Tag Archives: Chicken

Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Orange Star Anise Vinaigrette
Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

We grow a garden and live out of it in the summer. We grow lots of different varieties of lettuce and so salads are an almost daily part of our menu.

Lettuce from our Garden
Lettuce from our Garden

On hot summer days, I love to make what I call a main meal salad. I simply take a meat platter and lay a layer of mixed greens down the center bordered by a row of quinoa along both sides of the lettuce bed. I often marinate and cook chicken breasts then slice them for salads as I have done here.  I use whatever fruit I have on hand or that is in season to make a colorful and healthy salad. It could be strawberries, mango, melons, oranges or mandarins, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, and so forth.  Add some red onion rings, crumbled feta cheese, and top with crunchy pea and radish shoots and you have a very colorful, appetizing, and healthy dinner.

Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Orange Star Anise Vinagrette
Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinagrette

What makes the salad super tasty is the vinaigrette.

Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette
Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

For this recipe,  start with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and add a small star anise pod and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let the juice cool. This allows the star anise to infuse the juice with a lovely subtle layer of licorice flavor. Discard the star anise and mix the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously.  If adding fresh herbs, only add them at the time of serving as, otherwise, they become quite limp and wilted.

Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette
Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

Now, I don’t tend to measure the ingredients for the salad itself. I go to the garden and pick a couple of handfuls of different kinds of lettuce. For a main meal serving for two, I cook 1/2 cup of quinoa and a large chicken breast. For the fruits, just add as many of each kind as you like and the same for the pea and radish shoots.  I don’t grow these shoots – I get them from Just A Little Farm in Bonshaw.  You can click here to read the story I wrote about this farm. Jessica grows the most amazing produce and her pea and radish shoots are so lovely crisp and fresh!

Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette
Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

This recipe will yield a generous main meal for two or, if serving as a starter, it could serve 4-6.

[Printable Recipe Follows at end of Posting]

Orange and Star Anise Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
3 tbsp orange juice
1 small star anise pod
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp liquid honey
¼ tsp garlic salt
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, thyme, dill), chopped

Method:

In small saucepan, bring orange juice to boiling point over medium heat.  Reduce heat to simmer and add the star anise pod.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely, allowing the star anise to infuse the orange juice. Remove and discard star anise after orange juice has cooled.

Combine all ingredients, except the fresh herbs, in a small jar. Shake vigorously.  Add the chopped herbs at time of serving.

Yield: Apx. scant ½ cup

Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

Yield: Scant 1/2 cup

A tasty vinaigrette with subtle undertones of licorice flavor. Perfect accompaniment to any salad but especially good with Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 small star anise pod
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp liquid honey
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, thyme, dill), chopped

Instructions

  1. In small saucepan, bring orange juice to boiling point over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and add the star anise pod. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely, allowing the star anise to infuse the orange juice. Remove and discard star anise after orange juice has cooled.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except the fresh herbs, in a small jar. Shake vigorously. Add the chopped herbs at time of serving.
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Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

Asparagus-stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

Asparagus
Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Asparagus is one of the most versatile vegetables, both in the ways in which it can be prepared and the ingredients with which it can be paired. Locally, in Atlantic Canada, asparagus has a very short growing season in late May/early June and it is a harbinger of wonderful produce to come from the land. And, as we all know, fresh, locally-grown produce is always best.  I am very lucky to live not far from an Island farmer, Tim Dixon, who grows asparagus and sells it at the farm gate – this means I’m buying produce that has just been harvested and has not lost its freshness through several days of transit to reach me. It also means I know where my food is coming from and, at the same time, I am supporting the local food movement with no middle men involved.

I like to feature asparagus in springtime on my dinner table and, this year, I have chosen to combine Boursin cheese, prosciutto, and chicken breasts with the asparagus.  This stuffed chicken breast can be served whole or it can be sliced into 3/4″ slices and served on either a bed of rice or on a green salad.  The latter is quite colorful as it shows the green asparagus stuffing.

asparagus
Slices of asparagus-stuffed chicken breast

This is not a difficult recipe to make and I hope you enjoy it, especially when the flavorful local asparagus is available in your region. I chose to pair this entrée with New Harbour Sauvignon Blanc (NZ 2013). This wine with its citrus, passionfruit, and guava notes, has a lovely crisp finish that compliments chicken quite well.

