied by syrupy bright orange chicken dipping sauce, but rather a very clean, fresh flavor with a nice, light sauce.

So, here’s what you need:

1 Cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 LBS skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt to taste
3 Tablespoons peanut or veggie oil
1 pound broccoli florets
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 Garlic cloves, minced
One 8 ounce can, water chestnuts, drained and sliced (umm, bleck! – we didn’t use)
4 Cups cooked white rice (we used brown)
1 Large seedless orange, peeled and sectioned
1 Cup thinly sliced scallions, including green tops

1) Stir broth, orange juice, soy sauce, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
2) Cut chicken crosswise into thin strips, and season lightly with salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. Stir-fry the chicken and broccoli over medium-high to high heat until the chicken is cooked through and the broccoli is bright green. Add ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for one minute.
3) Reduce heat to medium. Stir the broth mixture again, and add it to the pan along with the water chestnuts (if you’re using those nasty little buggers). Bring all to a boil and cook, stirring, until the sauce is clear and thickened.
4) Serve over hot rice, and top with orange slices and scallions.

This is a really good alternative to eating out, and really doesn’t take much longer that walking down to your local Chinese Food place to get something tasty. Give this a shot, and let us know what you think.

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