Last Christmas, I bought my younger son several different, funky-flavored, dark chocolate candy bars from The Fresh Market. All through the holidays, he would occasionally break open a new flavor, and we would so dearly enjoy the various twists and turns that come with combining flavors that have not traditionally paired. Every now and then, a flavor combination comes along that is absolutely, totally different from anything I would ever have thought to throw together. In such a case, I am either in food-lover’s heaven or hell. There really is no in between. Case in point – very hot, spicy-flavored peppers mixed with dark chocolate just feels sort of like catsup and ice cream. Even the adventurous foodie in me just wasn’t ready to go there. This Orange Chicken recipe, however, dances in heaven with a strange, but delightful, mixture of orange marmalade, dijon mustard, and ….. wait for it…… coconut balsamic vinegar. Doesn’t sound amazing, does it? WRONG!!
Two of my girlfriends and I have recently discovered several of these olive oil and vinegar stores that are sprouting up all over the place, and let me tell you, if you have not “experienced” one of these, then get thee to the closest and quickest one you can find, for it is truly a fun and delicious culinary tasting tour. Bring your credit card or lots of cash, and prepare to be “hooked” forever. Anyway, back to the story of this recipe. My friend, Sheryl West, gave me this jewel while sitting around the dinner table at a local restaurant one evening. As I am always looking for that gourmet taste and quick preparation, I figured I would try it. I now serve this at least once every week or two. Pair it with couscous, rice, whatever floats your boat. And if anybody out there has great recipes with flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegar, please share! I’m looking for ways to use my growing stash of bottles!
Serves: 3 or 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
- 1 pound raw chicken fingers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken strips. In a 10- or 12-inch iron skillet, lay the strips on the preheated, pre-oiled iron skillet. Cook each side 2 or 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the mustard, marmalade, and vinegar. This is NOT an exact science. Mix it to your taste. When chicken is mostly done, turn off heat and place butter in skillet. Roll the strips around in the melted butter. Next, drizzle about a tablespoon or so of the mustard, marmalade, and vinegar mixture onto each strip and place in preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes. Serve straight from the skillet with a green vegetable and either rice, couscous, or potatoes.