Mandarin oranges and apricot preserves add a fruity sweetness to this veggie-packed chicken stir fry recipe.
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, undrained
1/3 cup thawed orange juice concentrate, undiluted
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons apricot preserves
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound skinned, boned chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
1 cup (1-inch) diagonally sliced asparagus (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup (3-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
1/2 cup (3-inch) julienne-cut zucchini (about 1 small)
1/2 cup (3-inch) julienne-cut carrot (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup snow peas
1/2 cup diagonally sliced celery
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and diagonally sliced
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 cups hot cooked rice
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
How to Make It
Drain oranges in a colander over a bowl, reserving syrup.
Combine juice concentrate and the next 6 ingredients (concentrate through garlic) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken; cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.
Heat canola oil in a stir-fry pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and the next 6 ingredients (asparagus through green beans); stir-fry for 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add mushrooms, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from pan. Add chicken mixture to pan, and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Return vegetable mixture to pan. Combine reserved syrup and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add syrup mixture to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir in oranges. Serve over rice and almonds.
I enjoyed this dinner even though I made a mistake and added the mandarin juice to the marinade. I'm afraid that the chicken flavor was not as strong as it should have been. I didn't add the oil or the snap peas. Overall, it was very fresh and tasty.
Maybe recipes are just subjective but I REALLY loved this dish. I was in a rush and didn't marinate the chicken but 5 minutes. And I did not have on hand green beans, zucchini or snow peas, and had to resort to canned mushrooms. Didn't have apricot preserves so used peach. But I had two big bunches of asparagus so used one of those in place of the absent veggies. In place of chili oil I used the same amount of chili garlic paste but next time (and there will definitely BE a next time) I will increase that as I like some heat. I didn't have the almonds either and I kept thinking how good cashews would be (but of course I couldn't then stick to 1 1/2 teaspoons. ;)