I found a bright orange orange in the fridge today.
It lay there, neglected, in all its orange glory so I picked it up and decided to cook with it. The first idea was obvious – crêpes. However, the more exciting idea was to combine it with some kind of protein. Thus I ended up making Chicken in Mandarin Sauce instead (glad I picked option 2).
Terribly simple and deceptively fancy. Not to forget, light and healthy as well.
Mandarin oranges are sweeter than the normal ones and gave the sauce a delicious acidity and a hint of sweetness.
- Garlic: 6-7 cloves finely chopped
- Ginger: 1 inch piece julienned
- Green bell pepper: 1 julienned
- Chicken: Boiled and cut into cubes
- Chicken stock: 1 cup
- Mandarin Orange juice: 1 cup
- Onion: ½ julienned
- Cornflour: 2 tbsps.
- Chilli flakes: 1tsp
- Oil: 1tbsp.
- Salt and pepper: To taste
However complicated it may look, this chicken dish is super simple to make. 20 minutes tops and you shall be rewarded with an Asian blessing. Before starting with the sauce, put a chicken breast to boil in some salted water and let it cook away. For the sauce, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Once it is hot enough, add the chopped garlic and ginger and sauté till fragrant. You know the onion is ready to go in when your kitchen smells like an Asian street food stall because of the aromatic ginger and garlic. When the onion turns slightly translucent, add the chilli flakes, vinegar, salt and pepper. Take a peek at the chicken and if it is cooked (poke a sharp knife into the thickest part. It should go in without any resistance) cut it into cubes. Use the water as stock to make the sauce, as it will have some flavour of the chicken. Add the mandarin orange juice along with the stock and let it simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat. Mix in some cornflour paste once the liquid has reduced a little. I leave the bell peppers for the end so that they retain their colour and also give a bit of a crunch. The final step: mix in the cornflour paste to thicken the sauce. Once it thickens, add the chicken pieces, cover with a lid and allow the chicken to absorb all the flavours. Garnish with heaps of spring onion and serve on a bed of fried rice or steamed rice. Ni hao, comfort food!