Creamy Orange Chicken

I’ve been fighting some sort of head/sinus pressure situation the past few days–I love the weather changes but they sometimes lay me low, as my grannie would say.  So I’ve been taking it easy, watching Kingdom Hospital from my cocoon on the couch and trying to ignore the thumping in my skull.

Since I really don’t have time for all of this lackadaisical malingering, (lordy, lordy, end of the semester) I’ve been taking meds, imbibing orange juice like it was vodka, and working on kicking whatever this nastiness is with some healthy food.

This creamy orange chicken recipe, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens: Slow Cooker Recipes for 2, 4 or More is pretty much perfect for the job. Everything it requires was already in my kitchen (or can be subbed for something I have), it doesn’t take all day to cook, and it requires very little prep. So I can get back to my cocoon more quickly.

Creamy Orange Chicken

Ingredients for Creamy Orange Chicken

 

Ingredients:

  • about 2 cups of frozen vegetables (I used a mix of broccoli and chopped vegetables) *this wasn’t a great choice- see end notes
  • 1/4 cup of onion, sliced thin
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • a bit of black pepper
  • a bit of minced garlic (approx a clove- but I’m using the pre-minced kind. Because it’s that kind of day.)
  • a cup of chicken broth (confession: I’m not actually sure what is pictured is chicken broth. I know it’s broth, but it’s just possible that it is vegetable. Apparently I failed to label a batch of my homemade broth at some point, which is a little gross. But I don’t think it will matter.)
  • 2 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp finely shredded orange peel (the recipe called for lemon peel, but I had this- whatever essence the orange gave to the flavor is so subtle that I can’t detect it- we’ve got onions and garlic here, people. It’s possible the lemon would have added something indefinably delicious, but this was pretty good as is. Oh, and since the source recipe called for lemon peel, it was, logically, called Creamy Lemon Chicken. Just in case you happen to have the same cookbook and try to look it up. The end.)

Instructions:

  1. Combine frozen vegetables, onion, chicken, garlic and onion in your Crock Pot, add broth.
  2. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 2-2 1/2 hrs
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to a separate plate, cover to keep warm
  4. To make the sauce, beat cream cheese and orange peel with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Slowly add cooking liquid, beating on low speed until combined.
  5. Spoon liquid over chicken and vegetables.

Picture of finished product coming in… 2 hours. Counting down! right here:

Creamy Orange Chicken

Yum!

As is, I’d give it a 4 out of 5: it was tasty and super easy.

To take it to a five:
Change the veggies. I had the mixed veggies and broccoli in the freezer, so it was convenient- but after 2 1/2 hours in the Crock Pot, the color in the broccoli was kind of leached out. Tasted fine, but the cut green beans that the source recipe called for might have looked a bit better.
Change the sauce. Although this sauce tasted great (it’s made out of cream cheese. I mean, does it get better?), I would have preferred the sauce to be a bit thicker. I think next time I’ll make it into more of a gravy with some cornstarch.

Happy (barely) cooking!

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