~my thoughts about life~

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What's For Dinner?

If you haven't entered my Shutterfly giveaway, make sure to do so right away!  The contest ends December 4th at midnight.  Free fifty bucks!!!

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I finally succumbed to the ever growing Pinterest fad.  Scared of addiction, I avoided it for years.  Finally, I just decided to cannonball into the the Pinterest Pool.  Yeah, I'm now an addict too, but that's another story.

ANYHOO- I noticed a recipe my friend pinned for Orange Chicken.  I like Asian food, but I'm not a huge fan.  I love P.F. Chang's and have enjoyed anything I've ever tried there.  The photo that went along with the post really reminded me of something I might see at Chang's.  I read the ingredients and they were all fairly normal.  I expected to see things like saki, root of wasabi, and other unpronounceable things.  The ingredient list for this recipe were mostly things I had anyhow.  I decided to give it a try.

Wowzers...it was the most amazing homemade Asian food I've ever tasted!  It was actually better than the Asian food I've had at most restaurants and totally tasted like it belonged on P.F. Chang's menu! 

I worried that the kids wouldn't like it (they like nothing).  They do, however, like fried rice.  So instead of making steamed rice to go along with it, I googled how to make fried rice.  (In case you're wondering, you steam the rice, then fry it in very hot oil.  It can't get much simpler than that!)  We don't like the egg or veggies in the rice anyway, so I just made it completely plain.

The kids tore it up; the hubby tore it up.  I took some to my mom who loved it.  I called my sister-in-law with the recipe and she made it the very next day.  She and her mom both went crazy over it.  She passed it on to her sister, who made it and went wild over it.  This is the new beloved recipe in my circle of friends and will be a regular on my menu!

If you even kind of like Asian food, I would suggest giving this recipe a try.  It's not too difficult to make but tastes like you prepared it in a gourmet kitchen.  Here it is, for all my favorite readers!

Orange Chicken
This is the photo my friend texted
me when she made it.  Excuse the
poor quality.
1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1/3 C flour
olive oil
1/2 T salt
1 t balsamic vinegar
3T ketchup
4 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
4 T brown sugar
1/4 t ginger
1 t red pepper flakes, optional

Put orange juice in a mixing bowl to thaw.

Chop chicken into large bit sized chunks.

Add to juice:  brown sugar, vinegar, salt, ketchup, ginger, and pepper.  Stir.

In a ziplock baggie, add flour and chicken.  Shake until each piece of chicken is covered with flour. 

Pour a small amount of oil in a skillet and brown the chicken.  (At this point, the recipe says you can add it to a crockpot to complete cooking.  I kept mine in the skillet and made sure the chicken was cooked all the way through.)  Cover the chicken with sauce and stir.

The recipe says to cook in a crockpot on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.  I poured the sauce right into the skillet and brought it to a boil, which caused the sauce to thicken.  I served it right then over rice.

*I altered the recipe a bit for my taste.  Reviewers of the recipe mentioned that there wasn't nearly enough sauce for the chicken.  1 1/2 lb. is too much meat for my family, so I just cut down on the chicken and flour and kept everything else the same.  I used two medium sized breasts and one small chicken tender.

*I didn't have balsamic vinegar and didn't want to buy some to use only a teaspoon in the recipe.  I used a teaspoon of white cooking wine instead.

*I know the ketchup sounds gross, but I did it anyway.  I hate ketchup, but you could not taste it in this recipe.

*4 oz. of concentrate juice is 1/3 of a standard sized container.  I just put the rest back in the freezer to use next time.  My mom felt the orange flavor was a bit overpowering.  So if you're worried about that aspect, you could probably use a little less juice or dilute it a bit.

*I don't have red pepper flakes but I wanted to give it a bit of a kick.  I have cayenne pepper, so I used 1/8 t.  It was almost too spicy for me (I'm a wimp), so I might use a scant 1/8 t next time.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!!!  I'm going to make it again this week!

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