Mandarin Orange Chicken

Before getting started on the chicken, I put some rice on to cook. Our favorite these days is basmati. It’s light and fluffy, never sticky.  It takes about 25 minutes to come together and by the time your rice is finished, the chicken will be ready as well.

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I also dumped an 11 ounce can of mandarin oranges in a strainer so they’ll be well-drained by the time I need them. I love it when the individual parts of a meal come together at the same time so everything is plated as it finishes. It pays to read through recipes and plan out your steps; more often than not, this isn’t done for you in the instructions.

While this recipe was very simple as written, I still made a few adjustments for personal preference. The biggest was to go with chicken breast strips rather than chicken breast halves pounded to 1/4″ thick. Either way is fine – I just like my chicken in bite-sized pieces and I think it’s less work to accomplish that with strips. Just toss them in some flour, salt, and pepper, and fry ’em up in a little olive oil (the recipe called for canola…again, go with your personal choice here), and then cut into smaller bites.

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Combine 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup orange marmalade, 2 tbsp honey mustard, and 1/4 tsp crushed dried rosemary. The recipe doesn’t call for this, but I placed mine together in a small saucepan to get the marmalade warmed and all the ingredients adequately mixed.

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Once everything is combined well, pour the contents of the saucepan over the fried chicken breast pieces in the skillet. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, cooking until the sauce thickens. This won’t take long… 5 minutes or so, depending on your temp.

Remember those mandarin oranges draining in your sink? Well now’s the time to pick those up and dump them on top of the chicken and sauce.

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Stir everything up and let it heat for a few minutes (you want the oranges to come up to the same temperature as the rest of the dish). Lay down a bed of basmati rice and cover with chicken, sauce, and oranges. Yum. Yum. And triple YUM!

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