Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Orange Chicken and Veggies with Rice

I had had this recipe tagged in my March/April Simple and Delicious magazine for awhile. The basis of this recipe is really pretty good. I needed a good, quick recipe to make on a busy, school night for my husband and I, and this definately fit that bill. It can be on the table in the time it takes the rice to cook.
However, I did run into a little bit of trouble with the breading on the chicken. The recipe calls to coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch before cooking them to create a breading, but doesn't call for enough oil to actually "fry" them. Maybe it was me, but my cornstarch soaked up the oil and the chicken pieces stuck to the pan like crazy! I ended up having to scrape them off. Next time, I think I'll skip that step entirely. The dish doesn't need it.
Other than that, the dish was very good. I've seen a similar recipe that adds some honey and minced fresh ginger to the sauce, and I think that would really mature the flavor of the dish a little bit. I'll have to try it out.
Orange Chicken and Veggies with Rice
1-1/2 c. uncooked instant rice (I made my own brown rice separately)
1 Tbsp. plus 1/3 cup cornstarch, divided
1 c. orange juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1-1/2 c. fresh carrots, sliced
1 c. chopped green pepper
½ c. chopped onion

Prepare rice. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, salt, sugar, and pepper; set aside.

Place remaining cornstarch in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in 2 Tbsp. oil for 7-9 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, sauté carrots in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add green pepper and onion; sauté for 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Add chicken; heat through. Serve with rice.

Yield: 4 servings

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