Having surpassed the half-way mark on my 292 different meals in 2020 challenge, my husband asked how we were going to remember which dishes to make again in the future. A good point and one which was prompted by this meal that would most definitely make it on to our top ten list of favourite recipes from 2020.

The top Google search result for orange chicken delivers up this Chinese orange chicken recipe from the Modern Honey website. Its number one ranking is no doubt due to over 100 reviews and its 5 star rating which made the likelihood of a good meal propitious.

Even though I could see through the marketing copy which boasted the recipe is "better than take out", it still worked as an enticement none the less. Home cooked food should taste better than ready meals and take-aways. Your ingredients are likely to be higher quality, fresher and your dish free from hidden nasties sneakily disguised by the food industry as something else.  

When I served this Orange Chicken, all I could elicit from my husband was an intermittent gentle moan of enjoyment, until finally he said "wow". Similarly, I ate my meal in raptures, feeling that this was indeed worthy of the accolade "one of the best, yet".

Impressed beyond measure, I shared this recipe with my oldest friend - "you have to try this" I said. Tina's family had mixed reactions. Ben licked a piece of chicken and said no, the sauce was not to his taste. Harry enjoyed it, but would have preferred rice over green bean and mange tout (fair point Harry!). Stephen ate the lot but his reaction was less enthusiastic than my husband's and Tina made a valiant attempt to clear her plate but the combination of chicken and fruit isn't her favourite.

A salutary reminder that we all approach recipes in different ways and have individual tastes and preferences. There's a very simple description on the box of leftovers in my freezer; it reads "Amazing Orange Chicken 5*"