“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Fragrant and Tasty Chicken Recipe

After the fun I had last weekend, I wanted to try new recipes calling for maple syrup and I found one for chicken that sounded intriguing on the Cooking Light website. I’ve adapted the recipe a little bit with regard to the amounts of the ingredients I used, but I was very happy with the results. The combination of maple syrup, orange, Dijon mustard, and dill was complex but very well balanced - with no single ingredient overpowering any of the others. And because I used some of the same ingredients in the accompanying quinoa, I was able to save some prep time while preparing a side dish that complemented the chicken very well. Together with a simple salad of baby greens (with a dressing of equal parts of maple syrup and fresh lemon juice, whisked with olive oil) this made a lovely dinner. The original recipe for orange scented couscous can be found here and my simplified version of Orange Spiced Quinoa is below:

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cutlets with Maple-Mustard Dill Sauce

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded with a mallet to ~1/4” thick

1 t coconut oil

Juice and zest from one orange (use half of each for the chicken and half for the quinoa)

1T water

1 small red onion, chopped (use half here and half in the quinoa)

1/3 c Dijon mustard

¼ c real maple syrup (I used Passardi’s grade B : )

2T chopped fresh dill

Heat a heavy frying pan to medium high and add the coconut oil, coating the bottom. Cook the chicken by browning on both sides and cooking almost all the way through. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a cutting board. Deglaze the pan on the heat by adding the water and orange juice (~2T) and scrape up the brown bits. Add the chopped onion, stir well and let cook for a couple of minutes. Add the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and orange zest to the pan, stir well and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the chopped dill, mix well, then add the chicken back into the pan and heat through to complete cooking. For large pieces of chicken, I sliced them into 2 or 3 pieces before placing them back in the pan. To serve, plate the chicken and spoon the sauce on top. Serve with the quinoa below.

Orange, Spiced Quinoa

1 t coconut oil

½ red onion, chopped

1 c quinoa, rinsed well and drained

2 c boiling water or vegetable broth

juice and zest from half an orange

1 t coriander

½ t cinnamon

¼ t black pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy medium pot. Add the onion and sautee for 3 – 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and stir briefly, then add the water or broth, and orange juice. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. When the quinoa is almost cooked, add the spices and orange zest, give a quick stir, then cover and cook until the water is absorbed. Take off heat and leave covered for a few minutes, then mix well and serve.

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