Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and Asparagus

Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and AsparagusAbout 70 years ago, way before fast food restaurants opened up, one pot meals were popular. The reason being that the women worked long hours in the fields or in factory jobs, and were often too tired to make a complete meal for their family. So instead they made meals that were quick and easy to put together.

One pot meals are quick and easy to prepare and do not not require a lot of time in the kitchen. On many occasions these meals are enjoyed by family and friends, and always include foods that go well together, like pinto beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti and ground pork.

A true one pot dish is literally using one pot to cook all the ingredients at the same time. The one pot meal can also include using one pot to cook the ingredients separately, and then combining them together at the end of the preparation and cooking time. These type of one pot meals are also not time consuming.

Our featured dish: Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and Asparagus is the later description of the one pot meal. Here is what you will need.

produce ingredients for Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and Asparagus

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Italian dressing, your favorite, store bought or homemade

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/4 lbs chicken, sliced horizontally, and cut into 2 x 4 inch pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper for seasoning

1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed of tough ends, cut to 2-inch pieces (thinner stalks are the best to use, if you can find them)

1 1/2 cups rainbow matchstick carrots

1 cup grape tomatoes, mixed colors, halved

If you can not find rainbow matchstick carrots, then the orange ones are fine. We did take the time to make our own matchsticks using a red and yellow carrot with a julienne peeler.

In a large measuring cup, mix together dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes, and set aside.

cooking chicken in a large skilletIn a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper, then place chicken evenly in skillet. Cook about 8 minutes, turning chicken pieces once halfway through cooking, until it has cooked through.

Add half the dressing mixture to skillet and rotate chicken to evenly coat. Transfer chicken to a large serving platter, and leave sauce in the skillet (if there is any).

cooking asparagus and carrots in a large skilletNext add the prepared asparagus and carrots to skillet, season with a little salt and pepper (optional), and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer veggies to a serving platter with chicken.

Add remaining dressing mixture to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute.

Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and Asparagus - closer viewAdd tomatoes to vegetables and mix in. Drizzle dressing mixture in pan over top of chicken and vegetables or return chicken and vegetables to pan and toss to coat. Plate and serve.

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Orange Mandarin Chicken

Orange Mandarin Chicken

An Asian dish called Orange Chicken is actually an American Chinese dish of Hunan origin. The Orange Chicken that is served at North American fast food restaurants consists of chopped, battered, and fried chicken pieces mixed in a sweet orange-flavored chili sauce, which thickens or caramelizes to a glaze.

Restaurants throughout the western hemisphere, can also refer to the dish as,  “orange peel chicken”, “orange flavor chicken“, and “tangerine chicken”. In China, however, the dish is always known as “old peel chicken”, referring to dried orange or tangerine peels, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as cooking. For restaurants outside of Asia, fresh orange peel is often used or no peel at all.

We have referred to our version as a Orange Mandarin Chicken, because we add mandarin oranges to the recipe. Here is what you will need.

ORANGE SAUCE

½ cup fresh orange juice

½ cup orange marmalade

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 teaspoons arrowroot starch

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

To make the orange sauce, combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl.  Place a medium sauce pot over medium heat and add sauce.

Bring to a medium boil and add arrowroot starch and mix in, stir until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat, and set side.


Prepare Chicken and Vegetables

mixing in onion and red bell pepper - Orange Mandarin Chicken1 pound chicken tenders, cut each strip into ¼ to ½ inch chunks

1/8 cup arrowroot starch

3 tablespoons avocado oil

2 medium red bell peppers, diced ¼ to ½ inch

½ yellow onion, diced ½ inch

1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained, cut each segment in half

1 pound rice noodles, cook according to package instructions

In a large bowl, coat arrowroot starch with chicken chunks. Heat oil in a large frying pan, and add chicken and fry for about 4 minutes or until chicken is oblique.

Add red pepper and onion, cut another 3 minutes, stirring continually.

mixing in orange suace - Orange Mandarin ChickenAdd orange sauce, and stir in till will combined.

mixing in mandarin oranges - Orange Mandarin ChickenNext add mandarin oranges, and stir in. Let simmer on low, about 3 minutes.

Orange Mandarin Chicken -close upAdd 1 cup cooked rice noodles to a plate, spoon on some Orange Mandarin Chicken, top with cilantro, and serve.

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