The dish called orange chicken appears in many cuisines. There is a Chinese version (Chinese American, actually) which is now found in the menu of the Chinese fast food chain, Chow King. There is a Mexican dish and an Italian dish with the same name. And then there is a Spanish version. I don’t know how much different the Italian and Spanish versions are (most websites that feature Italian orange chicken are written in Italian which I don’t speak nor read) with both cuisines falling under the broader label of Mediterranean cooking. This recipe is based on a version I found at About.com.
This dish is a stew. The flavors are derived from the juice of fresh oranges, white wine, onions and carrots. I wish that the final shot were better but everyone was hungry and I didn’t want to delay dinner. Tuesday night was the start of the Holy Week break for my family, everyone was home by dinnertime and I wanted dinner to be special. Looking at the photo above, however, I think it represents quite perfectly the phrase “keeping it real.” You’re looking at a photo of real food, the last piece of chicken in the stew that we had for dinner. That piece of chicken got eaten within minutes after I took the photo.
- 4 chicken drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs (substitute your preferred part of the chicken)
1/4 to 1/3 c. of flour
1/4 c. of olive oil
1 large or 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 c. of fresh orange juice
1/2 c. of white wine
2 tbsps. of orange zest
Place the chicken in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and the flour. Mix to coat the chicken.
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Fry the chicken until lightly browned, about five minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Strain the remaining oil to another pan and reheat. Cook the chopped onions and carrots until slightly softened, about three minutes.
Pour in the orange juice…
… and white wine.
Boil, uncovered, for about three minutes to reduce the sauce and allow the flavors to concentrate.
Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the pan and top with the orange zest. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is well done and the sauce is thick and chunky.
Transfer the chicken pieces to a platter, pour the chunky sauce around them and serve hot with rice or bread.
Cooking time (duration): 1 hour
Number of servings (yield): 4
Meal type: lunch / supper