Archive | October, 2012

Aunt Edy’s Orange-Tomato Chicken

21 Oct

I grew up living in a big house with my grandmother, my aunt, my uncle, and my cousin,  as well as my parents. (Not to mention our long-term boarder,  a school-teacher with a two-room apartment upstairs.)  There were seven of us when we sat down to dinner, unless we had guests, which we often did. Everybody loved food and everybody liked to cook, so the (shared) kitchen was busy.  My grandmother made home-made noodles and chicken soup with kreplach; my mom made candies and desserts; my dad made pancakes, and my uncle made amazing platters of food for family parties. But it was my Aunt Edy* who usually got dinner on the table every night. This recipe is her invention: chicken grilled or broiled with an amazing sauce, naturally sweet with a burst of ginger.  And super easy.

*Edythe Sigman

Aunt Edy’s Orange-Tomato Chicken

You will need 2-3 pounds of of chicken parts: drumsticks, thighs, wings, or whatever you like.  You can use boneless and skinless pieces if you prefer. You will also need a can of tomato paste and a can of frozen orange juice concentrate.*  The original recipe called for 6 oz cans of each. If you can’t find 6 oz cans, get the next size up and use only 3/4 cup of each. (You can easily find other uses for the rest of the tomato paste and O. J.)  Pull the frozen orange juice out of the freezer and let it soften up a bit on the counter for about 20 minutes, just to make it easier to mix.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and get the grill ready.

When the grill is hot, get the chicken started. While it is cooking, make the sauce. Combine 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of tomato paste with 6 ounces (3/4 cup) UNDILUTED frozen orange juice concentrate. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar (Splenda is okay) and 1/2 teaspoon ginger. That’s it!

Grill the chicken as you usually would and use the sauce to baste the chicken as it cooks. You want the sauce to caramelize but not burn, so keep a close eye.  There is a lot of natural sugar in the orange juice.

I like this served with rice, maybe mixed with mandarin oranges.


This recipe works best with grilled or broiled chicken, but also works with chicken pieces baked on shallow metal trays in the oven. Start applying the sauce as the chicken begins to brown.

If you are vegetarian, try this sauce on grilled vegetables that are naturally a little sweet: thick slices of red onion or pattypan squash.

NOTE: If you have extra sauce that you want to serve, I recommend bringing it to a boil with an extra 1/4 cup of water before you do, just to make sure there is no possible cross-contamination from raw chicken.

Written by Randa Dubnick; Original recipe by Edythe Sigman

Image is “Chicken on the Grill,” a crayon drawing by Randa Dubnick

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