Mandarin chicken with mandarins

Chicken with mandarins

I took some time posting this recipe as I wanted to explore other options for mandarins. This was made in December and you can see the Christmasy influence in the photo ,brought in by my star shaped crystal candle holder !

This dish was lovingly made on one cold December evening . A red net bag stuffed to the brim with mandarins arrived ,special delivery from Bangalore. Of course I had to do full justice to it. Keeping some aside for us to sink our teeth into at breakfast ,I selected a few to be made for dinner.

Chinese food is a lip smacking favourite with all of us. It’s a cuisine which encompasses all the flavours and disappoints not a single taste bud ! Even before I tasted this dish ,the thought of what it would taste like was swirling in my head causing me to smile as i went about with the preparations !!! That in itself is a reason to try out this recipe. Mandarins and cinnamon all speak of warmth ,much needed in the cooler months. Now as we head towards the on slaught of summer’s heat ,I think we can still use this recipe with the heat toned down .You can also accompany it with a crunchy cool cucumber salad to act as a balance.

Do substitute with  plump orangey oranges if you are unable to find mandarins,they pair beautifully as well with chicken. They may not look as cute as the mandarins but no compromise on taste whatsoever ! The dish is caramely with the soft chicken pieces. It feels decadent but as you can see , except for the cashewnuts, it is quite low on fat. I love the burst of green brought on by the spring onions. They add the crunch without overpowering the dish. My chicken of course gets 45 mts in the food detoxifier  before it starts cooking. That process ,at our home is as natural as washing our hands before a meal ! So ,no worries ,on that count of eating tainted produce ! The final taste can be altered to your individual preference of sweet ,salty or sour…it’s all in the sauce.


A bowl of yum

A bowl of yum

I like to serve these in crockery that has an oriental feel to it. It makes the dining experience so much more enjoyable. It also ensures that a meal with the family is just about that ,food and conversation… phone calls, vague nods or any other pre occupations can creep in !!!

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  • 1. In a wok,add the oil
  • 2. Place it on low heat.
  • 3. Add the cinnamon and star anise
  • 4. Add the chicken pieces and sear well.
  • 5. Keep tossing until it gets a bit of colour.
  • 6. Add the ginger and garlic and mix.
  • 7. In a bowl ,mix together the honey ,soy ,hot sauce,rind and juice of the orange and stir well.Taste and adjust to your liking.
  • 8. Take 2 tablespoons of this sauce and add a tablespoon of arrowroot. Mix well,see that you leave no lumps and add it back to the sauce.This acts as a thickening agent.
  • 9. Make the sauce before you set the wok on heat.
  • 10. After tossing the ginger and garlic ,add half the spring onions and mix.
  • 11. Add the sauce and a cup of water,to loosen it a bit. Add more water,if you think it necessary
  • 12. Cover and let the chicken cook until tender.
  • 13. Once it is done ,remove the lid and let the sauce cook to the consistency that you prefer.
  • 14. Just before removing from the fire add the roasted cashewnuts and the remaining spring onions.
  • 15. Serve hot with some yummy brown rice or steamed white rice.

About Chef

Shanthini Rajkumar