Posted by: reneewildes1 | January 15, 2013


nanowrimo_05_120x240 51QJ1770S4L._SS500_ When I was little my mom would tell me stories about growing up wild in Hawaii, on Oahu. She and her friends would each get a hunk of dried fish and a section of sugar cane and go out to play for the day. They used to raid the neighbor’s mango trees. She’d tell me how three-finger poi was better than two-finger poi, which my sister and I could never figure out b/c poi is poi, right? It’s the same thing; one’s just mashed for longer than the other. But according to Mom, it makes a huge difference.

GodofFyreMountain72webSince GOD OF FYRE MOUNTAIN comes out in 1 week, I decided this Tasty Tuesday recipe should do honor to the South Pacific-esque setting I used. I was able to use what I learned as far as what is grown and used on the islands. Pigs and chickens were the domestic animals of choice for my villagers.

My favorite bit of research was finding an absolute GEM of a cookbook, “Sam Choy’s Polynesian Kitchen,” (ISBN 0-7868-6475-3) in my local library. Not only is it recipes, but there’s also tales of his travels to each island mentioned & the people he met. He also discusses what can be substituted for what, in case there’s an ingredient you CAN’T get, although most stuff can be found in an Asian market, even here. The following recipe is in the “Hawaii” chapter, on page 88:

I love this recipe b/c it has big, exotic flavors using ingredients I can get in central Wisconsin in the middle of winter on a working mom’s budget!


1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds

¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

¼ cup dry sherry

2 Tbsp. salad oil

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger root

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil

Salt & pepper to taste

Orange sections from 2 oranges, for garnish

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Cut chicken into pieces. Ina large mixing bowl, combine orange juice, sherry, oil, ginger, garlic, mustard, minced basil, and salt & pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, turning occasionally.

Drain chicken, reserving liquid. Place pieces in a large shallow baking pan, and bake in a 400 F oven for 25 minutes. Drain off fat. Pour reserved liquid over the chicken and continue to bake, basting occasionally, about 25 minutes until chicken is browned.

Place chicken on serving platter and drizzle pan juices over chicken. Garnish with the orange slices and basil leaves.

(P.S. I like to serve w/hot cooked rice and flatbread—and mai tais!)


Nancy Lauzon

Selena Robins



  1. […] Orange Ginger Chicken by Renee Wildes […]

  2. This sounds delicious! I haven’t been to Hawaii, but would love to go one day. Thanks for sharing your mom’s memories with us, and some of the Hawaiian culture.

  3. This sounds wonderful. Thanks Renee.
    Sue B

  4. Sounds awesome. And another new release! Congrats!!

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