Monday, March 23, 2009

French Onion Orange Chicken

I spent a good couple of hours today with an amazing new mom. Her name...Super CC. Not pronounced super "sissy". Though I do consider her a sister. She just amazes me...and reminds me of myself. Oh she is too cha-cha for words (quick name that movie!). So, CC earned a spot on the blog. Way to go girlie-mom. I am going to feature a few of our creations in length to help the world have some good ideas for new freezer dinners. BTW...Her new baby boy is sooo cute. When I get permission, I might even let the rest of the world look at him.

First up...French Onion Orange Chicken (of glory laud and honor...all hail the super chick). Or something like that. This is one of my favorite freezer dinners! I've used it for at least 5 years. For good reason, I can either make one for tonight and put one away, or make two meals (actually, this is more like 3meals for my small family of 4) Yield 12 servings. So, if you have a honkin' huge family, it works as a one time deal too. I also love that it is made with ingredients that I usually already have laying around without having to find something in the gourmet section of the store. Gotta love that! Oh yea, and I didn't even get this recipe from another recipe site. It's one of my personal creations. Feel that glow inside? It's total admiration for my skills and magic.

Chef Tess' French Onion Orange Chicken
5-6 lbs boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast
1 large onion, sliced thin
4 oz minced uncooked bacon
2T fresh pressed garlic
6 oz tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth (up to 1 cup wine if you cook with alcohol...I don't)
zest of one orange (I also use the fruit, just cut all the white and membranes off)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

In a large 12 inch deep skillet (that has a lid) cook the onion and bacon until the onion is very dark brown, about 6-8 minutes. The last 2 minutes, add the garlic (adding the garlic this late in the game magically keeps it from burning and turning into bitter little black nubs of death in your chicken you really love me now?)Random...I know a few bitter nubs that walk around like people and try to steal my love and happy thoughts. I am not even giving that thought any of my power. We are Soooo back to the chicken.

Next, add the tomato paste and scrape the bottom of the pan. This gets all the caramelized flavor and happy stuff off the bottom of the pan, and back into the food where it belongs. Tomato paste is like a call from a good friend..."Uh Hello...welcome back to the world of my chicken to join the party?" We love tomato paste. It's happy and red.

Add Orange zest, chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper...

Did you miss how I get my zest to look that bomb-tastic? Ka-pow! Lemon Marmalade...part one and everything.

Mix in the chicken pieces (I also added the fruit of the orange, because it just seemed like a waste to throw it away).

It should get really thick and saucy.

Cover and simmer 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Put half of the chicken on a platter and garnish with half of the parsley for dinner tonight. Put the remaining chicken, garnished with parsley on a plate in the fridge to cool. Bag, label and freeze as soon as possible to prevent food born illness and ensure best flavor when you serve your freezer meal. I put in a gallon size freezer bag, labeled clearly with the contents and the date.

To heat, place defrosted meat in the microwave on high 7-9 minutes, or heat on the stove in a covered skillet. This chicken, served with buttered egg noodle and a fresh spinach salad, is an elegant dish. It is also a sign of impeccable taste, to invite me over to cook it with you. Super CC has the best taste I have ever had the honor of experiencing. Well done my dear!

There you go.


Amy said...

I will DEFINITELY be trying this one!

Anonymous said...

Let me just testify that your mini-class on freezer meals profoundly influenced the use of my freezer and I will use this recipe for sure. Also, thanks for the garlic roasting response. I love this blog and I feel like I still get your cooking mentorship even though we live in different states.


Jana said...

How'd I miss this one when you first posted it? Looks good!