Hiding Food

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My children, especially my son, will eat just about anything they can find in the fridge and pantry.  Even when I tell them not to.  Especially when I tell them not to.  I had some chips that were just for me, and twice I had to go retrieve them from both kids.  I don’t eat much junk food, but every now and them I like to have some chips.  My husband sometimes does it too.  I make a list every week and my husband does the shopping.  He asks everyone what “extras” they want. Then I have certain ingredients reserved for recipes.  Nothing irks me more than getting ready to cook something and, you guessed it, somebody ate something I needed.

So I’ve resorted to being sneaky and hide things from them, like under the vegetables.  They never look there.  I wanted to make this Orange Chicken, but I knew they would eat the oranges.  So I hid them in a drawer behind some lemons and under some tortillas.  It worked, and then we got this delicious dinner!  

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.  They are juicier and to me have more flavor.  The fresh oranges made the dish bright.  And the sauce was fantastic over rice. My poor daughter was at work and she didn’t get any, since my son ate like 10 chicken thighs.  Okay, there weren’t really 10.  But my husband and I both ate one and my son ate the rest.  This is teenager friendly and husband approved. Enjoy!

ORANGE CHICKEN
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt & pepper
3 T butter
Sesame oil
2 oranges (plus one for serving, if desired)
1/2 C chicken stock
1/4 C soy sauce
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C hoisin sauce
1/4 C Mirin wine (or white wine)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried ginger
Red chili flakes, if desired
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Zest the oranges and then squeeze the juice from the oranges and put the juice and the zest into a small pot.  Add in the chicken stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic, chili flakes and ginger.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat slightly.  Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and drizzle in a little sesame oil. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper and cook the chicken in two batches for about 4-6 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken to a plate and cover the plate.  Add the Mirin to the same skillet and deglaze the pan.  Add the chicken back to the pan and the sauce.  Cook for an additional 6-7 minutes to finish the chicken and thicken the sauce more.  Serve the chicken with the fresh cilantro and slices of oranges, if desired.  This is great over rice.

On average, two restaurants a week closed in the year to the end of March, including casual dining chains, as well as upmarket and independent establishments, according to the latest data from analysts CGA and corporate advisory firm AlixPartners. Graeme Smith, the managing director of AlixPartners, said he expected restaurant numbers to continue to drop throughout the year as large chains in particular slim down. There have already been high-profile closures by burger chain Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, the Prezzo Group and Sir Terence Conran’s Albion restaurants, but more large chains and independents are expected to suffer. “It’s easy to say this is a crisis in casual dining,” said Peter Martin at CGA. “This is a crisis happening for everyone.” Restaurants are suffering because the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has made ingredients more expensive while staff costs have risen, partly due to increases in the minimum wage. Economic uncertainty has stalled growth in the sector just as competition has increased after a surge in openings partly fuelled by private equity investment.

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