A super delicious dinner you can have on the table in no time flat. A few secret ingredients make the chicken incredibly tender!
That’s what a good friend said recently, and wow, it sure is true for us! With the blog, family (including lots of grand babies, as well as elderly parents), our church activities, friends, traveling, etc., Scott and I seem busier now than we were when we both had full time jobs!
No matter what stage of life you’re in though, life just stays busy. That has been especially obvious to us as we’ve started to analyze The Café’s 2016 Reader’s Survey results that we shared several weeks ago. Many of you were kind enough to fill it out, and your responses have been so helpful in planning new content for the upcoming year.
It’s been fun to learn that Café readers range in age from the early twenties all the way through the “above 75” category. Some of you are single, just beginning to work at full time jobs, some newly married, working at mastering cooking skills, some just starting families and others in the full swing of child rearing. There are empty nesters, those recently retired and lots of grandparents. Yet you know what seems to be a common denominator? It’s that everyone stays super busy, no matter what stage of life they’re in.
I know that because, in response to the question, “What would you like to see more of in upcoming Café posts?” tons of you indicated that you’d like to see more “Quick, easy dinner recipes” as well as more “Dinner party quality, everyday-easy recipes”. There were lots of other great suggestions, and we’ll be addressing them as well, but I’ve been having fun coming up with some delicious, quick, easy dinner recipes that are also quite company worthy. This Easy Orange Chicken with Brown Rice is one of our very favorites! I served it recently for dinner and, after requesting seconds, Scott said, “This is amazing, don’t change a thing!”.
The recipe is modeled after a classic Chinese restaurant entree called Orange Chicken. You’ll find it on the menu at many Asian restaurants, and it’s traditionally not very healthy, with the chicken being breaded and deep fried. I also know from our survey, that lots of you (and us too!) are trying to eat healthier, so I adapted the recipe to reflect that. The chicken is simply stir-fried after being marinated for 20 minutes.
The marinade? A bit unusual; it’s a simple combination of egg whites, rice vinegar and cornstarch. We used an old Chinese secret for super tender chicken. Melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken! They call the technique “velveting” and that’s exactly what it does – it makes the meat velvety tender. And super delicious!
I’ve been using the velveting technique for years now, and am always amazed at the difference it makes. Another wonderful secret I recently discovered is Minute® Brown Rice. Whenever we go out for Asian food and I have a choice between white and brown rice, I choose brown, as it’s so much healthier. It’s like eating whole grain products versus refined (which have many of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients removed). I’ve always had a difficult time preparing brown rice at home though. Not only does it take forever (40-45 minutes) but it’s just plain tricky to get right.
Then I was asked to do a post featuring Minute Rice, Minute® Whole Grain Brown Rice to be exact. I decided to try it before I agreed on the campaign.
Wow, was I surprised! In 10 minutes I could make perfectly cooked brown rice. I did a little research to find out if this “quick” version of brown rice had the same nutritional value as regular brown rice. Again I was surprised when I found that The Whole Grain Council reported that an independent, third party laboratory had tested both regular and instant brown rice products and found no appreciable difference in their nutrient profile. Both are considered whole grains, and both are good sources of manganese, magnesium, selenium and fiber. That means we don’t have to spend 45 minutes to an hour in the kitchen to enjoy the benefits of brown rice. I call that a win-win, how about you? Minute® Whole Grain Brown Rice will be a staple for quick, easy and healthy meals here at The Café.
So, next time you’re at the market pick up some chicken and any of the sauce ingredients you might need. Everything is easy to find at any larger grocery store. Make sure to pick up some Minute® Whole Grain Brown Rice too! You’ll be all set to put together a delicious, healthy dinner in no time flat.
Oh, and by the way, if anyone out there has a secret for slowing time down a bit… I’m listening!
P.S. Guess what? Minute Rice is giving you the chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, sharing something you learned about the benefits of brown rice. Each comment will automatically be entered to win. How easy is that?
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the [email protected] email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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This sweepstakes runs from 2/1/16 – 4/30/16.
- 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breasts thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
- For the marinade:
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons corn starch
- For the sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch
- For garnish:
- sesame seeds
- finely chopped cilantro or parsley
- For the marinade, combine egg white, rice vinegar and corn starch in a medium size bowl. Stir to dissolve corn starch.
- Add chicken and stir to coat. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain any liquid that may have accumulated.
- Combine all sauce ingredients and whisk well to dissolve corn starch. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet till hot and just starting to smoke. Add chicken to skillet and stir-fry for 4-6 minutes or until most of the chicken has turned white and opaque. It's okay to have a few areas that are still pink. It will finish cooking in the sauce. You don't want to overcook it.
- Add orange sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes till sauce has thickened.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and finely chopped cilantro or parsley.