I Know How To Make It, But How Do I Use It?

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Yes, we all agree that preserved citrus is a FAB idea. Yes, all the recipes you see around the web sound heavenly; all with their own little twist to it. And yes, we'll keep on preserving citrus because the mason jars just look terrific on the pantry shelf. And so... what happens next? One day the hubby walked into the pantry, walked up to a jar, picked it up and shouted, "So what are ya gonna do with this anyway?!" "Um, you know, flavor stuff." You guessed it, I had no idea. It's easy and fun to make, we all like to look at it, but how the heck do you use it?

Over a year ago, I finally came up with a winner recipe that uses preserved orange peels after going through a few cookbooks. This is actually a combination of 4 different recipes I've had from a long time ago. I shortened it up a lot. Some of the extras include soy sauce and brown sugar, which are great, but unnecessary if you ask me. But I believe that every recipe is fair game for revision, so alter/test as you see fit!

Rustic braised chicken in plum sauce

1 cup plum jam
3-4 preserved orange peels
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth*
Whole chicken (cut up) or 6 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Enough cornstarch and cold water to equal 1/8 cup thickener (about half and half)

Hunt down the first 5 ingredients for the sauce. You got this. You can mix them in a bowl or directly in a large, deep pan/pot that the chicken will later braise in.

Use 3-4 slices of preserved orange (whatever equals about a half orange). The really cool thing about preserved citrus is how easy it is to handle. The peel softens up so much that you'll have no trouble slicing and dicing it.

We'll be removing the flesh and pith. If you have another recipe that calls for something salty (martini anyone?) now is the time to make it. Rinse the fleshy parts and chop into chunks. Otherwise, rinse the peel, mince it up and discard the rest.

Mix together the plum jam, citrus, onion, garlic and chicken broth. Blend well and let it sit** while browning the chicken. (Allowing the flavors to marry.) Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Now heat the berry sauce over medium heat (to get it rolling) in a (deep) pan. When it heats up, thicken it with the cornstarch/water mix. Add chicken and lower heat to simmer. Cook the first 10 minutes covered, then uncover. Cook about 30-40 minutes or until done.

You might want to look the other way while I eat this.

Tip: This pairs well with rice and mixed veggies... since the flavor of the sauce has an Asian flare to it.

Tip: The plum jam can be replaced with any kind of jam that compliments the orange flavor.

*Tip: If using chicken stock instead of broth, remember to season the sauce to taste.

**Tip: You can also make this sauce earlier in the day, refrigerate it and use it when you're ready!


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