Food & Nutrition

Three-Speed Dinners: The Savory Side of Oranges

This sweet, fragrant fruit is fantastic in salads, stir-fries and stews. Here’s how to use it in your recipes.
Published January 29, 2016

When the leaves are gone and the temperatures drop, we look forward to citrus, among the freshest things in our supermarkets at this time of year. While most of us enjoy oranges for snacks, the fruit is really a culinary powerhouse. Its mild tartness balances its sweet notes, and its flowery accents even include a little vanilla among the flavors. Oranges pairs so well with bold spice blends and big flavors.

These three recipes require you to segment a navel orange. Here are three ways to get the job done:

1. Peel the orange and break the inner fruit into individual segments. While this is certainly easy—and maybe the best answer on a busy weeknight—it’s not the most elegant way to offer the oranges in these dishes.

2. Here’s the most elegant way: cut the oranges into “supremes.” To do so, leave the peel on, and slice a small bit off the bottom of the fruit to create a flat side you can use to steady the fruit. Stand it up on this flat bottom on a cutting board, and slice off the peel and the white pith around the fruit with a sharp knife. Now cup the peeled fruit in your palm over a bowl. Use a small, sharp knife to cut down along the membranes between the sections, releasing them and letting them drop into the bowl below (that’s also catching juice from the orange). You’ll end up with a handful of white membranes and core that you throw out. Use the segments (now called supremes) as well as the juice in that bowl for these recipes.

3. Or here’s the easiest way: look for orange supremes in the refrigerator case of the produce section at your supermarket. Use 1/2 cup supremes and juice for each small navel orange in these recipes.

About the 20-Minute Shrimp and Orange Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing

This generous salad offers bright, rich flavors as well as great texture contrasts among the crunchy Romaine, creamy avocado, and luxurious chickpeas. If you want to make the salad even easier, look for bagged, shredded Romaine lettuce in the produce section, as well as sliced celery, minced onion, and even drained chickpeas on the salad bar at your supermarket. Ready to start cooking? Click here for the recipe.

About the 40-Minute Orange Chicken “Stir-Fry” Packets

As is typical with stir-fries, all the chopping and slicing is done up front. But rather than using a wok on the stove, the ingredients here get baked in packets, an easy way to use the oven to get supper on the table in very little time. Line the packets with parchment paper to keep acidic ingredients from coming into contact with the foil. For an even quicker meal, look for boneless skinless chicken breasts already sliced for stir-frying. Ready to start cooking? Click here for the recipe.

About the All-Day (Slow Cooker) Orange Chicken Tagine

A tagine is a North African curry, a wonderful mix of sweet and salty flavors. It’s traditionally served over couscous but you could also serve this over mashed potatoes or brown rice noodles, or ladle it over baked delicata squash halves. For a stronger ginger more flavor, omit the ground ginger and add up to 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger along with the honey. Ready to start cooking? Click here for the recipe.