Dubrovnik Orange Chicken

Dubrovnik Orange Chicken Recipe
Dubrovnik Orange Chicken

At the waters edge lies Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. This local specialty features fruits and vegetables stewed in a honey-kissed orange sauce.

Our orange chicken recipe was inspired by one from the Renaissance period. Its earliest mention was by Marin Drzic, one of the most important 16th century writers of the region.

You may not think of honey as diet food, but a responsible amount may be a clever way to feed your sweet tooth. A study published in Scientific World Journal (2008) found that honey triggered a small amount of weight loss compared to table sugar.

In 2010, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compared the effects of honey and sugar in healthy women. Honey had less of an effect on blood sugar than table sugar. When blood sugar fluctuates it can trigger hunger even when you don’t need food.

Finally a study from Nutrition Researched (2011) compared the effects of honey and table sugar on obesity in rats. The rats who were fed honey ate less during the day than rats fed sugar. They gained less body fat and overall weight.

Ultimately portion size is a key factor of weight loss. This recipe was designed for two healthy portions. And instead of spooning this delicious fruity sauce over white rice or gnocchi (the traditional accompaniment), we’ve paired it with Brussels sprouts – both to contrast its sweet sauce and for lower calories.

Have you tried this? What did you serve with Dubrovnik Orange Chicken?

Dubrovnik Orange Chicken

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into two equal portions or diced into large pieces {seasoned with sea salt and black pepper})
  • 1 piece bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, sliced thin on the bias
  • 3 dried apricots, halved
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 navel orange (juice {about ½ cup} and 1 teaspoon zest)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts (or serve with asparagus, broccoli, or other green vegetables.)

Instructions

  1. Add the extra-virgin olive oil to a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the seasoned chicken breasts or pieces. Cook the breasts for about about 6 minutes on each side. Or saute diced chicken until cooked. Transfer cooked chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
  2. Add the bacon, carrots, and apricots to the pan. Stirring continuously, cook until the bacon is browned
  3. Carefully pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan. Once the steam has calmed, let the wine simmer until reduced by more than half.
  4. Pour in the orange juice, zest, honey, cinnamon, and rosemary.
  5. Combine the cornstarch and water. Stir into the pan. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Prepare the Brussels sprouts or asparagus however you'd like. Boil, pan roast, or add to the sauce early on with the carrots. (I blanched my sprouts for that amazing green color.)
  7. Plate your greens, top with chicken, then spoon over the sauce. Enjoy!
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