Today I’m excited to share this fantastic cookbook from a food blogger friend – and a great dinnertime recipe for Orange Chicken Stir-Fry!
Lately, the amount of cookbooks in the market is surreal – so many talented authors pouring their hearts out to the world, especially in the cookbook section of the bookstores. The greatest and latest is Express Lane Cooking by Shawn Syphus, founder of the delicious food blog, I Wash You Dry. I love the concept of her book and she explains it best: “I take 5 basic ingredients (yes, you’ll know each one, no surprise ingredients here) and give you 3 quick and easy meal choices.”
Isn’t that a genius concept for a book? I tend to stick to cooking “on the fly” when I’m making dinner recipes. Normally, I only follow recipes when baking. So what made me love Shawn’s book? The simple concept of reusing ingredients in completely different recipes. The inspiration that I got while flipping the pages of her book. The full-color photographs of each and every single recipe. I could go on and on, but I won’t, for your sake. (Oh and I’m not saying all these nice things because the book was free from the publisher – I get hundreds of books a year and never review if I don’t love them!)
For this post, I wanted a recipe that was delicious but quick. I work 10 hour days at the restaurant, so I want to come home, still eat a decent meal, but not spend an hour on it. On page 40, the recipe for Orange Chicken Stir-Fry called my name and this is the result! Every ingredient I had on hand, which was perfect: chicken, orange marmalade, red bell peppers, soy sauce, purple onion. The stir fry was one of three recipes she shares – the other two are: Broiled Asian Chicken Thighs with Red Pepper Slaw and Hawaiian Chicken Skewers. All completely different, yet using the same ingredients so you save time & money in the grocery store. Seriously, go get yourself a copy of this book – you’ll be happy you did!
- ⅓ c (80 ml) chicken broth
- ⅓ c (80 ml) orange marmalade
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- ½ purple onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb (455 g) chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
- ¼ c (35 g) cornstarch
- Optional garnish: sliced green onions
- Combine the chicken broth, orange marmalade, soy sauce, garlic powder and red pepper flakes in a small bowl, then whisk to combine. Set this aside for later.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil to the pan and cook the peppers and onions for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pepper and onion from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of oil in the wok or skillet and toss the bite-size pieces of chicken in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You may have to do this in a couple batches. Brown the chicken on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Once all the chicken is cooked, add the vegetables back to the pan, then stir in the sauce and heat it through until it bubbles and thickens. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.
- Shawn’s Tip: If you like your sauce thicker, make a quick slurry by combining 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of water, then pour it into the sauce in your pan and stir. Let it bubble, and it will begin to thicken. Variation: Boneless, skinless chicken breast can be used to substitute for the chicken thighs.
Disclaimer: Shawn’s publisher sent me a free copy of this book but I was under no obligation to write about it. Opinions about the book are 100% my own!