October 1, 2010

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned-Butter Pecan Rice

This is another fantastic recipe from this months Cooking Light magazine. It sounds really fancy, but it fact, it was pretty simple to put together with minimal ingredients. The whole thing took about 20 minutes from start to finish! The chicken and sauce were really flavorful and the rice was awesome. Although, how could the rice be bad when it was mixed with browned butter???? I kept sneaking tastes of the cider pan sauce by dipping my finger in it, practically every time I walked by the stove. The cider glaze was such a great way to take ho-hum chicken breasts to a whole new level. We all loved this recipe!!!

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned-Butter Pecan Rice
From: Cooking Light magazine, October 2010 issue

1 (3.5-ounce) bag boil-in-bag brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound chicken breast cutlets (about 4 cutlets)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup refrigerated apple cider
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook rice according to package directions in a small saucepan, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. While rice cooks, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Add cider and mustard to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until syrupy. Add chicken to pan, turning to coat. Remove from heat; set aside.

3. Melt remaining 5 teaspoons butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for 2 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Lower heat to medium; add pecans, and cook for 1 minute or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add rice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss well to coat. Serve rice with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information:
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet and about 1/2 cup rice)
Fat:13g (sat 4.4g,mono 4.9g,poly 2.2g)

Jen's Notes:
I didn't have chicken cutlets on hand, so I improvised my own. I cut 2 chicken breasts in half (horizontally) and then pounded each piece to about 1/2 inch thick, so they would all cook evenly. It worked out perfectly!

Also, I did not use boil in bag brown rice. Instead, I used microwaveable par-cooked brown rice (they come in a pouch and you just tear a vent in the package and zap for 90 seconds...so easy). Then, I just proceeded with the recipe and mixed my cooked rice with the browned butter, pecans, and parsley. It took way less time to make the rice than indicated, since I didn't have to mess with boiling water; and it was still delicious!

The Result:
This may be my new favorite thing to do to chicken! Cooking Light delivered another truly great recipe.

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