Monday, April 4, 2011

Mandarin Chicken Skillet

I don't know if any of you watch Chopped on the Food Network, but we love that show over here. For those who don't know about it, the basic idea is there are 4 contestants to start. They each get a basic full of the same mystery ingredients and they need to cook an appetizer using all of the ingredients in the basket, plus anything else they want from the pantry area. The worst dish in the appetizer round gets chopped, and then the 3 remaining contestants get a new basket for the entree round. It then goes to 2 contestants for dessert and then one of them wins $10,000.

Well, it is always interesting to see the ridiculous items in each basket and what people do with them. I have actually learned about a lot of foods and techniques through this show.

But anyway, I sort of have to challenge myself now to use things that are in my pantry before they go bad. My husband and I have slowly been cleaning out every crevice of our house - kitchen cabinets included. I came across a few food items that I didn't even know we had, and I don't want to let them go to waste. Instead of combining all 4 into a dish (that probably would have been nasty), I took one item and just searched online for recipes using it. This ingredient was Mandarin Oranges in a can. Yeah, I know they are yummy on their own, but I wanted to use them.

I found THIS recipe on and thought it sounded good. I had to change it slightly though because 1) we had no broccoli in the house, 2) my husband isn't a huge mushroom fan, 3) we didn't have orange juice concentrate and 4) I later realized I didn't have chicken bouillon.

HAHA! At first I was like, um, why am I making this. Then, I figured out some substitutions, so I now present to you, Mandarin Chicken Skillet the A way.


1 cup chopped asparagus spears (I used the frozen Trader Joe's spears I had)
1 tablespoon butter
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed
1 cup edamame
3 teaspoons flour
2/3 cup water
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments - reserve juice separately!
1/4 cup sliced green onion
splash of orange or citrus flavored vodka
1 tablespoon of a mixture of salt, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika **

** you could use 1 cup of chicken broth instead of this seasoned mixture.


Steam asparagus and edamame for a few minutes - set aside.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute chicken in butter until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Stir in flour, water, mandarin orange juice and seasonings (or chicken broth). Heat to boiling.

Stir and simmer for 4 minutes. Return chicken and mushrooms to skillet and stir in orange segments, green onion, edamame and asparagus. Add the splash of vodka. Heat through and serve immediately.

This recipe makes about 4-6 servings.

My concoction actually came out pretty well! My husband really enjoyed it when he got home from work. I was quite pleased with myself.

We had some leftovers and I found that the best way to heat them is to put everything back into a covered skillet with a splash of water to let it heat up, instead of microwaving it.



  1. You know what is great about this is that you just use the recipe as a guideline. I made soup last night and totally left out an ingredient. My friend said it was the best soup he ever had.

    I love looking at what you have and coming up with something. Wonderful post :)

  2. Thanks Meg! I am getting a little more adventurous and substituting and changing recipes I find.