Thursday, September 20, 2007


There should be a glorious photo in this spot. If it existed, it should send your salivary glands into instant overtime. You would have liked that, really you would.

So what do you get instead? My version of the Blond Moment, the Oh, Duh syndrome. Because I took the glorious photo of which I spaketh above. And then I ate-eth up that which I photographed. And then, when I went to prepare the photo for this post, I found I had rushed things a bit in my eagerness to partake of the bounty and the picture was disgustingly blurred. And now it's too late to do anything about it.

But don't take my word for the fact that the dish I'm about to lay on you is nothing short of fantastic. It's also fast and easy so you'll have a ball whuppin' up a batch for your own self. This is actually two separate recipes that I ran across when I was looking for inspiration to use up all that orange juice the family left with me when their vacation was up. You can call it whatever you want but I call it:


Part One: Orange Rice. Use a heavy sauce pan that has a lid. Drop in 3 tablespoons of butter and let it melt over medium heat. Dump in a 1/2 cup of finely diced celery, leaves and all, and 2 tablespoons of minced onion. Saute until onion is tender but not brown. Add 3/4 cup water and 1 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon salt and, if you've got it, 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel. Bring to a boil and slowly stir in 1 cup of long grain white rice. Immediately turn the heat down to low, put a lid on it, and let it simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. (If you use brown rice, you'll need to cook it more like 45 minutes.)

Part Two: Orange Chicken Stir Fry. Take a nice big boneless, skinless chicken breast and cut it up into little bite-sized pieces. Toss the chicken in a mixture of 2 tablespoons cooking sherry or rice wine and 1 tablespoon corn starch. Let marinate about 30 minutes. While the chicken is doing its thing, in another bowl mix together: 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil (I used olive oil -- so sue me.), 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon chili paste (or whatever hot sauce you have handy). On the side, mince up 1 clove of garlic and about a teaspoon of fresh ginger. If you want to add any veggies, prepare about a cup of whatever you fancy. I used up the fresh snow peas because they were begging to get into the game. Yay, team.

Okay. The rice should be done. Lift the lid and fluff it a bit with a fork and cover it again. (Don't forget to turn off the heat.) Put a deep frying pan on medium-high heat and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Throw in your garlic and ginger and stir fry a bit. Then toss in the chicken and stir that around until the chicken bits have all turned nice and white. If you decided to include veggies, now is the time to add them. Keep stirring everything around for another minute or two, then shove it all to the sides and pour your orange sauce in the middle. It will start bubbling almost immediately. Stir the chicken and veggies into the sauce and cook for about another minute.

Pile a steaming, aromatic mini-mountain of rice on your plate and then drape a few big spoonsful of the chicken stir fry over it. Sit down at the table with a fork and a napkin. Light a candle for ambiance, pour a glass of wine, remember to acknowledge an Attitude of Gratitude and dig in.

Now, wasn't that easy? And fun? And unbelievably delicious? We should all commit to doing That Orange Stuff more often, that's what.


John Bailey said...

Nice one, Dee. I never could see why ducklings should get all l'orange. My chicken with oranges casserole used to be famous until Graham came along. He hated it.

Dee said...

Hmmm. We'll have to have a little talk with ol' Graham, that's what. What was his objection -- the orange or the casserole venue? Some folks just don't like casseroles, on general principles. By the way, you don't happen to still have that recipe, do you? (hint, hint, nudge, nudge)

Mage And George said...

With pictures too. LOL

Dee said...

Hey, yeah, John! Here's da deal: one of these days, while Graham is still at camp (I think of the bar as "camp"), you can whup up a gorgeous helping of your chicken and oranges casserole and take mouth-watering photos and give us the recipe. And all the evidence will be safely tucked away in your tummy when Graham arrives home again.

I'm just saying ...