Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quinoa Pilaf and Spicy Citrus Chicken

Quinoa Pilaf with Spicy Citrus Chicken and Oven Roasted Broccoli

I stand in the kitchen each night cooking dinner and I invariably have a few cupboard wide open. It's amazing I don't wind up with a black eye from walking into the edge of a cabinet!   While I am standing in the kitchen waiting for something to cook, I can't help but notice the recipes on the various bags, boxes, and cans in my kitchen cupboards.

This week, I noticed the two recipes on my quinoa; they both looked great.  I am now finding organic quinoa at Sam's Club. Yay, it's way less than expensive than my local health food store. 

I tried this Quinoa Pilaf recipe today and really like it.  I substituted shallots for the onion and I used chicken broth for the vegetable broth.  I added a step and toasted the walnuts before chopping and adding them to the dish.  Next time, I think I will use a different nut.  I felt the walnuts got a little lost in the dish; I might try pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, or almonds next time around.

I decided to make this quinoa to go with chicken.  I am cooking ahead for the week for me.  I also made oven roasted broccoli.  Here's the chicken recipe I tried.

Spiced Citrus Chicken
(Recipe source can be found HERE)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
juice of 1 fresh lime
juice of 1 fresh orange
juice of 1 fresh lime
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons Paprika
1 Teaspoon Cayenne (red pepper)
½ Teaspoon Pepper
½ Teaspoon Salt

Combine olive oil, juices, and remaining ingredients in a gallon-sized reclosable freezer bag. Add 4-8 pieces of chicken - any pieces will do... breasts, wings, thighs, drumsticks, bone-in, skin-on, boneless, skinless, etc. I used 8 rather small boneless, skinless chicken thighs; I trimmed the fat off as best as I could. (The original recipe indicates you can freeze the chicken at this point for use later in the week).  I just allowed the chicken to marinate for about 30 minutes.

If you freeze the chicken with the marinade, thaw overnight in refrigerator. Then you can either a) cook it in the crockpot on LOW for 6-8 hours, b) cook it in an uncovered pan in the oven at 350˚ (boneless - 30 minutes; bone-in up to an hour), or c) grill.  I lined a sheet pan (with a rim) with aluminum foil and sprayed it with no-stick cooking spray and cooked the chicken for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  I love how moist and tender the chicken thighs turned out. 

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