A l’ Orange Chicken – special enough for company – perfect for a weeknight meal! In recipe: sauce, how to julienne an orange rind and perfect – thin sliced grilled chicken breasts.
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon fresh jalapeño, minced (more if you like spicy)
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup chicken broth, preferably home made
- ¼ cup orange rind, julienned* (see note)
- 1 tablespoon grand marnier
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot, (see note)
- ½ teaspoonsea salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, organic
In a 9 ” skillet, add the water and sugar, stir to combine. Bring to a boil until achieves a deep caramel color. Immediately add the shallots, garlic, vinegar, paprika, jalapeño and orange juice. Bring back to a boil and stir to dissolve any sugar. Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 cup of liquid remains.
Add the julienned, blanched orange rind. Blend together the the arrowroot and grand mariner in a small bowl. Add to the simmering sauce, stirring well until slightly thickened. Season with sea salt. Remove from the heat. Add 3 T. of cold butter, one tablespoon at a time (use a fork.) When all emulsified, pour over the chicken breasts (see recipe) and orange slices. Cover with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbly, and the chicken is just cooked through.
*To julienne and blanch orange rind: (Cara-Cara oranges are wonderful, and have a pinkish hue)
Take the orange rind off a navel orange with a vegetable peeler in long lengths. Cut into long julienne matchstick strips.
In small sauce pan, add 1 cup of water and julienned orange. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry.
Note: Arrowroot is more translucent than corn starch. Will not make the sauce cloudy, and thickens nicely with a neutral taste.
– Keeps the sauce from “breaking” after the butter is added, and stabilized when reheated.
To make perfect grilled chicken for 4:
Place 1 3/4 pounds of thin sliced chicken (can cut 4 medium sized boneless chicken breasts in half horizontally, yielding 8 slices) on a large plate. Add 1 T. of extra virgin olive oil and seasonings to coat. Seasoning suggestions: minced garlic, your favorite all purpose salt- free cajun seasoning and a pinch of salt.
If you have the time, cover and marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Heat an oiled, ridged grill pan until very hot. Add the chicken and cook until golden,
and strong grill marks form, turn over with tongs until golden and seared, but not totally cooked inside.
Place in a baking pan to fit with 8 – 1/2″ slices of oranges. Cover with the a l’orange sauce and cover with foil.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes until bubbly and just cooked through.
Chicken will be very tender. Serve with mashed potatoes and garlic-sauteed spinach for the perfect meal.
This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.