Thursday, May 5, 2011

CrockPot Orange Chicken (and a secret)

I haven't forgotten about this blog. And I have been cooking! I just haven't had time to post much lately. Hopefully over the summer I'll be able to get some new recipes on here. Especially since I'll be heading up the food for a wedding reception. We'll be doing lots of tasting in the coming weeks.

This recipe has a lot going for it, since it's quick, easy, and cheap. Did I mention yummy? Even Allen, who isn't the world's biggest fan of cooked fruit, thought it was great.

Now for the secret. Those of you who know me know that I've recently become slightly addicted to couponing. What you may not know is that I keep a spreadsheet of my grocery savings. Yes. What a nerd. (This spreadsheet doesn't include Walgreen's spending or milk. Maybe next year I'll try to be more comprehensive.) The bottom line is this: we budget $200 a month for groceries, and I stay within that budget. Meals like this one help me do that! We're also "part-time vegetarians" and eat several meatless meals each week. This week's meatless nights included lentils tacos, which are amazing. I'll try to post the recipe sometime soon, because it is one of our standard meals now.

But on to the orange chicken!

4 chicken drumsticks, skin removed* (I forgot to remove the skin. Oops)
4 chicken thighs, skin removed*
1 cup green and red bell pepper strips
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup prepared orange juice
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light molasses
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
11 ounces can mandarin oranges
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup frozen peas

*Or use 4 chicken leg quarters


(Ideal slow-cooker size: 5- to 6-quart)

Place chicken in slow cooker. Top with pepper strips. Combine broth, juice, ketchup, soy sauce, molasses, mustard, and garlic salt. Pour over chicken. Cover. Cook on low 5-6 hours.

Measure out 1 cup of cooking sauce from the crock pot. Put in saucepan and bring to boil. Drain oranges, reserving 1 Tbsp. juice. Stir cornstarch into reserved juice. Add to boiling sauce in pan. Add peas to sauce and cook, stirring 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens and peas are warm. Stir in oranges.

Arrange chicken pieces on platter of cooked white rice or lo mein noodles. Pour orange sauce over chicken and rice or noodles. If you want to get fancy, you can chop a few green onions and throw them on top.

This dish is great the next day. When I was putting away the leftovers, I pulled all the meat off the bones and combined the meat and sauce. Allen liked it better this way!

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