Lame pun, I know... but this recipe is anything but lame. I made it for dinner tonight and I am still in a happy little food coma. It was so nice to enjoy on a Friday night after a hot and humid week full of work that welcomed me after being gone last week for a conference. I adapted the recipe slightly from Sunset Magazine, July 2015 issue. Try it out!
ORANGE LEMON CHICKEN
serves 4 (I made a half-recipe tonight)
1 pound boned, skinned chicken breasts
1 tablespoon soy sauce - I used tamari to make it gluten free
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, divided
1 large orange - I used a can of mandarin oranges instead!
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2-in. piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely shredded
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on the diagonal - I had brussels sprouts and mushrooms on hand, so I used these instead
1 green onion, cut into 2-in. slivers
4 cups steamed rice (optional)
1. Cut chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-in.-thick slices, then cut each slice in half lengthwise so you end up with finger-size pieces. Combine chicken, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp. white pepper in a small bowl and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
2. Zest orange into a small bowl. Segment orange: With a sharp knife, trim off ends and set a cut side down on a cutting board. Following the curve of the fruit, trim off peel and white pith. Set a strainer in a separate bowl and, working over bowl, slice segments free of membranes. Squeeze juice from membranes into strainer. Measure 3 tbsp. juice and add to bowl with zest. Set orange segments aside.
3. Cut lemon in half and set one half aside. Zest and juice the other half into bowl with orange juice and zest, then add brown sugar, sesame oil, and remaining 1/4 tsp. white pepper. Set sauce aside.
4. Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger and cook until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Push onion and ginger to one side of pan and add chicken in a single layer. Let sear undisturbed 2 minutes. Add celery and citrus sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
5. Remove from heat and stir in reserved orange segments. Pour into serving bowl or onto a platter. Squeeze juice from reserved lemon half over chicken and shower with slivered green onion. Serve with steamed rice if you like.