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Chicken, not duck, and oranges



Continuing with my throwing out recipe oddments from the folders in which they have been stored I came across two recipes, no three, that featured chicken and oranges, in the same folder, so here's one of those rundowns on pairings of ingredients. Perhaps not as thought-provoking as some, but hopefully stimulating for all of us home cooks looking for something different, whilst also not being too hard. It might also hopefully inspire to make up your own chicken and orange dish.

As I have begun on that commitment to look at the first recipe that pops up in my Google searches - in this case - 'chicken oranges' let me introduce a website called The Comfort of Cooking. The photograph at the top of the page is from her (Gloria's) recipe for Herb and citrus oven roasted chicken and you'd have to admit it looks pretty good. And this is Gloria - I have to say it's a face that is very similar to hundreds of bloggers out there. Not sure that there are any as old as me. They all seem to be young and glamorous. And it's her job - littered with ads and she has written a cookbook.


In her orange chicken recipe the herbs are mostly dried - not necessarily a bad thing - except for the herbs that are strewn over at the end - they are fresh. Nothing much to say about the website however - it's American and the subtitle is 'easy recipes for everyday cooks' and her aim is "I want to share good food with you, and help boost your confidence in the kitchen!" Mind you there was one rather nice little line in her About section:


"My first website was in 2001. I gave love advice – ha! (I was 15 and knew everything – obviously 😂)"


Nothing is dated and so I don't know if it's still going.


So what about those three recipes in my folder? Well the one that started me off down this path was very old. It was a Dan Hunter recipe - he of Brae - one of the world's top 50 restaurants - but before he set up Brae, so it's an old recipe. Indeed he says it's his dad's recipe so even older than his days at the Royal Mail in Dunkeld, from which this dates. Alas the recipe is not online. You stuff the chicken with butter (50g) mixed with orange zest (3 oranges) and tarragon (a bunch). Rub a little butter into the skin, mix orange juice (2 oranges) and honey (5 tbsp) and pour over chicken in roasting tin. Pour red wine (300ml) into pan with butter (50g) and some tarragon sprigs. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes, reduce to 160°C until done. Cover chicken with foil and set aside, strain juices into saucepan and reduce to half. Pretty basic really. Very doable.


The other two were Citrus and tarragon chicken from Taste which had lemon as well as orange, some balsamic vinegar, golden syrup, tarragon and thyme; and Baked Persian-style orange chicken roast from a member of Coles' Cooking Club and which I have been meaning to make for some time now. Soy sauce, paprika and cumin are involved in this one.



Then I turned to the professionals - well not seeing much in the results from my initial search from the professionals I added Guardian to my search and came up with a few - all somewhat different from each other. First two offerings from Nigel Slater: Roast chicken, orange, berbere spices and labne - berbere spice mix being pretty hot; and also Chicken with orange and black olives from his very first unillustrated cookbook Real Fast Food, and so The Guardian had no picture. However I then found a website called All of Real Fast Food - which I have bookmarked for another look sometime. It's one of those where someone is working their way through a cookbook. And they had a picture, as did two other websites called De-licious and The Intuitive Cook which demonstrates (a) it must be a good recipe and (b) that the same recipe can come out differently in different people's hands. They all loved it though.



The Guardian threw up another three very varied options: Slow roast citrus chicken with cucumber and peanut salad from Kitty Cole - a rather gorgeous looking Thai inspired version; than we go to Afghanistan for Afghani chicken and orange rice from Maryam Hanifi although this one is a bit of a cheat because the orange is in the rice not the chicken; and finally Roast chicken with braised chicory, sherry, oranges and raisins from Thomasina Miers - Spanish? The Guardian didn't offer an Ottolenghi one though, but I thought that surely he would have, and indeed he did. Found on his own website is Chicken, orange, date and split pea tray bake, complete with a video although it's not Ottolenghi himself demonstrating so I think this is from one of his OTK people - maybe his new boss of the kitchen Milli Taylor? As always it looks interesting, healthy and yummy too, not to mention pretty easy.



I will conclude with two successful blogs - ones that are pretty well-known - unlike my first pot luck example. First we have an example of what is a pretty standard Chinese dish - Orange chicken from The Woks of Life and the second from our own Nagi Maehashi of Recipe Tin Eats who takes the ham glaze concept and applies it to chicken: Sticky glazed Christmas chicken.



So next time you have a glut of oranges ... not at the moment of course. They are horrendously expensive at the moment, but next time they are cheap, or if you have a prolific orange tree of your own, take a chicken, look at all these recipes and then make something up for yourself. A roast, a traybake, a stir-fry, a braise or a sauté, maybe even poached. Spiced or plain. Pick a country and extemporise around what you think they might do with chicken and oranges. Have fun.


POSTSCRIPT

Somewhere along the line today in one of The Guardian articles I checked out I found this recipe for barbecued potatoes. When the rain stops have a barbecue and give it a go.


"he steams or boils them in salted water with bay leaves and peppercorns until they’re nice and soft. “You can even do this the day before [in which case, drain well and keep in the fridge].” When it’s time to eat, toss the spuds in oil, season and get them on a hot barbecue. “You just need a little char on the skin and to warm them through. Then it’s just a matter of tossing them with olive oil, a big squeeze of lemon and some chopped dill: “So simple, but so nice.” Michael Robins.


I am also somewhat overwhelmed by how many people have checked out my piece of the supermarkets being the good guys - well over 200 views! I know David put it on Facebook, but that's ridiculous - for me. And it's really only a summary of the AFR article. Still it shows there is a lot of interest in the supermarket quandary. And it is - a quandary I mean. If you pay the farmers more then you will have to put up prices. They can't win can they? It's a lose/lose situation.

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