Saturday 11 August 2012

Experience Your Senses - Chicken a l'Orange

Baked chicken in a delicious orange glaze on a cool breezy evening. Today's dish is exactly just that.

It is a special day for me and I'm in a cheerful way. Today Reju and I celebrate our second wedding anniversary. Glad for the little things in life which brings us happiness. Another anniversary is here and birthdays and anniversaries make me feel very good and I am sure you feel the same. I can't believe Reju and I are celebrating yet another anniversary together. We came together 2 years ago and have been strong ever since. Praying for a wonderful life ahead.

Over the weekend, we all like to have some special food to enjoy family time. And for Reju and me today is all the more special as we celebrate our second anniversary. And this time we have a gift that will soon be unravelled! :) (sometime around the 1st week of December) Together we will soon share a beautiful treasure which will make our relationship all the more wonderful and fulfilling making us almost a complete family. And thus praying we have a very blessed and special year ahead.

Yesterday I decided to bake chicken. I like experimenting with chicken because it beautifully adapts with a myriad of flavors. You add alcohol, citrus or other juices, masala or spices or whatever you can think of, chicken absorbs all these rich flavors to create a wonderful tasting dish.

We have been regular viewers of Masterchef Australia ever since it started airing in India and today's recipe is inspired by this beautiful show. I am amazed at the variety of colourful dishes the contestants put up in every episode. A definite feast for your eyes. While watching one of these episodes, I happened to come across an interesting dish called "Duck a l'Orange". I'm sure many of you (especially those abroad) would have tasted this dish. To me it was all new and was visually very pleasing. French cuisine made it's debut in America thanks in part to this famous Duck a l'Orange recipe for seared duck breast glazed with sweet orange sauce. This sophisticated dish is a wonderful addition to party menus and romantic dinners.

Today's recipe is my take on the very famous Duck a l'Orange. Of course while you browse through the recipe, you can see that it is quite different from the original dish. I have used ingredients that are readily available in the Indian market. The dish is simple but the experience is surely a burst of fresh flavors that takes this dish to another level. Fresh orange and subtle spicing creates an awesome tickle to your taste buds. This dish can be cooked up in minutes and is a wonderful party-time dish that you can proudly serve up to hungry family and friends. As the knife cuts through the chicken, you can see it is cooked to such perfection that it falls off the bone, juicy and sweet chicken meat in a dark rich sauce.

This weekend we wanted to remain in our bubble. It was just so cozy and comfortable. The rain could fall down in sheets and the wind could howl against our windows, we were happy just enjoying each other's company. Over a simple yet soul comforting lunch, I look at Reju and think... Yes - I am looking forward to the next one!

You have a wonderful time until I come back with another recipe for you.


Chicken - 8 to 9 big pieces (refer notes)
Soya Bean Sauce - 2 to 2 and 1/2 tbsp
Garlic Powder - 3/4 tsp (refer notes)
Paprika powder (or chilli powder) - 1 tsp (heaped)
Pepper powder - 1 tsp (heaped)
Oil - 1 to 2 tsp
Salt - to taste (refer notes)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Orange juice (freshly squeezed) - Juice of 1/2 an orange
Orange zest - zest of 1 whole orange


Make deep gashes on the chicken pieces and add all the ingredients except the orange juice and zest into it. Marinate the chicken well and let it rest for atleast 3 hours in the refrigerator. Overnight marination is the best. Pour in the fresh orange juice and zest and combine well just before placing it on the baking dish.

Grease a baking dish with oil/butter and keep aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degree F/180 degree C for 15 minutes. Arrange the marinated chicken pieces on the greased dish. (pour the residual marinade evenly on all the pieces) Bake chicken for 20 to 30 minutes. (time of cooking differs from one oven to the other. So adjust accordingly) 10 to 15 minutes through the cooking time, check the chicken to see if cooked on one side. Take the dish out and baste it with all the luscious juices and oil. Flip the pieces to ensure both sides are equally browned. Continue cooking.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove dish from oven. Arrange on serving dish of your choice. Pour over the residual gravy on top. (the gravy will be a thick reduction of all the sauces and spices. You can add a few drops of freshly squeezed orange juice for that extra zing and for those of you who enjoy that sweet-sour flavour of the orange)

Serve as a starter or make it a full meal by having some creamy mashed potatoes and boiled/cooked veggies on the side. And there you have it, yummylicious Chicken a l'Orange just for you.


1. There is no specific cut of chicken I use in this recipe. Feel free to use chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks or anything that is readily available in your freezer.

2. You can always substitute garlic powder with freshly crushed garlic cloves. I used crushed garlic cloves in my recipe.

3. Be careful while adding salt to the marinade because the recipe calls for quite a big quantity of soya bean sauce which is already quite salty.

4. Feel free to play around with the recipe by adding spices like cumin or coriander and herbs like thyme, rosemary and such. It certainly would enhance the flavour of the dish. Here, I have kept it simple and have avoided any such spices or herbs.

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