Sweet Orange Chicken, Gluten Free

by Jenn on January 5, 2011

in Dairy Free,Gluten Free,Meats,Photography

Sweet Orange Chicken

Bonne année tout le monde!  Happy 2011! I can say that still, because here en Suisse for the entire week it is not uncommon to hear people wishing each other (even strangers on the street) une bonne année.  It seems out of the depths of November and December’s endless gray, rain, and snow, January is welcoming us with *mostly* clear blue Winter skies and sunshine that gives everyone just a little spring in their step.

As we enthusiastically open all the blinds to welcome the warm sunny glow into our home, I take another clementine from the worn wooden fruit bowl on the counter.  I love clementines – the bowl is almost empty as I realize my husband and I have consumed over a kilo of the little bright fruit in just a weekend.  I like that they peel easier than oranges in that I don’t end up with a splattered sticky mess all over the table by the time I’m ready to take my first bite, and I like that they have a little more punch than an orange does.  Each bite of a clementine is like taking in a little piece of bright optimism that gives me a feeling 2011 will be quite the eventful year.

I don’t know all the foods that are supposed to bring luck for the New Year, as we never really had any New Year’s traditions growing up.  I guess I could have made a large bowl of black eyed peas but really, I’m not a big believer in luck either.  I’m a believer in recognizing opportunity.  I think success is often determined by not just hard work, but also the ability to recognize a fortuitous moment to act (or not act) and to be able conduct ourselves appropriately when that instant occurs.  So instead of hoping for luck this year, I want to hope for clarity, for seeing that opportunity.  It’s one thing to have goals, for work, for family, for fun, but it’s another to see when something will help/hinder the realization of those goals.  Clear insightful vision of the roads available to take is a totally separate thing to hope for.

Burano

In the spirit of vision, I see color as the symbol of any luck “charm” on my New Year’s plate – the bright orange clementines and green scallions decorating the sweet fried chicken reminded me of our trip to Burano, Italia during our Venezia adventures over the Christmas holiday.  After a 30 minute boat ride over the chilly sea, it was a rather crisp and dreary day (though at least we were not wading in a foot of water like when in Venice proper!) – and yet, the colors of this little island would make even the grounchiest of grinches smile.  I imagined bright fresh fruit as we walked along each of the streets –

Burano Burano

I see lemon, blueberry, plum, melon…. even the umbrellas look cheerful airing out during one of the few dry moments of the week.  Seriously, how could one not feel uplifted wandering around this town?

Burano

Strawberry, orange, grape…. The orange building was my favorite.  Orange just seems like the perfect color, projecting warmth and invitation – like a cozy fire you want to sit near when things seem a little too unforgiving outside.  So whether or not orange is indeed traditionally “lucky” for the New Year’s (cause I haven’t a clue), I decided it was the perfect color for my plate.  I celebrated the arrival of 2011 with sweet orange chicken, and snacked on a gazillion of my favorite little clementines in the rare golden Winter sun.

In these still short days of Winter, it’s a good thing to invite a little color into our lives, and our tastebuds :)

Sweet Orange Chicken

Also submitted to – Gluten Free Wednesdays and Seasonal Sunday