Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Orange Chicken puts my superpower to work

Have I told you about my superpower yet? I can't take all the credit since it was inherited from Mom, but it still takes effort to master such skills.

It's kind of an embarrassing story, actually. At a career workshop last year, we were asked to name a "superpower" that didn't have to be related to work. Of course, everybody else chose something that had to do with writing, or editing, or meeting deadlines, or something along those lines. But all I could think about was food, so for my superpower I said with a blush, "The ability to look in the fridge and make a meal out of anything."

I suppose it can translate into the work force somehow. Perhaps it shows off my ability to put all the pieces of a puzzle together -- or that I should be in charge of the office recycling committee. Sigh.

And the superpower itself? Well, it's not quite as great as I make it out to be. I can't lie and say I don't use AllRecipes.com's ingredient search fairly often to help me find a recipe that includes all those ingredients. But the bottom line is, nothing gets wasted. If I have some leeks or carrots that need to get eaten, I will find a way to cook them with something in my pantry or freezer. It's not always a masterpiece, but it'll usually fill us up.

This is what turned up in my most recent search, when I had half an orange that I thought would be a tasty addition to the frozen chicken breasts I always have on hand. So I typed in "chicken" and "orange," and up popped this Orange Island Chicken recipe from Kathy Bliesner. I took another look in my fridge and made some adjustments to include the veggies I had, and this is the moist and tasty chicken dish I ended up with:

Orange Island Chicken with Veggies
2 chicken breasts, sliced in strips
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/6 c. orange juice
1/2 t. ginger powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1 t. orange zest
1/4 c. flour
1 T. canola oil
Half a red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 oz. snap peas, ends and string removed

Mix soy sauce, orange juice, ginger powder, onion powder and zest in a zip-top bag, then add sliced chicken breasts and allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; heat a large skillet to medium high.

Remove chicken from the bag, reserving marinade, and coat with flour. Add oil to the skillet, and fry the chicken until brown, about 5 minutes. Place in a small casserole dish, then cover with the reserved marinade.

Top with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Remove foil and mix in bell pepper and snap peas. Bake uncovered for 15 more minutes.

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