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

(printable version of recipe follows at end of posting)

Ingredients:

2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp Boursin cheese (French cream cheese), garlic and herb flavor
1 – 2 tsp olive oil
10 fresh asparagus spears tossed lightly in apx. 1 tsp olive oil
2 thin slices prosciutto
3 tbsp flour
1 extra large egg, beaten
¼ cup fine bread crumbs
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp cooking oil

Method:

Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8”x8” baking pan.

Individually, place each chicken breast inside a plastic freezer bag and, using a meat mallet, flatten the chicken breast to approximately ¼” thick.  Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.

In small bowl, mix the Boursin cheese with just enough olive oil to make the cheese barely of spreading consistency.  Leaving about a ½” border on the edges of each chicken breast, divide the cheese equally between the two chicken pieces and evenly spread the cheese on each chicken breast.

Snap off the woody ends of each asparagus spear at their natural breaking point and discard. In medium-sized bowl, lightly coat the  spears with a teaspoon of olive oil (focus mainly on coating the tips of the asparagus that will be exposed during the baking). Lay five asparagus spears on each piece of prosciutto and roll the meat tightly around the spears.  Lay each bundle of spears on one long side of each flattened chicken breast and roll the chicken around the bundles tightly, leaving  the tips of the asparagus exposed .  Secure chicken pieces with two lengths of baker’s string.

In separate shallow bowls, large enough to accommodate the chicken pieces, place the flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in another, and mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in the third bowl.

Heat cooking oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Dip each chicken breast in the flour, then in the egg, and then roll in the bread crumbs-parmesan cheese mixture, being careful not to coat the tips of the asparagus spears.  Transfer chicken pieces to hot skillet.  Reduce heat to medium and brown the chicken pieces, turning them so that all sides of the chicken breasts brown evenly, about 1 minute per side.  Transfer chicken breasts to prepared baking pan and bake in pre-heated oven until internal temperature of chicken registers at least 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer.

Remove baker’s string from each breast. To serve, lay chicken breast over steamed rice or, alternatively, let the chicken pieces rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board then, with a sharp knife, cut into slices, approximately ¾” thick and serve over rice or a green salad.

Yield:  2 servings

Asparagus-stuffed Chicken Breasts by My Island Bistro Kitchen
Chicken Breast Stuffed with Asparagus

Asparagus-stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

Yield: 2 servings

Tasty chicken breasts stuffed with asparagus, prosciutto, and Boursin cheese - easy enough to make for weeknight dinners but fancy enough for company fare!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp Boursin cheese (French cream cheese), garlic and herb flavor
  • 1 - 2 tsp olive oil
  • 10 fresh asparagus spears tossed lightly in apx. 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 thin slices prosciutto
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 extra large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup fine bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8”x8” baking pan.
  2. Individually, place each chicken breast inside a plastic freezer bag and, using a meat mallet, flatten the chicken breast to approximately ¼” thick. Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.
  3. In small bowl, mix the Boursin cheese with just enough olive oil to make the cheese barely of spreading consistency. Leaving about a ½” border on the edges of each chicken breast, divide the cheese equally between the two chicken pieces and evenly spread the cheese on each chicken breast.
  4. Snap off the woody ends of each asparagus spear at their natural breaking point and discard. In medium-sized bowl, lightly coat the asparagus spears with a teaspoon of olive oil (focus mainly on coating the tips of the asparagus that will be exposed during the baking). Lay five asparagus spears on each piece of prosciutto and roll the meat tightly around the asparagus. Lay each bundle of spears on one long side of each flattened chicken breast and roll the chicken around the bundles tightly, leaving the tips of the asparagus exposed. Secure chicken pieces with two lengths of baker’s string.
  5. In separate shallow bowls, large enough to accommodate the chicken pieces, place the flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in another, and mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in the third bowl.
  6. Heat cooking oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip each chicken breast in the flour, then in the egg, and then roll in the bread crumbs-parmesan cheese mixture, being careful not to coat the tips of the asparagus spears. Transfer chicken pieces to hot skillet. Reduce heat to medium and brown the chicken pieces, turning them so that all sides of the chicken breasts brown evenly, about 1 minute per side. Transfer chicken breasts to prepared baking pan and bake in pre-heated oven until internal temperature of chicken registers at least 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer.
  7. Remove baker’s string from each breast. To serve, lay chicken breast over steamed rice or, alternatively, let the chicken pieces rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board then, with a sharp knife, cut into slices, approximately ¾” thick and serve over rice or a green salad.
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Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Asparagus by My Island Bistro Kitchen
Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts

It’s maple syrup time!  Finally, a harbinger of spring and those of us on the East Coast of Canada need something sweet after the wicked winter we have just come through!

