Tuesday, March 04, 2008

fruit for dinner

I found another recipe with which to experiment, and it came out pretty well. I'm being modest: Ted told me approximately seven times in the last 24 hours how much he liked it. ::glowing with pride:: Hence, the newest installment in my series of recipes. OK, so I've only had one so far, but every series must start with a first installment!

This was the first time I tried this particular dish. I had to make a couple of ingredient substitutions, so I am providing this as an interim recommendation on the basis that the next attempt will be different (i.e. I will follow the recipe to the letter). A follow-up note will be included at that time.

Inspiration for this dinner was a bit unusual. During a trip to Yummies, I discovered dried mangoes and thought I'd give them a try. I gained tremendous appreciation for the ambrosia that is a mango during my trip to Australia, where it was not only readily available as fruit and fruit juice (both incredibly delicious), but was also incorporated into many cooked dishes. So, although the recent purchase of dried mangoes was originally for the purpose of snacking, I decided to try it out in a meal.

I'd thawed some meat and had a hankering to use my lovely powdered ginger root, and so I searched All Recipes for "chicken mango ginger." Voila!

Orange Mango Chicken
(makes two servings)

o 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
o 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
o 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
o Freshly ground sea salt to taste
o Freshly ground black pepper to taste
o ½ cup lemon juice
o ½ cup orange juice
o ½ cup dried mango slices
o 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
o 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Place chicken breast halves in the skillet, and cook 8-10 minutes on each side, until no longer pink in center and juices run clear.

Step 2: Season both sides with oregano, salt, and pepper. Remove from skillet, and set aside in warm oven.

Step 3: Heat lemon juice in the skillet over medium heat, and scrape up browned bits. Mix in orange juice, mango slices, ginger, and cinnamon.

Step 4: Over high heat, cook and continuously stir 4-5 minutes, until thickened.

Step 5: Spoon over the cooked chicken breast halves to serve.

Note 1: The original recipe calls for fresh mango. Although the dried mango tasted quite lovely, I feel certain that the fresh mango will make this dish even better. The original also called for Thyme, which has mysteriously disappeared from my spice rack. Yahoo! Answers suggested the Oregano substitution. I use oregano a lot when I cook because I love the flavor and aroma. It was equally pleasing in this dish, though I am certain that's partly due to my familiarity with (and usual enjoyment of) it. I'm eager to try this dish with the thyme next go 'round. And lastly, the original called for the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. I used packaged lemon juice instead.

Note 2: The original recipe yields four servings. I halved it so there would only be two. I also had my way with it after that calculation (like using 2/3 of the olive oil instead of half, and doubling the oregano and ginger).

Note 3: The original recipe calls simply for "olive oil." I used EVOO because it is the only kind I have on hand. I understand that there is a difference in olive oils (flavor, smoke point, etc.), but I find EVOO to be quite suitable for my plebeian palate.

Note 4: I served this with fresh steamed whole baby spinach and mashed potatoes made with sodium-free chicken broth, dried oregano, and freshly ground black pepper. We had blueberries for dessert, though Ted ate most of them because they were far too tart for my liking (I can't wait for Spring).

Note 5:
This dish is remarkably low-sodium, though that's not surprising when you look at the ingredients. Another sodium guideline suggests dinner should contain approximately 800 milligrams of sodium (as part of a meal plan that totals no more than 2400 mg. per day). This meal came way under that standard. By my extremely non-exact estimate, I figure the whole meal to be less than 300 mg. of sodium. And taste was not sacrificed in the least!

Another successful meal. Tonight was cook's night off, so we went to Ruby Tuesday for their great "garden bar." My salad consisted of five types of leafy greens (love that!) plus some red cabbage, red and green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrot shreds, cucumber slices, peas, craisins, and bleu cheese crumbles. Yum. Tomorrow, I'm back on duty and eyeing a new take on tiliapia.

Post Script: The picture above is not what my version of this dish looked like at all (although it is "mango chicken"). It is a random photo I found on the Internet. Maybe someday I'll be so motivated as to photograph my own cooking. Don't count on it anytime soon.

No comments: