Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Chicken And Italian Squash


I have come across many recipes on bacon wrapped something, and most of them are either with asparagus or chicken. I wanted to marry the two, so I thought about bacon wrapped chicken and asparagus. Since I didn't have any asparagus in the fridge, I decided to substitute it with Italian squash. The squash worked out surprisingly well since it balances the dryness of the meats. 

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Italian Squash

Main ingredients at a glance: bacon strips, maple syrup, dijon mustard, chicken breast, lemon (for fresh lemon juice), and Italian squashes.


Cut the chicken breast into 1 inch long strips. Season the chicken strips with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. 


Cut Italian squashes into strips with similar length to chicken breast strips. 


Place a strip of chicken breast and 3 strips of Italian squash on one end of a bacon strip. Gently roll the bacon wrapping around the chicken and squash bundle. Repeat and wrap the rest of the chicken and squash.




In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, maple syrup and dijon mustard. Brush a generous amount of sauce on the bacon wraps. 


Place the bacon wraps in a 425F preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the bacon wraps from the oven and discard the excessive oil in the tray. Turn the bacon wraps over and apply more sauce. Put them back in the oven and bake for another 12 minutes. 


The bacon wrapped chicken and Italian squash appetizers are finished! It's a great finger food and everyone is going to enjoy it.




Ingredients:

10 strips of bacon
1 chicken breast
2 Italian squashes 
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs dijon mustard
Lemon juice (about half of a lemon)
A pinch of cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper for seasoning

Directions:

1. Cut the chicken breast into 1 inch long strips. Season the chicken strips with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. 

2. Cut Italian squashes into strips with similar length to chicken breast strips. 

3. Place a strip of chicken breast and 3 strips of Italian squash on one end of a bacon strip. Gently roll the bacon wrapping around the chicken and squash bundle. Repeat and wrap the rest of the chicken and squash.

4. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, maple syrup and dijon mustard. Brush a generous amount of sauce on the bacon wraps. 

5. Place the bacon wraps in a 425F preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the bacon wraps from the oven and discard the excessive oil in the tray. Turn the bacon wraps over and apply more sauce. Put them back in the oven and bake for another 12 minutes. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Healthy Orange Chicken


Everyone knows about the orange chicken from Panda Express, but perhaps not everyone knows that it contains no real orange. The dish is rather unhealthy with deep fried heavy batter and lots of food coloring. However, it is something I crave once in a while when I am at the mall looking for food. To satisfy my craving for orange chicken and not feel overly guilty, I created a low fat version with real orange in the ingredients. I substituted chicken thigh with breast meat for a lower calorie dish.

How to Make Orange Chicken

Main ingredients at a glance: chicken breast, orange, onion, green onion, soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, orange juice, and hot chili sauce. 


Cut the chicken breast into cubes. In a mixing bowl, marinate the chicken with orange juice, rice vinegar, rice wine, hot chili sauce, brown sugar, and minced garlic. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and press down so the marinade will soak the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 



While waiting for the chicken to marinate, prepare the vegetables. Chop the onion into square pieces. Chop green onions and separate the white and green parts. Zest the orange. 


In an hour, remove the chicken from the marinade with a strainer and reserve the liquid. Add water and corn starch to the liquid, and stir well. This will be the sauce for the orange chicken. 


In a sauté pan, add vegetable oil and turn to high heat. Add in the chicken and sauté for 1 minute. Toss the chicken and sauté for another minute or until caramelized. Transfer the chicken to a dish. 


Continue to use high heat. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until soft. Add the chicken back to the pan, with the white parts of the green onion and orange zest. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the liquid to the pan and let it simmer to 30 seconds. Add the remaining green onion to the pan and let the sauce continue to reduce and thicken. 



When the sauce is reduced to desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste. The orange chicken is done. Serve over white rice. 





Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breast
1 tsp vegetable oil 
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp rice wine
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs hot chili sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs orange zest
1 stalk green onions
1/4 cup water
1 tsp corn starch
salt and pepper to taste
white rice 

Directions:

1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes. In a mixing bowl, marinate the chicken with orange juice, rice vinegar, rice wine, hot chili sauce, brown sugar, and minced garlic. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and press down so the marinade will soak the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 

2. While waiting for the chicken to marinate, prepare the vegetables. Chop the onion into square pieces. Chop green onions and separate the white and green parts. Zest the orange.  

3. In a sauté pan, add vegetable oil and turn to high heat. Add in the chicken and sauté for 1 minute. Toss the chicken and sauté for another minute or until caramelized. Transfer the chicken to a dish. 

4. Continue to use high heat. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until soft. Add the chicken back to the pan, with the white parts of the green onion and orange zest. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the liquid to the pan and let it simmer to 30 seconds. Add the remaining green onion to the pan and let the sauce continue to reduce and thicken. 

5. When the sauce is reduced to desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste. The orange chicken is done. Serve over white rice.