Orange, honey and mushroom chicken – vegan alt

A variation on a sweet and sour using mixed, dried mushrooms as they give a hearty texture for the non-meat eater. I cook the chicken separately so that my vegan daughter can have the dish without but still have a filling meal because the mushrooms are nice and chewy.

Serves: 6

Chicken ingredients

  • 600g skinless and boneless chicken breast cut into 1.5cm / ¾”chunks
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil

Vegetable ingredients

  • 375 bell peppers, seeds and pith removed, roughly cut into slices
  • 90g spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 25g dried, mixed mushrooms
  • 250ml boiling water

Sauce ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 600ml orange juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 dried chilli, seeds removed and chopped

Method

  • Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 250ml of freshly boiled water, leave for 20 minutes to soak. Drain the mushrooms and put to one side for later but keep the liquid, it’ll be about 150ml by now.
  • Put the mushroom liquid in a jug with all of the sauce ingredients EXCEPT the cornflour. Stir well.
  • In another bowl take 3 tbsp of the sauce liquid and mix with the 2 tbsp of cornflour. Mix until smooth then out to one side.
  • Coat the chicken chunks with 1 tbsp of cornflour.
  • Heat a medium sized frying pan and add 1 tbsp of groundnut oil. Cook the chicken in this for about 5 minutes stirring to even cook.
  • Add about 4 tbsp of the sauce mixture and reduce the heat.
  • Heat a wok and add 2 tbsp of groundnut oil.
  • Throw in the peppers and spring onions. Stir fry for a couple of minutes then add the mushrooms and the large jug of sauce liquid.
  • Bring to the boil while stirring occasionally. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Re-stir the orange juice/cornflour mixture, it will have settled, and add to the wok. Stir for a minute or two whilst it thickens.
  • Now remove enough of this vegetable mixture from the pan to serve your vegans.
  • Add the chicken mixture and stir well to coat thoroughly.
  • Ready to serve with rice or noodles.

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