Chilli, Orange Glazed Chicken Breast

In the winter months, we get these juicy, sweet hybrid oranges called Kinnows, grown mainly in the Punjab region of India. This fruit is great for its juice, which can be drunk on its own, or used in cocktails or foods and the rind, which has some pretty good flavour, I substitute for lemon rind quite a bit. I’ve used this to make a Coconut Cake with Citrus Glaze – my first recipe on the blog – and this chicken.

This has to be one of the quickest, easiest, and yummiest chicken breasts I have made (that is if you like oranges). And the good thing is, you can get an additional side dish with minimum effort as the same orange glaze can be used to dress a salad with rocket leaves (arugula) and eaten together. Or, you can mix the two to make a Rocket Orange Salad with chicken.

I love pairing my chicken with fruits. Sometimes it’s orange, sometimes pomegranate, sometimes apples and so on. Tastes great, depending on how you cook it of course! However, cooking is all about trial and error, so don’t worry if you’ve made the chicken too dry or something’s missing. Can always try again to better the effort. Preferably before the grand unveil before your guests.

That’s what I would recommend here, only for the consistency of course, (the flavour’s banging). You’ll get an idea how long to cook the chicken for before it gets dry and not have that Oops moment where you present a dish to your dinner guests thinking you’ve made some hot shit only to have them avoid it or look uncomfortable because they’re too polite to tell you that you’ve screwed up.

That’s the smart way to do things – as I’m learning so late in life but still haven’t put to practise. On those pearls of wisdom, I present to you the dish I’m pretty pleased with.

  • Have reduced the salt, chilli and dijon measurements a little bit from the original post upon making the dish again.

Ingredients (serves 2, or one person with a healthy appetite)

Chilli, Orange Glaze 

2 sweet oranges, juiced (I used Kinnows)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

Chicken Breast

2 chicken breasts without bone
pinch of salt
pinch of cracked black pepper
pinch of cinnamon powder (optional)
1 tbsp oil for frying

Get Started (pictorial steps below)

Chilli Orange Glaze 

  • Mix the orange juice, oil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and Dijon mustard well together.
  • Boil the mixed ingredients in a small saucepan on high heat till reduced to almost a third of its original volume. Check the salt and see if you want to add more. When satisfied, set aside.

Chicken Breast

  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt, pepper, and cinnamon powder on both sides of the chicken breasts. Go easy on the salt as there’s salt in the glaze as well.
  • Pour one tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan and place the chicken breasts bottom first on the oil when heated enough to hear a sizzle. Make sure the oil is not smoking, because then the meat will burn. 
  • Fry on medium heat for about a minute and a half till you get a nice reddish coat on the bottom and the meat becomes white along 1/3rd the sides of the breasts. Flip over and fry on medium heat for another minute. Then, take the heat down to the lowest setting, cover the pan and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove the lid after two minutes and pour two tablespoons of the orange glaze over each of the chicken breasts and flip over. Pour another tablespoon of glaze each over the flipped sides, turn the heat up to medium and coat both sides nicely till they become sticky and `caramelly’.
  • Remove from pan and keep aside for 5 – 6 minutes.
  • Pour two tablespoons of the glaze over the top of the chicken again before serving. Can heat up the glaze again if you want.
  • Keep the left over orange glaze in a small bowl on the side. You will definitely want more of the good stuff.

Happy Hogging.

Important notes: Make sure your oil is not smoking before frying the chicken breasts. If it is, you will get a burnt black coating instead of a lovely brown. If indeed you have made it too hot, wait a bit till the oil cools then keep it back on the heat. If in a hurry, add more oil and remove the extra into a bowl for later use.

It is very easy to overcook chicken breasts. Keep an eagle eye on your meat. The breast I used was about 1.2 inches at its thickest. For a larger chicken breast, you would have to keep it on lowest setting with the cover on for at least two to three more minutes before glazing. I would suggest making one piece first as a trial run and then making the others to get the consistency right.

Salt and pepper are always to individual tastes. This recipe has an indicative amount. You have to work the seasonings to your individual preferences.

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