This braised mandarin chicken is the perfect weeknight dinner. Quick, healthy, and delicious. Served over fluffy basmati rice with some steamed broccoli it is going to be your new go-to family dinner. Don't forget to pin it!
I do like Asian food, a lot! However, when ordering takeaway from the local restaurant I can't stop but wondering what ingredients did they use. Unfortunately, Asian food products often contain artificial ingredients. In particular, MSG is commonly used, which I personally would never consciously consume. So this dish is perfect when you want some real Asian flavors fast and with not much effort.
Chicken. This dish requires chicken marylands, which make this recipe also very budget-friendly. As you might know by now, dark chicken meat is not only cheap but is also healthy. In fact, dark meat contains more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12 than chicken breast (source). You can use chicken thighs or just chicken drumsticks, skin on, bone-in.
Mandarins. Any mandarins will be fine for this recipe.
Dry sherry. Feel free to swap sherry for any sweet dessert wine, like port, etc.
Tamari. I use Tamari sauce which is gluten-free soy sauce You can use any soy sauce you have on hand.
Sugar. Always use organic raw sugar, if possible. It is not as highly processed as white sugar.
Peppercorn. Just your normal black peppercorn, crushed.
Olive oil. I use organic extra virgin olive oil. Aldi stores have well-priced organic, extra virgin olive oil.
Ginger. We need fresh ginger for this recipe, the ground ginger won't work.
Dried Chillies. Use them if you like spicy food. Leave them out if cooking for little ones. It is really optional.
Spring onions: Use the white and green parts of the onions.
Sesame oil. You will only need a tiny teaspoon for this recipe but I would recommend you don't skip it because it adds authentic Chinese flavour to this dish.
How to make Mandarin Chicken:
- Start by making the sauce. Squeeze juice from one mandarine and combine it with sherry, tamari, and sugar. Add crushed black peppers and set aside. Keep the mandarin peels.
- Slice the reserved mandarin peels into very thin ribbons, set them aside.
- Heat a wok over medium heat, add the olive oil and once the wok is hot, add finely chopped ginger, mandarin rinds, dry chilies (if using) and fry on medium-high for about 15 seconds, stirring ingredients the whole time.
- Add chicken pieces to the wok and fry for 2-3 minutes, until chicken pieces are seared and the chicken is no longer pink.
- Add the sauce to the wok and cook for a minute or two until the sauce is simmering. Lower the heat down to low, cover the wok with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is very tender.
- Open the lid, add the onions and let the chicken cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Watch it closely so you don't burn the chicken, The sauce will reduce quite quickly.
- Add the mandarin pieces into the wok, gently stir, sprinkle with sesame oil and serve over basmati rice and steamed broccoli.
What to serve with this chicken dish?
I served it over basmati rice and some steamed broccoli on the side. Learn how to cook perfect basmati rice.
How to store
If you happened to have any leftovers, you can place them in a tightly sealed container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Simply get the chicken out the night before and let the chicken defrost in the fridge. You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave if using it. Please note, the rice does not freeze well, it is better to cook fresh rice on the day.
Is mandarin chicken healthy?
Yes, this chicken is a perfect family dinner. Delicious and nourishing. We are using one teaspoon of added sugar which I believe is perfectly fine divided between 4 people. As we already discussed above chicken meat is very healthy and paired with basmati rice and steamed broccoli this chicken dinner is a very healthy dinner indeed.
Recipe for mandarin chicken
Chinese Braised Mandarin Chicken
- 500 g chicken Maryland
- 3 mandarins
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce I use Tamari
- 1 teaspoon organic raw sugar
- ½ crushed black peppercorn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 4 fresh hot chilies sliced optional, leave out if cooking for kids or you are sensitive to spicy food
- ¼ cup spring onions sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Squeeze juice from 1 mandarin and combine it with sherry soy sauce and sugar.
- Crush green peppercorns and mix them in.
- Scoop out pith from mandarin halves and cut rind into fine shreds. Set aside covered to prevent drying out.
- Heat the olive oil in the wok and fry ginger, dried chilies, fresh chilies, and mandarin rind for about 10 seconds.
- Add chicken pieces and fry on high heat tossing and pressing against sides of the wok, until the chicken is no longer pink.
- Add combined liquid ingredients, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender.
- Turn the chicken pieces around a couple of times to make sure all pieces are evenly coloured.
- Meanwhile, peel and segment the remaining mandarin.
- Add spring onions and cook on high heat, uncovered, until your sauce reduces. Add mandarin slices.
- Sprinkle with sesame oil. Done. Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!