Do you guys like challenges?
I’m such a sucker for challenges.
There really is something about challenges that turns my crank - and I know I’m not alone.
Sure, sometimes they won’t make any sense and be the most idiotic thing on the planet.
Such as the “melon crash helmet”.
You don't know what that is? Okay so, in the “melon crash helmet” you get a large melon. You cut it and carve it out to make a satisfactory crash helmet shape. Put it on and test it out, by having your friends throwing heavy things at/onto your head.
How cool is that?
Just kidding. I know it’s stupid, but so entertaining; really, endless hours of fun (try it and see for yourself!)
As it happens, yesterday I took on a cooking challenge with a couple of friends: To make Chinese orange chicken quicker, tastier, and healthier than delivery.
My friend would call the Chinese place down the street and order a serving of their notorious orange chicken.
After hanging up, I could start with my cooking; I could cook until the delivery guy buzzed up.
Then we would compare the two orange chicken and determine the winner.
The moment my friend placed the order, pressure was on. I knew it would take about 20 minutes for the delivery guy to show up at our door (these guys are faster than a speeding bullet!)
But I had a secret weapon in my pocket: my friend Michelle’s recipe for 15-minute Chinese Orange Chicken. The simplest and most amazing recipe ever.
In a little over 13 minutes my dish was ready (including the rice) - a full 8 minutes ahead of delivery guy.
TIY v. Delivery 1 - 0
Tastewise I also won the comparison. The "judges" agreed that my chicken had more flavor, was juicer and felt overall lighter (just for the record, one of the judges was on the fence).
TIY v. Delivery 2 - 0
Finally, I won the healthier test by a landslide. My orange chicken is paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and made only with top quality / organic ingredients. Can't say the same about delivery...
TIY v. Delivery 3 - 0
15-Minute Chinese Orange Chicken Print this recipe!
1 lb / 453 gr, free-range organic chicken breast, cut into 1½-inch chunks
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder*
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
⅓ cup freshly pressed orange juice
½ cup rice wine vinegar (must be rice wine vinegar not regular white vinegar)
½ cup raw coconut palm sugar (I used Madhava)
2 ½ tablespoons wheat-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
1 tablespoon orange zest
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon arrowroot powder*
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (reduce for less heat)
*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch.
In a medium saucepan whisk arrowroot powder with orange juice until lumps are gone. Add all other sauce’s ingredients and bring to a boil over over medium heat. Cook until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside.
Combine chicken cubes, arrowroot powder, salt and pepper in a medium ZipLoc bag (or in a shallow dish) and shake/toss until all chicken pieces are evenly coated.
Heat olive oil in a wok (or large skillet) over medium high-heat. Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes until browned on one side and then turn over and cook another 3 minutes until cooked through.
Turn heat down to very low and add orange sauce, as much as fit your tastes. Toss until combined and serve.
One serving yields 350 calories, 8 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbs and 36 grams of protein.