Food of the Month: Blood Orange
Citrus fruits might be the taste of Summer, but January is the dawn of blood orange season. In particular, the Tarocco blood orange (although the darker fleshed Moro is still in season until March).
Blood oranges are a delicious addition to salads, salsas and baking. Try with chicken or white fish as the perfect flavour base, and add fennel to really give it a kick; try this sea bream with fennel and blood orange salad from the BBC, Martha Stewart’s striped sea bass with blood oranges and olives, or use it in this delicious intolerant friendly blood orange and ginger drizzle cake.
But my favourite is yet another BBC Good Food recipe; an “East-meets-West” blend of flavours, the sticky chicken and blood orange stir fry. Stir fry dinners are quick and easy for anyone short of time, and once you have this recipe up your sleeve it can be a go-to whenever you feel uninspired. This works well enough with simple oranges, the depth of flavour you get from blood oranges makes this recipe an instant winner. Serve it up when you’re hosting dinner with your friends and impress them with its deceptive simplicity.
Sticky chicken and blood orange stir fry – serves one (easy to multiply)
You will need:
- 2 bowls
- Mini whisk (or fork)
- 2 handfuls of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 blood orange, finely grated zest and juice
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 1 tsp soy sauce (you can get gluten-free)
- 2.5cm/1in piece root ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 1 garlic clove, chopped or grated
- Portion of stir fry rice noodles
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips
- Sprinkling of crushed dried chilli flakes
How to do it:
Whisk together the orange zest and juice, honey, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
Put the rice noodles in a deep bowl and (just) cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 4 minutes. Put the spinach in a colander and pour both noodles and hot water over it, then toss together. Drizzle the sesame oil over and mix gently.
In the wok, heat the vegetable oil until sizzling, tip in the chicken strips and fry on a high heat for about 5 minutes, or until it’s cooked through. Pour the honey and orange mix over the chicken.
It will bubble furiously, keep stirring it for 2 minutes until the chicken is fully coated and the sauce is thick and shiny.
Tip in the noodles, spinach and chilli flakes and toss gently until warmed through. Serve with a cold glass of wine and a seasoning of salt, pepper and a splash of soy sauce.
The heat of the chilli flakes makes this a great Winter dish, whilst the freshness of the blood oranges banishes those January blues. If you have straight-to-wok noodles; wilt your spinach separately and mix the noodles and spinach with the sesame oil as before, and treat as you would normally.
Do you love blood orange? Do prefer baking with it or cooking with it?
Check out more zesty inspiration on the Pinterest board!