Curt and I have one absolute favorite quick meal that deserves to be mentioned: Mandarin Orange Chicken from Trader Joe's!! Okay, it deserves a whole blog post. It's that good. Seriously.
(Please accept my apologies if you live in B Building or work with me, because I've probably already talked your ear off about this meal.)
Since I've made this meal a million times now...and because I'm extremely type A...I've gotten the process down to a science (please note: this is not a meal you would typically need directions for....it does come in a bag from the frozen foods section, after all :). I thought it would be fun to take you on a little picture tour of how we make this scrumptious meal (with pictures....lots and lots of pictures)! Get excited.
Okay....step 1: Measure out enough rice for 4 people (Curt loves rice). Put the rice and the water into the rice cooker (in my opinion, the rice cooker is the key to all things awesome that are related to rice). Add a splash of rice vinegar and let the rice soak for about 30 minutes before cooking (the rice vinegar and the soaking time are crucial for making "sticky rice"....our fave).
Step 2: While the rice is soaking, wash all the dishes in your sink that are leftover from the morning and your husband's "second dinner" last night.
Step 3: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (I have found that washing the dishes and waiting for the oven to preheat equal the exact amount of time that the rice needs to soak....amazing). Open the bag, put the chicken onto a cookie sheet and set aside.
Step 4: Empty the two bags of sauce into a small saucepan and set it on the lowest heat setting.
Step 5: This is where several things are happening at once. Put the chicken into the preheated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. Also, plug in the rice cooker and flip that switch to "cook."
Step 6: While the chicken and rice are cooking, slice up a few green onions and set them aside.
Step 7: Take a break and read the new J.Crew catalogue.
Step 8: The rice and chicken should be done at pretty much the exact same time (I planned it this way :). Toss the chicken with the sauce in a large bowl. Toss in some of your green onions.
I LOVE this setting! It can sit like this while you get everything else ready.
Just look at that yummy, shiny goodness!!
Step 9: Make yourself a yummy bed of sticky rice, put the chicken on top, and garnish with a few more green onions.
Step 10: Feel like you've died and gone to heaven because what you're eating is so delicious you can't possibly be in a fallen world anymore.
That is Curt giving the "#1" sign, just in case you were curious...
It's super, super easy and only takes about 20 minutes to make - start to finish.