Last year was a big year of canning for me. I made countless batches of jams and jellies, fermented pickles, fresh-pack tomatoes in their own juices, a few batches of applesauce, and other things that are happily at-home in my basement pantry.
What I guess I just revealed to you is this: If the zombie apocalypse comes and in the event that anything happens to me (i.e., let’s hope Darryl rescues me from a zombie hoard and we ride off into the sunset together on his motorcycle), my house is a good location to raid for food.
Anyway... I give away a lot of my canned goods as gifts to friends and family, but one of my favorites that I selfishly held on to was a batch of bourbon and black pepper orange marmalade.
I recently had a craving to do something that involved more than just spreading the marmalade on toasted English muffins with butter — which is amazing, by the way. I was also craving Chinese food at the time and thought a savory application, orange chicken with some steamed vegetables, would be the thing to try.
I added some Asian flavors to the marmalade and heated it up in a saucepan until I had a glaze about a little thicker than pancake syrup. My first thought was to batter and fry the chicken, like a tempura, then coat it in the glaze to get something similar to sweet and sour chicken from a Chinese restaurant. Looking to cut out some calories, though, Steve and I decided to grill the chicken instead.
Steve brushed on the orange glaze towards the end of cooking, forming a nice crust with some char on account of the sugar. We served the chicken with steamed broccoli, carrots, and bok choy over rice for a delicious meal that was much healthier than take-out.
Grilled Orange Chicken
Makes 4 servings. Try the sauce with pork, too.
1 cup orange marmalade, homemade or store-bought
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated on a Microplane
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, grated on a Microplane
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
Sriracha or sambal garlic-chili sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
Combine marmalade, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, Sriracha, and water or chicken broth in a saucepan. Heat on low until sauce is bubbling, stirring occasionally. The glaze should be brushable but not too thick. If the glaze is too thick, just add more water or chicken broth.
Preheat a gas grill, charcoal grill, or grill pan. Season chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill about 6-8 minutes per side or until cooked through, brushing with the orange glaze during the last few minutes of cooking. If testing temperature with a thermometer, chicken is done when it’s in the range of 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove from grill, cover with foil, and let rest until ready to serve.
For a complete meal and an easy riff on take-out, serve with steamed rice, vegetables, and additional soy sauce to taste.