Friday, May 20, 2011

Simple Orange Chicken with Broccoli

recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Serves 4

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger*
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
Salt and Pepper
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/4 c water
1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c orange juice
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet.  Saute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.  In the same skillet, combine the broccoli florets and the water, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Cover the skillet and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes (the broccoli will continue to cook as you are boiling the sauce, so don't over-cook).  Return the chicken to the pan and stir in the broth, orange juice, soy sauce, sugar and orange zest.  Add the dissolved cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce boils and thickens slightly. Serve over hot, cooked brown or white rice.

*When you buy ginger root, you can put the unused portion in a freezer bag and it will store very well in the freezer.  Also, I buy the great big bag of garlic cloves from Costco and store the bag in my freezer.  When I need fresh garlic, I just take out however many cloves the recipe calls for and let them thaw on my counter for a few minutes and then mince.  It is so nice and convenient.

Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

                                                    recipe from Our Best Bites
1 packet (1 oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (ignore directions on the packet)
1 c mayonnaise (*I have found it doesn't taste as good with light, so use the real stuff!)
1/2 c milk
1 lime (*I tried using bottled lime juice, and it also doesn't taste as good so use a real lime)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 c roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 c La Costena green salsa

Place milk, mayo and ranch in a blender.  Juice the lime into the blender (you should get about 2 Tbsp juice).  Toss in the garlic, cilantro, and green salsa and blend.  Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken.