Lemon and pineapple often figure in Asian stir fried dishes. Oranges make a more rare appearance perhaps because orange segments easily disintegrate over high heat and constant stirring. But that can be prevented, or at least minimized, by adding the orange segments at the last minute.
The previous post about how to segment an orange was a prelude to this recipe — a stir-fried chicken dish marinated then alternately braised and stir fried in light soy sauce and fresh orange juice until the natural sugars have caramelized. Vegetables, the orange segments and toasted walnuts are added toward the end of cooking to add texture, color and a bright fresh appearance and flavor to the dish.
Soy-orange chicken with walnuts
- 4 large chicken thigh fillets
- 6 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 stalks celery cut diagonally into half-inch slices
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted walnuts cashew nuts or peanuts will also work
- segments from 2 oranges
- 1 drizzle sesame seed oil
- Pat the chicken fillets dry with paper towels.
- Cut each fillet into 6 to 8 pieces then place in a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix together the soy sauce, orange juice and chili flakes.
- Pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken and mix well.
- Cover the bowl the let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Drain the chicken. Reserve the marinade.
- Add the chicken to the hot oil. Keep the chicken pieces moving by stirring and tossing. When the meat starts to lose its pinkness, add the garlic.
- When the chicken starts to caramelize, pour in the marinade. Bring to a hard boil then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and turn up the heat. Continue cooking the chicken until the sauce has almost dried out.
- Add the celery and onion. Stir fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the orange segments and walnuts. Toss a few times and turn off the heat.
- Drizzle in the sesame seed oil. Toss a couple of times.
- Transfer to a serving platter and serve with hot rice.