Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fresh Citrus Chicken and Asparagus

I'm testing out the waters to see if we want to bring back recipe posts to Posh Purpose. My goal is to use the blog as a way to force myself to get more creative in the kitchen. I am definitely experiencing chef's block, if that is a thing. So no promises on recipes becoming a regular thing, but you should be able to enjoy this one regardless!




I came up with this idea late Sunday night right before falling asleep and cooked it for Monday's supper. It takes advantage of all the wonderful juice oranges we can buy at my local farm ($4 for half of a 5 gallon bucket!) and also went really well with the asparagus I had purchased. For those of y'all who don't know, I base my meals off what I already have; I am not a fan of running to the store for one or two items. If I can't substitute, I cook something else.

Before we get started, I want to share something. While I used freshly squeezed orange juice, I won't judge if you use the store bought variety. I understand that not everyone is lucky to live down the road from orange groves, so if you do purchase your juice you should get Florida's Natural. The oranges are grown all in Florida as a co-op (support the farms!), and quite a few come from my county!

This recipe serves J and I two meals - supper and lunch the next day. Feel free to increase/decrease ingredients according to your guests and hunger levels.

Ingredients:
Two chicken breasts (use more if they are on the small side)
One cup of orange juice (fresh squeezed takes about six oranges)
Enough asparagus to satisfy your need for green vegetables (washed and ends snapped off)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Olive oil
Half a tablespoon of butter (for flavor - yum!)
Two cups brown rice
Four cups chicken broth (optional)

Directions: 
1. Marinate your chicken in the orange juice. I let mine sit during zumba, so slightly over an hour.
2. Remove chicken from marinade once you are ready to cook, but make sure you keep the juice! We will be using it later. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You will be adding more salt later, so don't go too heavy here.
3. Heat butter and enough oil in an oven safe pan. I used my all-clad copper core sauté pan. Add chicken and make sure you let it start to burn. The dark bits are where the best flavor is for this recipe.

I flipped the meat back over to get more burnt bits than seen here

4. Once you get your chicken going, start your rice. I cooked mine in chicken broth to add a bit more flavor, but feel free to cook your rice as you see fit. Also preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
5. When the chicken is closer to done than not (about 15 minutes depending on the size), add about one third of the orange juice to the pan and deglaze to get all the delicious flavor off the bottom of the pan. 6. Add the rest of the juice and bring to a simmer so we don't all die of salmonella.
7. Add the asparagus to the pan and stir to get the delicious sauce on all the spears. Make sure you add a bit more salt to the asparagus to help retain the green color
{My asparagus was super skinny so I waited until the chicken was pretty much done before adding the vegetables. I also don't like my asparagus really cooked; I prefer more of a softening rather than a true cooking. If you like your asparagus well done, add it earlier.}
8. Put pan into the oven for 3-4 minutes. When the asparagus no longer looks raw, switch the oven to broil for another 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully because it is very easy to burn at this stage! Lots of experience there..

I arranged my asparagus so that a lot of it was out of the sauce to keep a crispier/less soggy consistency

Once everything is done, plate it up and enjoy! The sauce goes really well on top of the rice and I added balsamic vinegar for even more flavor. J enjoyed it without the vinegar. This meal is really very healthy assuming you control oil usage. It would also go well on pasta by adding white wine to the sauce. If you don't have an oven safe pan, cook the chicken on the stove top and the asparagus separately on a cookie sheet in the oven. I prefer cooking it all together for less clean up, but the flavors should still work out just fine. Let us know how it goes for you!