Last minute Orange chicken
We went to celebrate Christmas in Wagga Wagga with my stepsons, their better halves and kids and it was lovely we got to spend time together as a family. To say we ate A LOT was an understatement and you couldn’t even walk it off because it was like 40C in the shade, so there was nothing to do but stay in the airconditioned house and eat some more. I spent most of the time in my happy place and everyone was delighted to make baking/dinner/dessert requests which I provided with lashings of relish.
On Christmas day we were invited to my Wagga stepson, Joshua’s, partner’s family for lunch.
And as I was getting ready, trying to squeezing into the dress I had brought to wear, which was uber tight after three days of stuffing one’s face. As I put the last of my hot rollers in my hair my, Joshua, turns to me and says, ‘We’re leaving a bit early but will see you there, oh and BTW, Nava, do you mind whipping something up to bring…’
Me: ‘Ummmmm, errrr, sure… What have you got for me to cook?’
Josh, ‘I think we have some chicken in the freezer
I looked in the freezer and there was a frozen packet of chicken breast.’
Thinking to myself, it’s a good think I’m a fricking genie, I looked in the pantry and there was an onion and a few oranges.
While the hot rollers in my hair were frying my skull, I quickly sliced onions, squeezed as much juice as I could from a couple of oranges, and sliced the remainder of them and arranged them on top of the onion rings I had put in the baking tray. I then threw the chicken breast pieces on top and sprinkled it all with herbs, salt and pepper, put it in the oven and ran to the bathroom to take off the hot rollers to stop my brains from melting.
Once the chicken was cooked, (luckily it was breast so it didn’t take long) I jumped into the car with my husband and sped off to lunch. I was hoping to sneak in with my slop, dump it in the corner of the kitchen so no one would know I made it. But, unfortunately, as soon as I entered, Joshua ushered me in, wanting to introduce me to the family. ‘Hey everyone,’ he says, beaming with pride, “this is Nava and she is an amazing cook!’
‘NOOOOOOOOO I’m not,’ I said. ‘I mean, I can cook but this chicken is terrible. Here, eat the trifle I made it’s much better.’
‘I was so embarrassed. It tasted blehhhhhh, if you ask me and I kept apologising to everyone, but they were all too polite to say it sucked.’
I am pleased to say I have finally gotten around to making a much tastier version of this chicken breast dish and I absolutely love it. It’s flavoursome with a strong taste of orange and greens, and it’s clean and healthy and can be thrown together at the last minute.
750g chicken breast
4-5 oranges sliced and peeled or not peeled
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
25mls freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup oregano leaves and stem
1/3 cup Basil leaves
1/3 cup fresh Parsley leaves
4 cloves Garlic thinly sliced
Pinch of chilli flakes
½ teaspoon crushed pepper
1 teaspoon onion salt,
A hand full of thyme
Preheat the oven to 200
Peel (or not your choice, I've done both, I prefer no peel) and slice oranges, arrange them in an oven dish and pour 1 cup of juice on top. Place in the oven and cook until juice has reduced by ¼: about 25-30 minutes (in my oven)
While oranges are cooking in the oven prepare the marinade.
Using a handheld blender, blend the basil, parsley, oregano, sliced garlic, onion salt, mayonnaise and 25mls orange juice.
Stir in cracked pepper and chili flakes
Toss chicken breast and coat thoroughly. And keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Take the baking tray out of the oven, throw thyme on top of oranges, place chicken on top.
Return to the oven and cook for 15 minutes..