Friday, January 27, 2012

Gluten Free Friday ~ Ginger Orange Chicken

 We've been enjoying our local Pei Wei restaurant here in Austin. (Sort of the fast food version of P.F. Chang's)  They have a limited gluten free menu, but there are several very tasty items on it. My kids usually go for the Sweet and Sour Chicken, and I typically get their Vietnamese Rolls, which are good, but so much better with the forbidden peanut dipping sauce.  I may have to start bringing my own!  Eating out can get a little old, though, so last night we decided to made our own Asian-ish dinner. ("-ish" because I'm not convinced true Asian food ever involves orange juice!?!)

Breaded chicken, a sweet sauce, and white rice are almost always a perfect combination for happy teenagers at mealtimes here, so this dish was a definite score, and we even had leftover gluten free chocolate chip cookies that Kayla had made the day before to look forward to for dessert.  Yep, everyone was fat and happy with these comfort foods before bed last night.  We were missing Kory, though, who we had just put on a plane back to Massachusetts for a weekend conference, so we weren't completely content, especially when we found that his flight from Orlando to Hartford had been delayed three hours!  He did not arrive in Hartford until after midnight, but he is safe and sound now and doing just fine.

Ginger Orange Chicken

4 chicken breasts (or 3-4 lbs)
2/3 cup GF flour mixture (I used 1/3 cornstarch, 1/3 rice flour, and 1/3 tapioca starch)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 Tbsp agave nectar (or brown sugar)
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
3 cups orange juice
3 tsp orange peel, grated
1 bunch green onions
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water
*2 Tbsp GF soy sauce

Cut chicken up into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes and place in large bowl.  Sprinkle the chicken with flours, salt, and pepper and toss until chicken is thoroughly coated. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add chicken.  Cook the chicken, stirring and turning, for 20 minutes or more and until golden brown.  (I like cooking it longer than the usual recommended time of a few minutes per side.  It gets more tender the longer it cooks.) Grate the orange peel, mince the ginger, and chop the green onions while chicken is cooking.  When chicken is done, remove it by slotted spoon to a separate dish, leaving the drippings/oil in skillet.  Add minced ginger, and green onions to the drippings, and press the garlic into skillet. Sauté for just a minute or two on medium heat.  Next, add agave nectar (or brown sugar), soy sauce, and mustard and stir.  Then, add the orange juice and peel. Stir over medium heat.  Add water to 1tsp of cornstarch and stir briskly.  Pour this mixture into the orange juice mixture and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Return chicken to the skillet and cook 5-10 more minutes.  Serve over rice.

*I did not use the soy sauce in our meal last night, but I think it would add something nice to this dish.  The sauce would then look darker than my photos, of course!

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