Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Chicken & Rice Dinner

Chicken & Rice Dinner
Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.

I'm coooking dinner for the family at least once a week. Lately, I've had a hankering for cranberries and orange, for some strange reason. It's a fabulous flavour combination, and mixed with the saltiness of feta, this made for a tasty accompaniment to chicken. The rice is very simple, too, and the orange zest in it complimented the orange in the chicken. I served this meal with green beans (the only veg we can all agree on between us) and spaghetti squash for the two of us who eat it. Also, a nice green salad.

Chicken Stuffed with Feta Cheese, Cranberries, and Orange

4 bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed (you can use boneless, skinless, but they tend to be too small to adequately stuff, and the bone provides struture in this case, as well as keeping the meat juicy during cooking)
zest of one orange
freshly squeeze juice of half an orange
3 tbsp dried cranberries
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan (if you have the not-so-fresh kind, it'll be OK)
1/2 tsp dried basil

1. In a food processor fitted with blade, pulse together the feta, cranberries, zest and orange juice until a crumbly mixture forms, that sticks together when pressed with your fingers. Alternately, if you don't have a food processor, you can mash these ingredients together with a fork, but it'll be more crumbly.

2. In the thicker end of the chicken breast, slice a long slice lengthwise from one side to the other, creating a pocket. Divide stuffing in 4, and stuff each breast, gently pressing down the top so there isn't a gaping hole.

3. Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and basil and put on a plate. Press crumb mixture onto chicken breasts and place the chicken breasts on a greased tray (I line with it foil and oil the foil...easy clean-up that way). Sprinkle the breasts with remaining crumb mixture.

4. Bake at 350F until done; about 35 - 40 minutes.

Basmati Rice with Orange and Olives

1 1/2 cups white basmati rice
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (I use Bovril packets)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of one orange
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Once it's boiled, turn the heat to low and let this sit - undisturbed - for 20 or so minutes. Stir. And voila.

Even serving this with just a simple salad would be perfect. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Wandering Coyote, HELP
what does zest of an orange mean?
becky...we chatted on yahoo

Karen said...

Oh yes, I'll definately be testing out that recipe! Mmmmm.

The rice recipe reminded me of childhood. Growing up my mom used to make orange rice (using ...ick...minute rice). Basically just substitute the water for orange juice and presto! Great with peas.

Thanks so much. I hope everyone you cooked for appreciated it as much as I did reading it!

Wandering Coyote said...

Becky: the zest is the peel...finely grated with a grater or zesting tool. You only want the very outer surface, not the white pithy part deeper down as that is bitter. The zest contains fragrant and flavourful oils.

Karen: I got lots of compliments! I hope you enjoy it. I agree with you about the minute rice...


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