Lane A. McFarland
Orange chicken a healthy, flavorful meal for two
Admittedly I do not do many Asian-style dishes. The reason being, I tried following a recipe once for beef and broccoli and completely failed, thus asserting my understanding of my inability to follow recipes.
This time I decided to follow my gut and work with what I had on hand. Lucky for me that included dried orange peel. This orange chicken recipe is healthier than the battered chicken you would get from many other recipes, and the flavor is much better.
Ingredients: Serves 2
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 dried red chili pepper, seeded and soaked in warm water
1 ½ Tbsp dried orange peel
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 slices of ginger, minced
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
¼ cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp Low Sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 dash ground white pepper
1 tsp corn starch
1 dash iodized salt
In a skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, add the chicken and season with dried orange peel. Keep pan at a medium to medium low heat continuously tossing the chicken to slowly cook all edges.
In a medium pot, place all of the orange sauce ingredients except he cornstarch over medium heat, using a rubber spatula to mix thoroughly. Once the sauce begins to have a consistency like heated honey, add the corn starch slowly mixing with a whisk.
Back to the chicken pan! When the chicken has cooked about half way, mince the red chili after soaking in warm water for about 10 minutes and add to the chicken pan. If you want it less spicy, only add ¼ of the pepper. Mince the slices of ginger and add to the skillet. Stir the mixture well.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, pour the orange sauce over top and raise the skillet heat to high for 10 seconds. Remove from heat and pour over white rice.
I have been in the restaurant business since I was 15 years old starting off as a dishwasher at an old german restaurant in McMurray. Since then I have worked my way up through the restaurant hierarchy holding every position in the business, in restaurants like Kandle Keller, Abrios, Alfano’s, and Elephant & Castle. I took over Beechie’s Place with my mother Lisa in 2010, and strive to keep the same home town favorite that it has always been. I hold a degree in Business and Music from Westminster College, PA and have completed my Food Manager Certification, Chef Certification, and Business Management Certification. I recently have been awarded the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association Restaurant Member of the Year Award. I have traveled all over including the Eastern seaboard, Italy, Ireland, and England experiencing the food and the culture. Each place I have visited have strengthened my culinary abilities and knowledge. Every recipe you read includes my personal touch and creativity, even the ones that seem very simple. Every week I bring my creativity to work, making unusual and delicious items from all over the world and from many cultures. Blending together flavors and changing the old has become a specialty of mine, so you will never be bored.
In the words of Julia Child, “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” Web columnist, chef and blogger Lane A. McFarland is the executive chef at Beechies Place in Meadow Lands. Here at O-R online, he shares his recipes and stresses having fun in the kitchen! Visit McFarland’s blog Leather Bound Recipes, visit him on Facebook or hop over to Beechies Place.