Monday, October 30, 2017

Pan-Seared Chicken with Autumn Veggies

I love fall!  My interest in food returns as the weather cools.  This recipe is perfect for an early fall night.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would work too)
1 Granny Smith apple
4 red potatoes
1 Butternut squash
1 bunch Sage
2 Tbsp butter
1 shallot
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 475°
Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out and discard pulp and seeds. 
Peel and then medium dice squash.
Medium dice potatoes
Pick leaves from Sage and roughly chop (I use the Pampered Chef herb grinder -- it's perfect)
Place squash and potatoes in bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray
Place squash and potatoes on sheet pan and roast for 16 - 18 minutes
Quarter and core the apple and dice in 1/4" pieces
Peel and thinly slice the shallot
Place shallot and apple in bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
Add to sheet pan of roasted vegetables - stir to combine
Roast 9 - 11 minutes

While veggies roast ...
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper (both sides)
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in non-stick pan
Add chicken and cook for 5 - 7 minutes on each side until done
Transfer chicken to a plate to rest

Add butter to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Stir butter until it smells nutty - scrape any chicken bits from pan - don't burn
Add Sage, vinegar, and 2 Tbsp water
Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly

Divide the finished veggies and cooked chicken between dishes.  Top with brown butter sauce.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Orange Chicken with Broccoli

Truth is . . . I love Chinese Food.  But, I've never been able to make it.  Sure, I've tried many times using countless recipes, but none of them ever turned out to be nearly as good or look as appetizing as restaurant dishes.  A couple of weeks ago I ran across a recipe for Orange Chicken and I thought it looked pretty simple.  I made it for the second time last night, and with a few little tweaks, we had a winner.  This was really good!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" chunks
1 lb broccoli crowns cut into florets
8 cloves fresh garlic
4 Tbsp salted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup dry coating mix for chicken or fish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut your chicken into 1" chunks and place in a bowl with a lid.  Add your salt and pepper and shake well to season the chicken.  Add the coating mix and shake again to evenly coat all of the chicken chunks.  Set aside

Cut your broccoli crowns into florets and place them in a 9" x 9" baking dish and salt lightly.  Finely dice all 8 garlic cloves and divide evenly.  Place 1/2 of the garlic in a small dish with 4 Tbsp of butter.  Cover the dish and melt butter in the microwave.  Evenly spoon the butter and garlic over the broccoli.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

While your broccoli bakes, prepare your sauce.

Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 Tbsp white cooking wine
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp water
3 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch mixed with 1 Tbsp water

Place oil in small saute pan with the remainder of the garlic.  Cook over medium heat until garlic begins to brown.  Add the ginger, red pepper flakes, orange zest, orange juice, cooking wine, soy sauce, water and sugar.  Let this simmer slowly for about five minutes.

When broccoli is ready, remove from the oven and let it sit while you fry your chicken chunks.

Heat about 4" of cooking oil in a frying pan or wok.  Personally, I like the wok because I can use less oil.  Drop your chicken chunks in small batches into hot oil.  Don't overcrowd your pan and your chunks will not stick together.  Remove them from the oil when they are a nice golden brown and place them on top of the broccoli.  When finished, return to your sauce.  Mix your 1 Tbsp of corn starch with 1 Tbsp of water and then add to the sauce.  Stir well until sauce thickens.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli.  Stir gently and return to the oven for five minutes.