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September 17, 2016

Orange Chicken | Fast & Easy Dinner

As you might remember, I'm a member of Martha's Circle.  This gives me special access to sponsorship programs through Martha Stewart Living advertisers.  This opportunity especially intrigued me as it is about making an easy dinner at home with real ingredients.  Thanks for joining me today and supporting my sponsor, Success® Rice.

For the last couple of weeks I've been talking all about Family Dinners.  I've shared some quick comfort food favorites of ours, ways we make family dinners special and some shortcuts to getting a yummy dinner on the table about 4 nights a week.  In addition to a great, quick recipe for dinner, the Martha team provided me with the supplies to create a simple DIY setting inspired by the menu.  These little touches are what turn an ordinary meal into an "everyday occasion" for your family.  And, when dinner only takes 15 minutes, I'm happy to spend 3 more minutes to make the table look cute :)

I have never had much success with making Chinese food at home.  Even my simple stir-fry doesn't turn out up-to-snuff with takeout from a Chinese restaurant.  When the team at Martha Stewart approached me about this Success® Rice opportunity, I was a bit skeptical that the recipe would stand up to Mike's favorite takeout meal, Orange Chicken.  I have to tell you, I am so impressed with this recipe - it really does do justice to the takeout version and I'm sure it is much healthier + it took all of 15 minutes to make start to finish.  

Express Orange Chicken

servings: 4 to 6

2 bags of Success® Rice  (I used Basmati)
1 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon Asian hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 package frozen broccoli florets (or fresh steamed)*
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1-inch pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying
*green onions, chopped

Prepare rice according to package directions.

In medium bowl, combine marmalade, vinegar, hot sauce, ginger and soy sauce.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.  (*I heated the sauce in the microwave for 2 minutes to help the sauce meld together.) Prepare broccoli according to package directions and set aside.*
In a small bowl, combine chicken with egg and coat thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper.  Remove chicken from egg and coat with cornstarch mixture.  Heat 1 inch of oil in 4 quart saucepan to 375 degrees F.  Fry chicken pieces in batches until light brown on all sides.  Remove cooked chicken and place on paper towels.  In large bowl, toss chicken with broccoli and marmalade mixture. 

Serve over hot rice.

*So, I totally forgot the broccoli.  I did want to add some green, though, so I added green onions at the end.  They added great color and flavor.  In the future, I will definitely add steamed broccoli and maybe even carrots, too, just to up the nutritional value.

The Success® Rice was a breeze and turned out perfectly... not usually the case at my house.  I didn't even have to scrub my pot after scorching the rice like I usually do : )  The boil-in-bag concept makes cooking the rice much easier than steaming.  

This is my marmalade sauce prepared.  I also microwaved it for about 2 minutes to thoroughly meld the ingredients together.  I think it made it much more sauce-like and helped it coat the chicken.

Cooking the rice.

I chunked the chicken into 1-inch pieces, them put them in a bowl, salted them and then added the egg.  I tossed the chicken around until coated.

In another bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients.  Then, I added the chicken one by one and turned to coat them.

I cooked the chicken in vegetable oil for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Make sure you get them a little golden before you flip.

All of the ingredients are ready.  The next step is to add the chicken to the sauce (that I heated up).

Doesn't this really look like the real thing?  I have to say, I'm so impressed with this recipe.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Martha Stewart Living project if there wasn't a little DIY place setting involved.  The team sent along the supplies to make these Chinese inspired settings.  There are coins inside the envelope - which thrilled Emma.  I think she thought the tooth fairy had set the table.

The experience wouldn't be complete without takeout boxes for leftovers.  I packed these up for Mike's lunch the next day.

I'm so glad I tried this recipe - completely surprised by it.  Do you have any shortcut recipes like this that make it easier to cook quick family dinners?

Thanks to Martha's Circle and Success® Rice  for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own.

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