Enjoy! Because life is too short to deprive the palate!


Orange Juice Chicken with Sweet Onions and Bell Peppers

Can someone explain to me where the first week of February went?! Or the last week of January for that matter?

I guess this is what our parent's always told us about growing older... I'm half expecting to wake up middle-aged and married tomorrow! Oy vey, and I remember when it took a lifetime to turn 16.

Here is where my head has been:

In two days I leave for Alaska to help my most fabulous Northern Californian friend, Rachel, move. This is a bittersweet event as I am so excited for such an adventure but sad that I will have to say goodbye to my best friend in the bay area. She's off to experience incredible things and while I am selfishly sad to see her go, I am so very happy for her new life and grateful that I get to be there to help set it all in motion. So come Wednesday, if you would, please send your luck and love to Rachel whom I greatly admire for having such strength to take control of her time and go forward with a wonderfully life-changing move. Love you lady :]

So in the spirit of time and grasping the most out of every minute, I present you with a sweetly simple yet fabulously flavorful weekday meal that won't break the bank either! Plus, even the clean-up is quick; this recipe requires only two pans (one if you use instant rice!), which means you can spend your time on the most important part: devouring every last delicious bite :]

For this recipe you will need a large sauté pan, a wooden spoon, and a saucepan to prepare the rice.

Orange Juice Chicken with Sweet Onions & Bell Peppers
  • 1 Cup Long Grain Rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Filets,6 oz each, fresh or defrosted if previously frozen
    • Optional: Blanche up to 24 hours before with 1 tsp Salt and 1 tsp Sugar in a bowl of water, covered in the refrigerator.
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 Sweet Vidalia Onion, cut into thin strips
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, de-stemmed
  • 2 springs Fresh Rosemary, de-stemmed
  • 3/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
*Begin by preparing the rice according to package instructions. 
*In a large sauté pan heat the butter over medium high until melted. Sprinkle each side of the chicken filets with salt and pepper and add to pan, cooking approximately 3 minutes on each side. Add the fresh thyme and rosemary.
*Turn the heat to high, add the olive oil and toss in the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Cook, shaking the pan frequently so that the vegetables sear evenly, about 4-5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne. 
*Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board, dice and return to pan.
*Next, add the orange juice, pouring over the chicken to completely coat all ingredients in the pan. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 2 minutes until chicken is tender yet cooked through. 

To Serve: Serve immediately, hot out of the pan over rice. Sprinkle in some extra heat with an added pinch of cayenne at the end or top with a dash of fresh cracked black pepper.

*Serves 2-3 and takes approximately 20 minutes start to finish* 

Wine Pairings: Chicken and onion dishes typically pair well with a crisp Chardonnay. I typically gravitate towards Red Wines but in an effort to expand my Vino horizons I have been experimenting with various whites lately. My mother turned me onto La Crema, which makes a lovely 2009 Vintage Sonoma Coast Chardonnay which subtly twists tones of toasted oak and butterscotch to produce a well-balanced round and nutty flavor. I much prefer an oaky Chardonnay to an acidic fruity palate and this bottle blends the notes perfectly. 

And there you have it; a healthy, no-hassle meal that lets you eat gourmet without the added fuss or expense. Try tossing in kalamata olives before adding the orange juice for an extra touch of color and flavor. 

Happy Chinese New Year to all my fellow Rabbits, it is our year! Happy Feasting Friends and expect my next blog to be coming at you from an ice cave in Alaska!

Enjoy :]

<3 Marea
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