Valencia oranges   “The Summer Orange” are identifiable by a distinct green tinge to their skin. I often feel they are also the unwanted orange as unlike the more popular navals, they are not as easy to peel and segment into portions. For that reason I feel most fruit shoppers walk past them and wait for winter Navels. Valencia oranges are in fact quite special, and I would like to tell you why!

 

There is nothing is more delicious or healthy in summer than freshly squeezed chilled sweet Valencia orange juice. I very rarely buy commercially produced juices in favour of serving them occasionally fresh from the fruit. All you need is about seven or eight sweet Valencias to fill a jug with natural sweet sunny juice to place on your breakfast or dinner table. Pour this over ice for the perfect summer thirst quencher. An electric citrus juicer makes this process both fast maximises your juice. At this time of the year Valencias can be found for around a $1.50 a kilo. I have had my reliable juicer for years and it’s effectively paid for itself.

Oranges are also a magnificent fruit to cook with matching well with pork or chicken. Tonight for dinner I cooked a Moroccan orange chicken with warm cous cous salad and an orange glaze dressing.

This is how I made it using what I had at home. This will serve around four but you can throw in extra chicken tenderloin or two for bigger appetites. There are a few steps and ingredients to this dish but once you have your ingredients prepared the cooking process is almost as fast and uncomplicated as a stir fry.

 

orange morrocan chicken ingredients  juiced

Moroccan Orange Chicken With Warm Cous Cous Salad

Ingredients:

 

Chicken Marinade

Zest and juice of one Valencia orange

1 ½ tbsp Moroccan seasoning

10 – 12 chicken tenderloins

 

Cous Cous Salad

One cup dry cous cous

Small red onion finely diced

One small or half large capsicum finely diced

One yellow squash (or other colourful vegitable)

2 tbsp chopped sweetened cranberries (you could also used dried apricots sultanas or dates, use what you have or like)

2-3 Tbsp chopped pistachios , walnuts or almonds, dry roast in a dry frypan before chopping

2 tsp Moroccan seasoning

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Salt and pepper

 

Warm Orange Glaze dressing

Juice from two Valencias

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Minted Yogurt (optional)

150 grams no fat greek yogurt

2 tsp chopped mint

Juice from half a lemon

 

Method

Marinade chicken by mixing the 1 ½ Tbsp Moroccan seasoning into the juice and zest then pour over chicken. Set aside to marinade at least one hour.

While the chicken marinates you can start the prep for the rest of the meal. The yogurt dressing is optional. If you are using the yogurt combine the yogurt, mint and lemon juice, season to taste and set aside to chill.

Prep all vegetables for cous cous salad by finely dicing onion capsicum and squash. Dry roast and chop nuts. Chop dried cranberries, chop herbs and set aside.

Heat a non stick pan add a teaspoon of olive oil and very lightly sauté finely chopped onion add capsicum and then squash. Maintain crunchiness of the vegetables just sauté to remove rawness and set aside

Place the ingredients for the glaze into a saucepan. Place on a medium heat and simmer to reduce and thicken to a nice glaze. Be careful not to over reduce aim for just under half. While the Glaze is on you can start the chicken.

Add two more teaspoons of oil to the pan and bring back to heat to brown chicken. Add chicken to the pan in a single layer to brown, reserve drained marinade. Once chicken tenderloins have been browned and turned you can add the reserved marinade lower the heat and put a lid on the pan. The addition of the moisture prevents the chicken from drying out and the lid helps the chicken cook through. Check every minute as tenderloins only take five minutes or less to cook this way.

Rest the finished glaze and chicken while preparing the cous cous. Cook cous cous according to packet directions. Toss this into a large bowl, add your sautéed vegetables, pistachios, dried, cranberries mint, coriander, and 2 teaspoons Moroccan seasoning. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of glaze over salad ingredients and stir though until well combined.

 cous cous 

To serve place mound of cous cous salad on a plate top with two or three tenderloins and drizzle orange glaze over the chicken. Serve with a tossed salad and minted yogurt. Minted yogurt is optional. I preferred mine without it but my husband loves it.

 

moroccan chicken

 

Would you cook with oranges? I hope I have inspired you to cook with natural flavours. More inspiration ands recipe ideas using Australian oranges can be found at http://www.oranges.com.au/

Comments   

#2 Sharon WSFB 2014-02-18 11:26
Thanks Rose I hope you enjoy it
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#1 Rose 2014-02-17 11:43
Wow this looks good, it will be on my menu as soon as I can get the ingredients, thanks Sharon!
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