It’s Wednesday night and what did YOU have for dinner?
We had Orange Sriracha Chicken, compliments of Nom Nom Paleo. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe and I love it even more this time around!
So here’s the skinny…
I had recently taken an inventory of our freezers. Yes, we have multiple freezers, three to be exact. Spoiled, I know. One of them is even a chest freezer – I begged my husband at Home Depot for it, or rather flitted about in an excited state and asked and asked and asked until he said yes. Needless to say, it was delivered to our house not too long after that trip.
Back to inventory of the freezers…I’m a freeze-aholic! I will freeze pretty much anything, especially meats that I find on sale. Did I mention I love a good deal? My husband calls me “The Great Depression,” “TGD” for short, because I save and freeze and slightly hoard (otherwise known as pack rat syndrome) like it’s nobody’s business.
I happened to be at the market when I got the urge to make this recipe. I knew I had a package of chicken legs at home, so the main part of the dish was taken care of. This is a recipe that has a few odd ingredients, or ingredients that I, myself, did not have in my house, so make sure to look at the ingredients before you start putting things together. Once you have everything you need, it’s pretty easy from there.
1) Before you start, these items may be a few that you might not have handy, so you may want to run out to the store right now so you are prepared: fresh basil, fish sauce, tomato paste, Sriracha, ghee (clarified butter), coconut aminos, sesame seeds
2) The first time I made this recipe, I did not have fish sauce and it came out wonderfully – I just omitted it; this time, I had it and it tasted great too. I ran out of coconut aminos and since the only place that has it is Whole Foods, which is really far (by really far I mean 20 minutes away without traffic which is only at about 11am), I used gluten-free soy sauce at the Raplh’s that is 2 minutes away. I have not used the sesame seeds both times I’ve made this and I don’t miss them. Instead of ghee, I use butter – like REAL butter. I know it’s not strict Paleo, but neither am I!
I happen to have a Vitamix high-speed blender, but I’m sure any blender will do when making the marinade. You just need to blend the marinade ingredients until they form this lovely green goopy mixture.
These naked legs went from this….
To this! A saucy, green bath of goodness.
I placed them in my Pyrex dish, lathered them in the marinade some more, and covered it in plastic wrap. The recipe says to marinate from a couple hours to 12 hours. I had intended making this for Tuesday night (prepared Monday night), but other plans came up, so I let them sit in the refrigerator until Wednesday, at around 6pm. They were still okay!
When I was ready to cook them, I heated the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, placed the chicken legs on a cookie sheet/rack I had prepared, and placed them in the oven.
*NOTE: I covered the cookie sheet in foil for easy clean-up, placed the rack on top, and then the chicken legs on top of that. EASY!
I cooked the chicken legs for 20 minutes, turned them over, and then cooked them for 25 minutes more, until they were nicely browned and completely cooked.
Meanwhile, I started on the Sriracha sauce. All the ingredients go into a saucepan and you heat until it boils, then let simmer until reduced (5 minutes). You baste the chicken legs once, then let them cook for 5 more minutes.
Once that’s done, I basted them a couple more times after they had come out of the oven, and once right before we ate them, just to get that extra flavor and I just LOVE sauce.
My husband and I chowed down on them tonight. I couldn’t get enough of them. It’s just spicy enough to be different and get your nose a little runny, but you can still taste all the flavors! It goes great by itself or with some steamed vegetables. Since my hubbie doesn’t do all Paleo, he had some couscous as well.
This recipe, if you look on the Nom Nom Paleo website, is what REAL orange chicken is supposed to be like, apparently before we Americans got our breaded, covered-in-sauce hands on it. Hey, I’m American too!
And honestly, I would have eaten more if my husband had also, but I can’t go around eating more than him when he’s twice my size. Summertime is coming and I have to be beach bod ready!
I hope you and yours enjoy this recipe and how simple it is. It’s something different that everyone can enjoy and pretty darn healthy too! Chicken has never been so good.