Friday, August 21

Ginger Orange Chicken & Brown Rice

Hi there. 

I got a sweet, zesty, and easy Asian inspired dinner for you to try. Easy as in 10-20 minutes! Serious. Quicker than pizza delivery and much healthier too :) 

This is a recipe from an old cookbook but picture just looked too good to pass up. I love cookbooks with pictures. Do you? I have passed on buying perfectly good cookbooks that didn't have many pictures. I totally eat with my eyes first. 

The recipe turned out great! The thick sweet tangy slightly zippy sauce was perfect on the nutty brown rice and moist lean chicken. I think this would go great with pork or chicken. 

The original recipe was easy to follow and and I was immediately impressed of the short list of ingredients. Short list = easy on the wallet :) Short list also means, in most cases, an easier recipe. The only change I made was more than doubling the fresh ginger. To me, the orange flavor was too sweet, and it needed more zest to balance it out. The thick almost sticky orange sauce kept the lean chicken breast halves really moist and delicious. You could totally make the sauce ahead of time, but it came together within 5 minutes, so it didn't feel like a chore. I chose nutty brown rice to complement the tang of the oj and again balance some of that sweet flavor from the juice. Plus, it used up leftover brown rice I already had in the fridge. So with my leftover rice, put a quick cook on a frozen vegetable, and the entire meal came together in 10 minutes. LOVE! Even though I love cooking, when my husband is working late, and I am home with the kids at dinner time, I love anything that's healthy and fast. This was a huge win for me. 

Totally going to make this again adding in some sautéed or steamed broccoli and maybe some toasted almond slivers or sesame seeds, and egg rolls for a complete Asian style family meal (and hopefully get some better pictures using my camera and not cell phone). I hope you like it too. :) 

Ginger Orange Chicken & Brown Rice
recipe adapted from: Robin Miller's cookbook, Robin to the Rescue
Serves 2 but easily doubled (enough sauce for 3 or 4) 

1 tsp oil ( I used veg oil but the original recipe calls for toasted sesame oil) 
2 chicken breast halves
optional: toasted sesame seeds (I didn't use them but wished I did for some crunch)
1 cup oj
2 Tbs reduced sodium soy sauce (I used organic)
1 Tbs brown sugar (I will halve this next time - sauce was really sweet)
1 Tbs corn starch
1 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger (I used organic from the produce section)

Helpful hint: If you buy a knob of ginger, peel it with the back of a spoon, and then throw it in a freezer bag for an hr and its much easier to grate. You don't even need to defrost it. Keep the remaining chunk in the freezer and it won't go bad for months!

1. Cook your brown rice. I used a 2 to 1 ratio on my mine. 1 cup of rice for 2 cups of water. Takes about 45 minutes and i put about 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. In the place of water I used homemade chicken stock. But water works well too. I have done it both ways.

2. When the rice is more than half way finished start everything else. Salt and pepper your chicken breast halves on both sides about a pinch of each. I used one chicken breast and just butterflied it, pounded it even, and sliced it into two separate pieces. Pan fry them in a skillet with tsp of any kind of oil for about 3-4 minutes each side over medium heat. For thicker pieces of chicken, not pounded thin, you'll need to add an additional minute but no more than that.  

3. While chicken is cooking, start your sauce in a small pot. Combine soy sauce, juice, sugar, corn starch and ginger with a whisk. Bring it to a boil and then turn it to low until everything else is ready. Sauce should thicken in about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

3. When chicken is almost cooked through, pour the sauce into the skillet right over the top of the chicken and everything. Turn the chicken over in the sauce once to coat and finish cooking in the flavorful sauce.  I pulled my son's chicken out of the pan at that point, and sliced it and carefully set it back into the sauce to soak up some of that great flavor and to stay moist. Let the chicken finish cooking in the sauce for about a minute or two. 

4. When rice is cooked. Serve up the chicken and ginger orange sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. 

Enjoy this quick family meal
from my Az Kitchen

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