Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Honey Cilantro Lime Chicken

...with garlic crusted zucchini and tomato rice!  OMG, so much flavor.  The best way to describe the mixture of all these flavors is to say that it is like a "big ol' honky tonk in your mouth."  Festive, mingling, happy food that dances on your tongue.  SERIOUSLY.  No spice in it, so it is perfect for the entire family.  I serve it with a little homemade pico de gallo (spicy) on the side for my husband, and fresh chopped cilantro and jalapenos for me. 

For the "Mexinese" Chicken (Mexican and Chinese influence):
1/2 cup of honey
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
4 chicken breasts (or whole breast bone w/ meat)

For garlic crusted zucchini:
3 to 4 zucchinis
4 TBS flour
1 TBS garlic powder
2 tsp salt (I use low sodium)

For tomato rice:
1 cup uncooked rice (white or whole wheat)
2 TBS chopped onion
1 tomato
2 TBS oil (I use soy oil)
8 oz tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste

First thing you need to do is prepare the chicken.  If using just the breasts, make sure to take off any skin and/or fat.  If using the whole breast bone with meat, it is necessary to cut the breasts off and also cut out the tenders.  I use gloves when handling meat because I really don't like the feeling of the meat itself.

When the meat is all cleaned or cut off the bone, you need to mix the marinade.  Chop the fresh cilantro and mix it in a shallow bowl with the lime juice, honey, and low sodium soy sauce.  Stir very well, then add the chicken and make sure that it is completely covered.  Place in the refrigerator for one hour to marinate.

Now, depending on the type of rice you are using will depend on the time it needs to cook.  I use whole wheat rice which takes about an hour to cook instead of the 15 minutes like white rice.  If you use white rice, start it after you start the chicken.  If you use the whole wheat rice, start it about 30 minutes before you start your chicken.  Dice the tomato, but only the outer part of the tomato, not the inner liquid seed part.  Mix the tomato and onion with the cup of rice and add the oil and however much water is called for on the packaging.  Add about 1/3 cup more water than called for since you added some veggies, and this rice is better when it is a little liquidy.  Cook.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
When the chicken is finished marinating, remove from the refrigerator and place on foil in a baking pan.  Then cover with foil to keep the chicken moist.  It is not necessary to put any of the marinade in with the chicken, but I always put a little so that I can pour some over the chicken after I put it on the plate for serving.  Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes...until the chicken reaches 155 degrees at the thickest part.  The chicken will continue to cook for a few minutes after it is taken out of the oven, so be sure not to over cook it.

Now for the zucchini.  About 20 minutes before the chicken is ready, take a large resealable bag (like a Ziplock) and put in the flour, garlic powder, and salt.  Slice the zucchini into bite sized circles and put in the large bag with the flour mix.  SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE the bag to coat the zucchini.  Place butter in a large bowl or sautee pan and allow it to melt over medium low heat.  Once the butter has melted, put the zucchini in the butter in a single layer and allow it to cook until browned, then flip and cook on the other side...about 3 ot 4 minutes per side.  Set on a paper towel to soak up excess butter before serving.

Once the veggies are soaking on the paper towel and the chicken has just been removed from the oven, go back to the rice.  The rice should be ready...but now you add the 8oz of tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well and serve!   *my husband's plate, served with homemade spicy pico de gallo*

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