derek’s special

orange-soy glazed chicken

Derek and I recently celebrated our 11(!) year dativersary. We’ve been together since college, and I laugh when I think about the food we were cooking and eating back in the day. The first meal I made for him was rosemary garlic chicken. One of the meals he used to make all the time was “turkey and oranges.”

Turkey and oranges consisted of ground turkey seasoned with orange juice and a wide range of spices and seasonings. The “oranges” part came from mandarin oranges from a can. Derek would serve the turkey and oranges over rice and top the whole dish with crispy Chinese noodles and maybe some chopped scallions.

While it’s been many years since we’ve had turkey and oranges, I thought I’d make a version for Derek as an homage to the original. Turkey is swapped out for chicken breast, and I’ve jazzed up plain rice with a quinoa salad (recipe coming Monday!). The essence of the original dish is in this decidedly more grown up version.

orange-soy glazed chicken
printer-friendly recipe
serves: 4

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil

Set a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar and orange zest. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until liquid is reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove the glaze from the heat, reserve 1/4 cup separately, and then pour the remaining glaze over the chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic food storage bag. Refrigerate the chicken breasts for 2 hours; remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and discard the marinade. Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the chicken, smooth side down, on the grill and cook for 4 minutes, rotate 45 degrees and cook an additional 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over, brush each breast with 1 tablespoon of the reserved glaze, and cook for another 4 minutes on the second side, or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve.

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