The inspiration for the this version of orange chicken came from an unlikely source. Breakfast. I love toast in the morning, specifically toast with orange marmalade. I think it pairs perfectly with a hot cup of black coffee. Yesterday I picked up a jar of marmalade from the food co-op. It was not my usual brand. Instead of the tangy, semi-bitter taste I love, this marmalade was super sweet. I didn’t care for it on toast.
In the spirit of waste-not, want-not I devised a plan to re-purpose the marmalade. The first thing that came to mind was orange chicken. I didn’t want the orange peel in the sauce, so I emptied the entire jar of marmalade into a small saucepan and heated it with a little water. I poured the melted marmalade through a sieve and separated the orange peel. I used the rest to make the orange chicken sauce. The meal came together quickly using things I already had on hand.
We really enjoyed this simple version of grandson Buddy’s favorite, orange chicken. It is worth buying a jar of marmalade, just for this chicken.
The beautiful carrots were part of the Winter Vegetable Box from the CSA. This was my first week as part of the CSA.
Fragrant steamed Jasmine rice is the perfect accompaniment to the orange chicken and carrots.
All that you need now is a little scallion for garnish and your chopsticks.
And keeping waste-not, want not in mind, I have included a bonus recipe that makes great use of the candied orange peel from the strained marmalade. I don’t want to show my cards at this time, but let me just say that chocolate is involved.
- For the sauce:
- 14 ounce jar of orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon red chili paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the marinade
- 1 Tablespoon sake
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic (sliced)
- For the chicken
- 2 large boneless (skinless chicken breasts, cubed)
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Canola oil for frying
- 4 small carrots (cooked, sliced)
- 2 scallions (chopped)
- Empty the jar of marmalade into a small saucepan. Add the water and heat over medium heat until thin. Pour the marmalade through a sieve over a small bowl. Save the candied orange pulp for another use and pour the liquid back into the pot. Add the soy sauce, orange juice, ginger, chile paste and salt. Cook over medium heat until heated trough. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken breasts into cubes. Mix the marinade and pour over the chicken cubes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is in the marinade, peel, slice and cook the carrots in boiling water until soft but still a bit firm in the center. Set aside.
- Pour canola oil into a heavy pot with straight sides to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium high heat to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and dredge in the salted rice flour. Fry in the oil a few at a time until light golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Drain on paper towels and place in a 300 degree oven until all the chicken is cooked.
- Place the chicken pieces and carrots on a serving plate and pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve over steamed rice.