It’s back to school time and I can hear the cries of separation anxieties ring around the world as moms drop their kids off at school for the first time. Just last week, my Dad’s girlfriend dropped off her 14 year old son Caleb at a boarding school in Victoria. On the way she called my Dad to let him know about her apprehension as she sat on the ferry with a heavy heart. She was filled with mixed emotions about her son leaving and how she would feel when she had to say goodbye. We all knew it would end in tears.
I remember when I first left for boarding school when I was 16. I was ecstatic, leaving home meant freedom! I was escaping my parents’ clutches and I could not wait. My mom, on the other hand, as my Dad recounted to me, did not share the same sentiment. As they drove off after dropping me off he said they sat in the car in complete silence for awhile. And then the silence was overtaken with the sounds of my Mom’s sobs as her heart broke at leaving me behind. I never fully appreciated the sacrifice my parents made for me until I was older. Despite their heartache they wanted to equip me with the best tools they could give me for a brighter future. Even if that meant having to say goodbye sooner than they wanted to. Caleb, no doubt, is as excited as I once was.
When I left home, my Mom taught me some easy recipes that I could make for myself. This is one of them and every time I make it I remember my college days and my early forays in the kitchen. Since my Mom invented the recipe I’m calling it Mom’s Orange Juice Soy Sauce Chicken. It’s so good and absolutely fool proof. It’s one of my favourite comfort meals that comes together in no time at all.
Dad and I were ecstatic the other day when we saw our favourite Whole Foods freshly squeezed orange juice now being made and sold locally. Previously we could only get it at Whole Foods in the US. I used it when I made this dish the other day. Make sure you use orange juice that is not from concentrate because it makes all the difference. When I was in college I would use Tropicana orange juice. I made the mistake one time of accidentally buying orange juice from concentrate and it was HORRIBLE. Don’t make the same mistake! This dish is all about the sauce. I eat it with white rice and drown the rice in the sauce.
What’s your favourite orange juice brand?
On a side note, check out these amazing pencils by an innovative company called Sprout. The pencils contain different kinds of seeds that you can choose from (dill, cilantro, basil, thyme, etc.). Buy them for your kids (or yourself) and when the pencil has gotten too short to use, plant the pencils and grow herbs for your kitchen! GENIUS. I can’t wait to order a set. I probably won’t even use the pencils and just plant them immediately in a pot!
Mom’s Orange Juice Soy Sauce Chicken
What you need:
12 bone-in chicken thighs with skin (you can also use drumsticks or wings)
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce (the only soy sauce brand I use in my cooking is Kikkoman. Use Tamari if you’re gluten free)
What to do:
1. Mix the orange juice, sugar and soy sauce
2. Place chicken in a casserole dish and pour sauce mixture over the chicken. If you have time marinate it for an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake the chicken for 35 minutes.
- To check if your chicken is done, make a small cut by the bone and the juices should run clear.
- The 3/4 cup quantity for soy sauce, orange juice and sugar, is just my recommendation because I like a lot of sauce. You can increase or decrease the quantity of the soy sauce, orange juice and sugar as long as you use the same quantities of each one.