Weeknight Shorts: Simple Orange Chicken

About once a month, my family makes a Costco run to stock up on everything from coffee to paper towels and more. Inevitably, one of their famous rotisserie chickens finds its way into our cart too. After all, we can just pull some breast meat off the bird when we get home and tuck it into flour tortillas or slices of bread for a quick dinner. And each bird produces about 2 ½ pounds of meat which is almost 8 cups of leftover cooked chicken to find its way into everything from chicken salad to pasta. And orange chicken. Let's not forget Simple Orange Chicken.

This recipe is so simple. In fact, I'm actually just going to let it speak for itself. I'll cover a few serving ideas in the next paragraph, but let's use this one normally reserved for recipe notes for another idea about those Costco chickens, shall we? In addition to nearly 8 cups of chicken, you are left with a carcass too. Don't throw that out! When you use the bones from an already-roasted bird, you'll actually be left with a darker stock than from raw chicken, which ultimately means more flavor will be added to whatever dish you use the stock in. Just toss the carcass into a stockpot (or Instant Pot if you have one) and add vegetable matter (think onion, carrots, celery, etc - if you want it). Then add enough water to fully cover those in the pot and either simmer on the stove for 1-2 hours or process in the Instant Pot for 45-90 minutes. Remove all of the solids and you've got some amazing stock! While spending the time to make stock from a convenience item like rotisserie chicken might seem like a lot of work, think about it this way: You paid just $4.99 for that bird, which is a steal to begin with, and now for a few pennies worth of veggies you're also getting a pot of rich, dark stock out of it. Trust me, it's worth it!

Okay - back to orange chicken. Once done, this mixture can be served over rice or tucked into lettuce for a wrap. It's a perfect use for leftover chicken and a quick dinner idea that's a hit with kids and adults alike. Enjoy!

Simple Orange Chicken

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free version)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 cups diced, cooked chicken

In a sauce pan, add the barbecue sauce, marmalade, and soy sauce. Turn the heat on low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring a few times.

Add the carrots, green onions, and chicken to the sauce and toss well to coat. Serve with/over lettuce leaves or steamed rice.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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