Indulge your soft spot for mandarins and oranges in dishes savoury and sweet

If you're anything like me, when you leave the supermarket with a bag of easy-peel mandarins, you'll end up eating a few by the time you get home.

They're even better fresh off the tree - they don't get any sweeter or juicier.

For breakfast, squeeze yourself a vitamin C-filled orange juice fix or fold mandarin segments through yoghurt, and add them to the children's lunchboxes as a colourful and healthy treat.

Although they're used predominantly in sweet dishes, both mandarins and oranges also work well in savoury dishes and make a pleasant change from lemons and limes. Mix them with dates, chicken, pork, fish, spinach... the list goes on. The zest adds great flavour to marinades, stuffings and dressings.


With very little effort, a plain chicken can be transformed into a taste sensation with these citrus favourites. Here, just for a change, I've used poussin - small chickens. Quick to cook, they always cause a bit of a stir at the table. Add a delicious paste of chilli, orange and ginger. I make double the quantity of paste and freeze half so it's on hand, ready for next time. Serve with rice and fresh seasonal vegetables; the poussin are so flavoursome you don't need too many other tastes on the plate.

Coleslaw is a great way to eat salad during winter. There is always an abundance of cabbages in stores and a little goes along way. Add your favourite nuts seeds and herbs. I like to shred cold chicken through it and stuff it into a fresh baguette for a tasty lunch. Mix the slaw with a creamy dressing or, as I've done here, a light vinaigrette.

This mandarin cake is so simple. It's so popular I find myself doubling the recipe each time I make it because otherwise it disappears too quickly. Whip it up and give it to a friend who thinks baking is too hard or time-consuming - they'll be so impressed! I often put a cake in the oven just before dinner and it's out and ready to be iced by the time the dishes are done. Wait for it to cool - if you can - then ice it with this simple icing.


Spicy orange roast poussin
Fennel and orange slaw
Mandarin cake

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