Orange Chicken Meatballs

from: Life Made Simple


My 6 year old is like most others – a picky eater. He has never, EVER liked pasta (seriously? Did they switch babies on me at the hospital?), would live off of pb&j sammies if I’d let him, and has recently started having hunger attacks at 8:07pm every night.

However, one of his favorite things in the world to eat is Chinese Orange Chicken. Yep. You heard me. SPICY Orange Chicken. Again, if he could eat it every day, he would.

So, when I found this variation, I asked him if he’d like me to make it. He said, “Yeah! Sure! That’ll be good!”

I was unsure. I’ve tried variations on other things he likes and it goes over like a lead weight.

Much to my surprise, he did love it, and wanted seconds! He is also currently eating Round 3 as an after-school snack.

For the meatballs

  • ¼ c. milk
  • ½ c. panko breadcrumbs
1½ lb. ground chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. green onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the sauce

  • ½ c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ c. granulated sugar or honey
  • ⅓ c. white or rice vinegar
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard size baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk and panko breadcrumbs. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, egg, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix together just until combined (overworking it will cause the meatballs to be dense).
  3. Shape into meatballs and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked throughout (internal temperature of 165).
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, sugar or honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. In a small bowl whisk together the cold water and cornstarch, add to the saucepan. Whisk until combined, continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens (I usually let mine go for about 8 minutes).
  5. Place the meatballs in a large bowl and cover with sauce. Toss to coat, serve hot.

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore


Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso my favorite!)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping


  1. Quick method: Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken, top with onions and peppers, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. When the timer beeps, remove lid and keep the crock pot on HIGH one hour to help it thicken.
  2. Better method but requires more prep:  Heat a large skillet over medium-high, lightly spray with oil and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker. To the skillet, spray with a little more oil and add onions and peppers. Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become golden, a few minutes.
  3. Add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.
  4. Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy!

Mulligatawny Soup

Recipe courtesy of

Mulligatawny Soup|Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups half-and-half (can also use milk or coconut milk)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  1. Add the butter to a pot over medium heat and let it melt. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the garlic and onions and stir to cook for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and onion mixture. Stir to combine, then stir in the curry powder. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour in the chicken broth. Stir to combine and cook for a minute to thicken. Add the half-and-half, sugar and some salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and dice the apple. Add the apples to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasonings and serve!

Make-Ahead Mediterranean Chicken (+ a Giveaway!)

Robert Rose Inc. reached out to me a few weeks ago, and they sent me an advance copy of 125 Best Casseroles and One-Pot Meals.  Talk about my kind of recipes! I love one-pot meals.  Very few dishes to do, and well, they’re super delicious!

It was so hard to pick one recipe to feature on the blog, but Make-Ahead Mediterranean Chicken won out.  It’s easy, healthy, and DELICIOUS.

Robert Rose was also nice enough to let me give away the copy they sent to me.  If you’d like to win a free copy, see below.

Make-Ahead Mediterranean Chicken | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 12 boneless chicken break halves (with skin)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 can (28 oz) plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, slivered
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp anchovy paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 strips orange zest
  • 24 pitted black olives
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper; dredge lightly in flour.
  2. In heavy casserole or saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken in batches, adding more oil as needed.  Transfer to plate.
  3. In pan drippings, cook onion and garlic over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is softened.  Do not let garlic brown.  Stir in wine and bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan.  Stir in tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, half of the parsley, vinegar, anchovy paste, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, cayenne, and orange zest; bring to a boil.
  4. Return chicken and any juices to pan; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.  Discard orange zest.  Stir in olives.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  (Recipe can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours; reheat gently.) Serve garnished with remaining parsley.

To enter the contest, just answer the following question in the Comments section of this post:

What is your favorite casserole to make?

Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win!


One entry per person, please. Strictly enforced with all the might this Ginger can muster.

Winners will be chosen randomly and announced Monday, March 17th.

Courtesy 125 Best Casseroles and One-Pot Meals by Rose Murray © 2014 Reprinted with publisher permission.

Chicken Bulgur Spicy Stir-Fry

chicken bulgur

  • 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts; cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp Ponzu sauce
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli
  1. Prepare the bulgur according to the package. It should be a 1:2 ratio of dried bulgur to broth.
  2. Toss the chicken with Ponzu sauce, Chinese Five Spice, and ginger and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the onions.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken and onion with a bit of non-stick cooking spray.
  5. While the chicken is cooking zest the lemon and lime and juice half of each.
  6. Whisk the zest, soy sauce, molasses, ground ginger, Chinese Five Spice, honey, and red pepper flakes together.
  7. Add it to the cooking chicken and onion. It will immediately start to thicken just keep stirring to coat everything.
  8. Add the bag of frozen broccoli. Stir to combine. Then cover and lower to medium.
  9. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  10. Add the cooked bulgur to the pot, stir, recover and cook for another couple of minutes.

Weekly Menu: 03/05/12

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