Today, I am featuring a product that is new to me and it comes from Lake Paul in Nova Scotia – PURE™ Infused Maple Syrup.  We are all familiar with the traditional maple syrup but PURE™ Infused takes it up a notch by infusing other flavours into the syrup, making it more versatile for culinary use.  They produce five unique flavors:  Vanilla, Cinnamon and Star Anise; Lavender & Chai; Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Cloves; Chipotle and Lemongrass; and Maple Gastrique (Maple Syrup, Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar) which is the flavour I am using in my recipe today.

I like this product.  It has a nice blend of flavours and the sweetness of the maple syrup balances well with the tartness of the cider vinegar and spiciness of the ginger.  This lends a depth and complexity of flavour to my recipe.   For more information on PURE™ Infused and their products, visit their website.

My Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts recipe is easy to make. I like chicken but, to be frank, it can be kind of bland if you don’t add some flavour to it so I am combining maple, orange, and ginger in this stovetop creation.

But first, some notes about this recipe.  I use liquid chicken bouillon for chicken stock in the recipe.  Traditionally, the ratio is 2 teaspoons of the bouillon concentrate to 1 cup of water; however, I find deeper  flavour if I use 3 teaspoons of the concentrate per cup of water.    When making the thickener for the sauce, combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold chicken stock and whisk it well to ensure it is smooth.  It is very important that the cold mixture be “tempered” by adding some hot liquid – about 1 tablespoon or so — before pouring it into the hot mixture in the frying pan as, otherwise, it will be lumpy.

I am a big fan of digital instant read meat thermometers for ensuring chicken is properly cooked.  The chicken breasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

DSC_0336

Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (apx. 2 lbs)
salt and pepper
olive oil

1½ tsp garlic, minced
⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp fennel, finely chopped
⅓ cup orange juice
½ tbsp grated orange rind
1¼ cups chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup)
½ cup PURE™ Maple Gastrique (Maple Syrup, Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 tsp ground ginger
⅓ cup orange marmalade
2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock)

Method:

Assemble ingredients.

Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in large frying pan. Add the chicken breasts and quickly brown 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once.

Transfer chicken to heat-proof plate and tent with tin foil to keep chicken warm.

Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté the garlic, onion, and fennel, just until onion is transparent, adding more olive oil if necessary.

page 1 - Onions garlic and fennel

In bowl or large measuring cup, combine the orange juice, orange rind, 1 cup of chicken stock, maple syrup, ginger, and marmalade.

Pour sauce ingredients into frying pan.

Over medium heat, heat the mixture to boiling, then add the chicken breasts, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook chicken slowly for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning and basting chicken with the sauce 2-3 times.

In small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock. Add apx. 1 tbsp of the hot liquid to the cornstarch mixture to temper it and whisk well until mixture is smooth. Stir into hot mixture.

Continue cooking chicken, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened and internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer.

Serving suggestion: Serve over a bed of hot steamed rice with a side of your favourite vegetable.

Yield: 4 servings


Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts
My Island Bistro Kitchen:
4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (apx. 2 lbs)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fennel, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • ½ tbsp grated orange rind
  • 1¼ cups chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup PURE™ Maple Gastrique
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ⅓ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock)
Instructions
  1. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts.
  2. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in large frying pan.
  3. Add the chicken breasts and quickly brown 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once.
  4. Transfer chicken breasts to heat-proof plate and tent with tin foil to keep chicken warm.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté the garlic, onion, and fennel, just until onion is transparent, adding more olive oil if necessary.
  6. In bowl or large measuring cup, combine the orange juice, orange rind, 1 cup of chicken stock, maple syrup, ginger, and marmalade. Pour into frying pan.
  7. Over medium heat, heat sauce to boiling, then add the chicken breasts, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.
  8. Cook chicken slowly for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning and basting chicken with the sauce 2-3 times.
  9. In small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock. Add apx. 1 tbsp of the hot liquid to the cornstarch mixture and whisk well until mixture is smooth. Stir into hot mixture.
  10. Continue cooking chicken, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened and internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer.

 

Disclosure:  The Maple Gastrique used in this recipe was provided to me, free of charge, from  PURE™ Infused for the purposes of sampling it and creating a recipe with the syrup.  The recipe for Maple Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts in this posting is an original recipe developed by me in my home kitchen.

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