For some very obvious reasons, this dish has become a new family favorite. I have a couple of picky eaters (everyone except myself), and the fact that I can get everyone to eat this dish makes me more inclined to making it more often! It is SO simple, it’s very healthy and best of all, it’s paleo! I don’t always use the paleo options, but I will put the info in the recipe in case you want to go that route.
You will need:
– 4 large chicken breasts. I always buy antibiotic free chicken–usually from Whole Foods or something like it.
– 1/4 cup chicken broth–I make my own by boiling an extra chicken breast and using that water. I normally then use the boiled chicken breast for chicken salad the next day.
– 1 Tbs. Coconut oil
– 3 Tbs REAL maple syrup
– 2 cloves garlic (minced)
– 1/3 cup orange juice (I juice my own but you can buy it if you don’t have a juicer)
– The zest from 1 orange (about 1 Tbs.)
– Frozen Vegetables: California Style Blend. I bough the Cascadia Farm brand (pictured below). The bag contains carrots, broccoli, cauliflower & zucchini. You can use fresh, but I’m a busy mom and just didn’t have time today!
– 3 Tbs soy sauce (Paleo option: 3 Tablespoons coconut aminos)
– 1/4 Tbs ground ginger (can be grated fresh)
– 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce (can be added later if you are also feeding children)
– 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
– 1-2 tsp. sesame seeds (just for garnish)
– 4 cups brown rice (non-paleo option)
First, you’ll get your pan and heat up your coconut oil (medium-high heat). You may also use olive oil but it does burn a little easier than coconut oil. Next, cut up your uncooked chicken, making them a little larger than bite-sized pieces (they’ll shrink a bit). You’ll have less chewy chicken if you keep the size of each piece about the same.
Once your chicken is cut up, and your coconut oil is heated, go ahead and add your chicken to the pan. It will sizzle a little at first. Keep temperature a medium-high and cook until chicken if fully cooked and browned. It took mine about 14 minutes but could take anywhere from 12-16 minuted depending on the size of your cubed chicken pieces.
This is how my chicken looked just before removing it from the heat. I checked a few pieces to make sure they weren’t pink in the middle. I have a phobia of undercooked chicken so I tend to overcook it, but I’ve really tried to get better at this! I check it more often because overcooked chicken is so chewy! Make sure you don’t overcook this or you’ll ruin your whole dish.
Remove chicken from the heat once cooked throughout, and transfer to a bowl, but don’t rinse the pan yet! Also, start a pot of boiling water for your vegetables. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DON’T OVERCOOK YOUR VEGGIES! YOU WANT THEM FIRM FOR THIS DISH. I cooked mine for about 6 minutes in boiling water. You could also steam them (which is what I normally do) or pop them in the microwave. Remember not to leave them cooking too long though.
This is also where you will need to start your brown rice (if you are doing boil in a bag…this Mama’s favorite!).
While the vegetables are boiling, you’ll start on your sauce.
Combine: chicken broth, maple syrup, garlic, orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), Sriracha (or just top the dish later once your kiddos have been served), ginger (ground or freshly grated) & red pepper flakes. Go ahead and use the same pan that you cooked the chicken in–it will add some good flavor! Turn your heat to medium for the reduction process.
This part can be a little time consuming…reducing your sauce so it thickens. It took mine about 12 minutes to get to the consistency shown below. You want it to thicken or it won’t stick to your chicken, boo. You can tell from the picture that the sauce is pretty thick, and it started sticking to my stirring spoon.
Once your sauce has reduced to the consistency you desire, take it off the heat. To prepare, get a large bowl. Place rice in the bottom (non-paleo option), then put your layer of chicken, followed by your layer of veggies. Then you will coat it all with the sauce–you can spoon it out over your dish. Garnish with sesame seeds.