Oaxaca Inspired Sweet-Savory Orange Chicken Recipe: Mango and Carrots

My first day back in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, after a six-week Durham, North Carolina hiatus. I had to drive La Tuga, my 2004 Honda Element to Tlacolula for clutch repair, so I handed 200 pesos (the equivalent of $11 USD) to Federico and asked him to pick up a few things for me at the village market. My cupboards (and refrigerator) were bare.

On the cook top, mango carrot orange chicken

I specified only a bit of chicken, some fruit and veggies. He returned with four carrots, four Ataulfo mangoes — now in season, two onions, one orange pepsicum, four red apples, four chayote squash and some limes. The key seemed to be the number four. Oh, yes, two chicken drumsticks and two thighs equal four.

So, I give you Sweet-Savory Orange Chicken with Mango and Carrots.

Utensils: four-quart, oven-proof clay baker or stainless steel pot, paring knife, utility knife, large spoon. You might want to use a slow cooker/crock pot. That would work, too.


  • 2 chicken thighs and 2 chicken drumsticks, skinned
  • 2 teaspoons salt and fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 carrots, cleaned and peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 white onion, large diced
  • 2 Ataulfo mangoes, cut as shown in photo
  • 2 red apples, skinned, sliced thin
  • 1 orange pepsicum (sweet pepper), diced
  • 1 very small mild red chili pepper, seeded and stemmed
  • 4 cups water

Add salt (I prefer sea salt) and fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Put pot on top of heat diffuser. Cook on slow simmer for two-to-three hours.  Serve first course as a consomme/chicken broth.  Serve second course of chicken with mango/carrot melange over steamed rice, accompanied by fresh steamed chayote or zucchini squash.

I bet you could make this in a crock pot, too.

How cut a mango: lengthwise to separate two halves from seed

Serves two to four, depending on appetites.

Some years ago, many, in fact, I owned a gourmet cooking school and cookware shop in South Bend, Indiana. It was called Clay Kitchen.  I contracted with famous chefs from around the world to teach, and taught a few classes myself. My preference, still, is to see what ingredients I have at hand and make something up. This one, today, tastes pretty darn good and you should smell my kitchen!

A remaining pepper from my winter terrace garden, seeded, crumbled

Clay Kitchen, Inc. is a memory. We were in business for just under five years during one of the roughest financial downturns of the early 80’s when interest rates on inventory climbed to over 20 percent. Pre-internet, a Google search only comes up with our Indiana corporation registration and dissolution.  There is no other documentation.

My business partner then remains an important friend now. We modeled ourselves after Dean & DeLuca in NYC and aspired to greatness. When we closed, we cried and moved on.

12 responses to “Oaxaca Inspired Sweet-Savory Orange Chicken Recipe: Mango and Carrots

  1. Just got around to reading this post. Sounds delicious. No worries I have all your recipes from Clay Kitchen, as well as Jack Lirios cook book. XoXo

  2. Sounds delicious! I’m going to try it in the fall when it cools down.
    I bet you have some incredible recipes from your time with the Clay Kitchen–wonderful name for a cookbook (and a place of business).

    • You can do it stovetop or crockpot, Robin. No need to heat up house with oven! I closed Clay Kitchen two wasbands ago, and in the multiple moves around the country, editing, paring down, throwing out, I likely tossed all those recipes. Oh, well. That’s life.

  3. Orange Chicken is the most popular dinner sold by Trader Joe’s. I can hardley wait to try this mango version!

  4. This is a beautiful post. Thank you.

  5. Looks delicious Norma!

  6. I miss my mangoes in Mexico! This sounds great Norma. So you ran a restaurant in another life too? What haven’t you done?

    • yeah! I couldn’t believe I was paying $2 USD for an avocado in NC! Outrageous. To say nothing of the cost of mangoes. I didn’t really run a restaurant, it was a cooking school and cookware shop. I expended into a dessert cafe for a short time, too, along with some private catering. Ah, for the taste of good food. Besos.

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