I hope all you mothers had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday and got pampered, loved, and appreciated! Thanks for all you do!
This weekend I wasn’t with my mom, but I was having a fun-filled weekend with my friend, Karen, who I’ve known since…well, forever. Literally. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know her. We both grew up in the middle-of-nowhere Iowa—her on a farm and myself on an acreage with about 7 miles of farm land in between us (I know this because we lived on 310th and 380th Streets…yeah, Northwest Iowa is pretty predictable when it comes to roads). We both went to the same church since birth and were practically inseparable from middle school until we left for college (we even drove to college together!..I know). We’re not kidding when we say that we responded to either Karen or Kara since people were almost always mixing us up.
Jump ahead a couple, few years and we’re still close friends with a lot history behind us. And although we aren’t knocking on the other one’s door to see if they can play for the day anymore, we still try to get together as often as we can. Plus, we both have a passion and love for all things food. Score! That alone makes our friendship a good one. :)
When we’re together, baking is definitely a must at some point. We did get some baking in, but we did oh, so much more! Saturday morning was gorgeous (finally!), so being outside was where it was at. With the sun shining, it seemed like everybody was out enjoying the morning at the Madison Farmers’ Market like we were. It’s a beautiful market that wraps around the Capital Square. It was my first time there for the season and I was so excited to see all the fresh flowers and local produce…the colors of everything were so bright and vibrant. I loved it!
We even got a sweet taste of the Midwest! You know you’re in the Midwest when…you sample sweet corn gelato. :) It wasn’t bad, but definitely unique!
I didn’t pick up too much for this trip to the market, but I was excited to pick up some more herb plants for our container herb garden I have stationed in our kitchen windowsill. This time I picked up the essentials—cilantro and basil. I’m always buying these herbs at the grocery store, so I’m excited to (hopefully) not have to do that for the summer.
Two of Philip’s favorite flavors is lime and garlic, and it seems like cilantro is always making an appearance with those ingredients. However, sometimes I like to switch it up a bit and replace lime with different citrus fruits…like in my Orange Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Rice. Talk about yum!
This recipe was definitely a hit with Philip and me. The freshness of the orange paired well with the smoky heat of the adobo sauce and the cilantro brown rice brought everything together and brings down the heat. But don’t worry, this dish isn’t super spicy! I didn’t add any of the chipotle chiles from the adobo sauce into the dish, but if you’re wanting a little extra zing, by all means, add one in. Chipotle chiles are actually just dried, smoked jalapeño and the adobo sauce has a more tangy, slightly sweet flavor that makes the whole mix just work. Scraping the seeds out of the chiles will also help tame down the spice, since that’s where the heat is at. Because chipotle chiles come in a can and most recipes only call for a tablespoon or so, I just put the remaining chiles and sauce in zip-top bags to freeze until the next recipe I need them. I’ve seen others divide the chiles into ice cube trays to freeze before putting them in one freezer bag, too—either way works!
The best thing about this dish (Besides it being a nutritious meal you can feel good about serving. Oh, and that it’s super tasty)? It’s fast! Ready in under half an hour is my kind of meal during the week. For my own sanity and to reduce a tiny bit of stress from my life, I always plan out my meals for the week (more on that in the future); this helps me know if I need to prep some things in advance or how involved the meal can be for the night (or if it’s just a leftovers kind of night). Well, let’s just say, this meal involves no prep work the day before and is one of those I-got-home-late-from-work-and-I-can-still-make-this kind of meals. Plus, if you even have any left, it works great for those leftover kind of nights.
No sense in waiting to make Orange Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Rice, because you don’t have any excuses left—nutritious, fresh, tasty, fast, and easy! All my favorites in one meal…plus being able to pick fresh cilantro right from my kitchen windowsill makes it even better. :)
Orange Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Rice
Adapted from: Clean Eating
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb), rinsed and patted dry, pounded 1/2-inch thick
- Juice 1 medium navel orange (1/3 cup orange juice)
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp adobo sauce (add a chipotle chile for extra spice!)
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/4 packed cup chopped cilantro leaves
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, and salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet to medium-high. Tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly. Season both sides of chicken with chili-cumin mixture and cook for 3 minutes per side or until no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add orange juice and maple syrup to juice and bits left in skillet; cook for 1 minute to thicken slightly (until it measures 1/4 cup liquid), stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in adobo sauce and orange zest. Add chicken back to skillet, return to heat and cook for 1 minute on medium-high, turning constantly.
- In a medium bowl, combine rice and cilantro. Serve chicken over rice and spoon any excess glaze over top chicken pieces. Enjoy!