Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Clementine Chicken and Broccoli

I have a weakness, and it's Chinese take-out.

Those delightfully salty dishes that are tucked so kindly in little cardboard cartons, anything and everything fried up to golden brown perfection.

Put down the phone. You do NOT need Chinese take-out tonight!

Last night's meal was a little bit of an accident, but a fun and tasty one at that! We are trying really hard to clear out most of our perishables in the kitchen in preparation for our holiday travels.

One thing I had an abundance of was clementines. I absolutely LOVE clementines, they are smaller and sweeter than oranges, and worlds easier to peel. I can eat 3 or 4 in one sitting. I just can't stop!

Now, even though I can house a whole lot of celementines at once, I find that no matter how hard I try, some of them always get mushy and go to waste. This is probably because you can only buy a big wooden carton of them at the store. Well, waste not friends!

I took a bunch of celementines and mixed them up with chicken, broccoli and spinach to create a fun twist on one of my favorite chinese food dishes--orange chicken!

It was lighter, not nearly as greasy, and not smothered in some kind of mystery sauce. But it was flavorful and fun and extremely simple to make!

I followed some of my own rules on how to build a better stir fry and built flavors on top of one another. It starts by steaming broccoli in water and celementine juice.

Then I use a very special clementine olive oil (O brand) to sautee the broccoli until golden brown. Toss in the chicken and wedges from 2 or more clementines.

Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, more clementine juice, and spinach thicken up the dish just a little bit; a plate of brown rice begs to be topped with the stir fry! Quick, and flavorful, and hearty, and delicious.

Here's what you need for Clementine Chicken and Broccoli:

2 cups frozen broccoli
5 clementines (2.5 for actual wedges, 2.5 for juice and zest)
1 can chicken breast, drained (or 2 skinless breasts, cubed)
1 cup baby spinach
1 glove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
salt and black pepper to taste
Clementine Olive Oil (O-brand, regular is also fine here just add more juice)
Brown rice for serving

Here's what you do:

In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, steam the broccoli in 1 cup of water and the juice of half a clementine. Drain after 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoon of clementine olive oil to the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Return the broccoli to the pan and sautee for 3 minutes, stirring occassionally until browned.

Mix in the chicken, garlic and the wedges from 2 peeled clementines. Season generously with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Add the zest of 1 clementine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining juice (from 2 clementines) until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour over the chicken and broccoli mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer and thicken, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the spinach and cook until bright green and wilted.

Serve immediately over brown rice, drizzling just a touch more clementine olive oil on top and garnishing with the last bit of clementine zests.

This is sweet and tangy, with a hearty helping of vegetables and whole grains. I think using the canned chicken gives it a little more of that genuine stir fry feel, as most of the ingredients eventually incorporate together. Of course, given the choice, I'd probably use cubed chicken breast or thighs in the future.

Do you have a go-to dinner that keeps those Chinese take-out cravings at bay?!

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