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Chicken in Orange Sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh but not necessary
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, or 1/4 cup regular soy sauce plus 2 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon finely minced peeled fresh ginger
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Kosher or coarse salt
2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
4 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
hot cooked rice (brown or white) or quinoa, for serving
toasted sesame seeds, for serving (optional)
Whisk together the garlic, honey, orange zest and juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, ginger, and pepper in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a very large skillet or a wok over high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until it starts to turn white, 3 minutes. Add the sauce and scallions and cook until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve over hot rice or quinoa, with the sesame seeds sprinkled over if desired.
Replace the chicken with 2 pounds extra-firm tofu, blotted dry and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. To get the tofu nicely browned, in Step 2, heat the oil in the skillet over high heat, and when very hot, add the cubes, which should sizzle and sear (watch for splattering). Cook the tofu, not moving it for at least 3 minutes, so it has a chance to brown on the bottom. Flip the cubes using a thin metal spatula (and knowing some cubes will break) and continue to cook to brown the bottoms, 3 minutes more. Add the sauce and scallions and continue with the recipe.
If you want to make the dish half chicken and half tofu, use a pound of each, sauté them separately in two large skillets with a tablespoon of oil in each, and divide the sauce and scallions evenly between the pans. The cooking times are the same.