Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rondi's Recipes: Spicy Orange Chicken

We thought we'd get off on the right foot first night out of the Hole and do a little home cooked meal. Today is supposed to be Thankful Thursday, but let me just say this, I was VERY thankful that we made this and I was able to eat at my own dinner table. If you want to see the original recipe, please click here.

Also, super duper happy 81st birthday to the best grandma in the whole wide world!!!!!! Love ya G'ma :)

Spicy Orange Chicken

  • Ingredients: oranges, cooking oil, baby spinach, soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger, cornstarch, crushed red pepper flakes, skinless boneless chicken breasts, salt, ground black pepper, garlic

Fresh squeezed orange juice

Baby Spinach

Cooked Baby Spinach


Sliced chicken breast

Chicken breast cooking in garlic and marinade

Cooked chicken breast served over orange slices and spinach

Serve and...


Prep Time: About 20 minutes (with two people)
Cook Time: About 25 minutes
Total Time: About 45 minutes (The recipe says total time should be around 30 minutes so apparently we need to work on our methods of operation)

What we liked:

I like how light it felt. It just simply felt "healthy". No heavy sauces and it doesn't leave you feeling overly full. It's a perfect summer meal.
I liked the cooked spinach. I'm usually not a huge spinach fan, but it was great.
I loved the warm oranges! (But then again, the last few weeks I've LOVED oranges!!)
I liked the overall flavor

This is kind of a cheap one, but I liked that it had chicken. I love chicken breast in just about any meal, any place and any time, so the fact that this recipe featured it, was an immediate winner.

I loved how fresh, clean and light this meal looked and tasted. The crispness of the orange mixed with the light sauce and fluffy spinach just made this one of my favorite "texture" meals.

Speaking of light, I loved that this meal didn't sit heavy in my stomach.

I LOVE fresh cooked spinach and the fact that this had chicken and oranges sitting on top of a big bed of it made my day.

What we'd change:

I would marinate the chicken overnight in the sauce, minus the corn starch (but with orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, honey, crushed red pepper)
I would cook the spinach less and with garlic.
I would cook the chicken with more garlic - there can never be enough garlic.
I'll always choose dark meat over white, but Ronnie will only eat white. So if I had it totally my way, I would change the chicken to dark meat :)

Although I loved the clean taste of this meal, it was almost "too clean" meaning it lacked a little bit of flavor. Next time I'd like to add more of the marinade and find a way to make it thicker ie more sauce like.
I would think about marinating the chicken in said sauce hours before hand.
I would try it with oranges less cooked just to try a different texture in the dish.
I would try to add a little bit more heat to the meal (which would happen if we increased the red pepper flakes or maybe we could marinate in some Korean Pepper Paste?)

Here's our overall rating (with 1 being the worst meal we've ever had and 10 being the best):

Mandi's Rating:

9 - I'd say it was a 8 this time around, but if we made the changes, it would easily be a 9.

Ronnie's Rating: 8.5

Again, if you guys have any suggestions on how this is laid out or what you guys would like to see answered/done differently, please let us know :)