My friend Scott told me he wanted to cook something healthy on Sunday. As someone who wants to cook something healthy Mondays-Saturday, but rarely finds the time and energy to do so, I welcomed the challenge if it meant I had a teammate. So we assigned roles: mine was to pick out the recipe and his was to get the ingredients.
You may have thought I used the word “challenge” a little too loosely. I mean, that amount of ingredients could get us through the express check-out lane at the store. Combine that with the fact that we got the recipe from Cooking Light and you would think the meal could be made with one hand tied behind your back. You would think…
It started off well enough. Scott thoroughly enjoyed taking control of the skillet and the meat.
Meanwhile, I was reaffirming all previous fears I had about cooking rice. I was getting through it until I was rudely interrupted by the smoke detector in our living room. Oops. And then, in a drive-you-crazy chain effect, the smoke detector in each and every one of our bedroom’s started going off. Cooking momentarily halted to try to make the bleeping bleeps stop.
The Aftermath, a photograph.
Eventually, dinner was served. Forty minutes later than predicted. No worries, it was still hot.
Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice
- 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
1. Cook rice according to package directions in a small saucepan, 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.
We may have lost the battle with the smoke detectors, but we won the healthy cooking challenge.
Mmm. Victory dinner.