I am the self proclaimed “Reluctant Chef”. My kids tell me I am too hard on myself, that I cook good dinners every night, but I just don’t feel confident anywhere in the kitchen except the sink. But when I became a Marketainer I did so with the promise to myself to be fearless in the pursuit of information to help my community. That’s why when Tropicana asked me to write a post about what this Tropimomma is doing to prepare for feasting this holiday season, I shook off my reluctance and engaged my creative, confident side.
The truth is when I think of holiday feasting I think of my mother, or more acurately, I run to my mother. I run home for Thanksgiving dinner. I run home for Christmas. If there is a “special” meal involved I run home. I always have. But I am hoping that with the results of this post though I will still run home, I will do so with something in hand to bring with me to her table. And that something will have Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice in it. Why, because my mother’s table deserves the best, and Tropicana is made form 100% pure Florida Orange Juice and tastes better than any other brand I have tried.
To get this post started first I headed to the grocery store. Can’t make a Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice recipe without some TPP! The 64 ounce bottles were on sale 2 for $6 so I got one with pulp and one without, but both with added calcium. Talk about a great deal!
Before I drove to the store I googled “Cooking with Orange Juice”. I found quite a few recipes actually. I was really surprised. But one stood out for me above the rest, it was called “Orange Juice Chicken” on Allrecipes.com. I think what I was drawn to most was the fact that it called for brown sugar. I have always loved brown sugar. But the other reason I liked it was because it looked like something I could adapt and complete in my new Ninja Cooker. I really wanted this new forray into confident, festive cooking to be done with that. So I jotted down my shopping list, gathered my items, headed home and got to work.
Whenever I tell someone that I am a Reluctant Chef they always tell me that cooking isn’t such a big deal since it is 90% preparation. Hoping that was indeed true I was meticulous about my prep, including dicing my little onion within and inch of its’ life. I also assembled the rest of the ingredients close to me so I wouldn’t have to scramble once I got going.
Good thing too because things move fast with the Ninja. I pored some Tropicana Pure Premium OJ, the one with “Some Pulp,” into the bottom of the pan as a base layer. Then I layered my skinless chicken thighs in. On top of the thighs I lathered on some golden mustard, then sprinkled on diced onion pieces and crumbled brown sugar. Next I submerged the whole concoction in more Tropicana Pure Premium OJ, covered and cooked. (I set the Ninja on “Oven” mode at 425 degrees.)
After about 30 minutes I took the lid off, and let me tell you, that unleashed an AWESOME fragrance. But I wasn’t done yet. I removed the chicken from the sauce and added some more brown sugar to the top.
With the chicken out I added flour to the orange juice sauce to thicken it.
With a plastic whisk in hand I whipped it up.
Lastly, I set the chicken on a rack and placed it back in the Ninja, hovering above the sauce for some final cooking.
10 minutes later I had the chicken out, the orange sauce drizzled over it and rice nestled next to it as a chaser.
So you want to know how it tasted? Well, I didn’t actually try it at first, I gave it to my kids. (What?! I was being a good Mom serving them first. I wasn’t being chicken-that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.) Now my youngest ate it without hesitation. Her review? I need to season the chicken better next time. I said, “With salt and pepper?” She said, “No mom, with some Creole seasoning.” (Well now, someone has been watching the food network.) My eldest daughter is a vegetarian, so I browned, (and seasoned) some tofu for her instead of the chicken. The orange sauce worked just as well on that. How do I know for sure? Well, once the kids ate I sat down and tried it all, the chicken, the tofu, the sauce. It brought tears to my eyes. Not because of the onions, but because I had succeeded. I had triumphed over my reluctance and created a new dish that fed my family, festively. And that’s just what the holidays are about for me, creatively meeting the needs of my family.
From what I know of Tropicana we have that in common.
This post is a:
Level 4: Miss Lori was compensated for including a product in pictures or videos in this post.
Level 1: Some or all of the products or services mentioned were provided to Miss Lori free of charge.
Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV, Wearetherealdeal.com, YoungChicagonista, and TheChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, TOUT and LinkedIn.