Pan-Seared Chicken with Wild Rice and OJ-Poached Root Veggies

by Rebekahcooked up on August 3, 2012

Sorry for the long title. But this is what I cooked up for us for dinner Wednesday night, and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

It’s not every weeknight that we cook up a three-piece meal like this. Usually we will have a burrito of some sort at least one night a week, maybe a pasta dish of some kind, maybe a panini or melt one-pot or one-element meals, mostly. And while I do love those, and also love the convenience of not doing anything too crazy on a weeknight, sometimes it’s nice to do something a little more.

This chicken turned out amazingly, and I’m really proud of the veggies, too – especially because the carrots AND the beets are straight from our backyard!

This meal takes 30-40 minutes to prep, because of the rice. Here’s what you need to recreate this meal for two:

– 1.5 cups wild rice
– 2 cups water
– 2 cups chicken stock
– 2-4 good-sized beets
– 2 good-sized carrots
– 2 cups orange juice
– 1 large chicken breast (NOTE: the chicken breast in the picture weighs almost 8 oz. We cut it into medallions and split it after I took the photo – that piece of chicken is two servings but was prettier in the photo whole!)
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper

Start the rice first – boil the water, chicken stock and rice in a lidded saucepan. Bring up to a boil on high, then turn down to medium or medium-high (enough to keep it at a lively simmer) and keep the lid on. This will probably take 30 minutes to cook.

About halfway through the rice’s cook time, start the orange juice to boil on medium-high in another saucepan. Peel and slice up the beets and carrots into rounds and add them to the pan. Poach for about ten minutes.

And lastly, while the rice and veggies are going, heat enough olive oil on medium-high to coat the bottom of a small skillet. Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken breast liberally. Cook the chicken about 6 minutes on each side (try not to move them to establish a yummy, crispy skin), until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit. You will probably want to use a lid on the saucepan, because there will be some splattering.

The veggies and rice will probably finish around a similar time. Keep the rice in the pan while everything else finishes, but remove the veggies to the plates and keep the orange juice on a medium-high heat, reducing into a sauce while everything else finishes. Plate about a cup of rice, 4 oz. of chicken and as many veggies as you want per person, and pour a tablespoon or seven of the orange juice reduction over the whole thing before you serve. Seriously, that reduced orange juice is amazing. Shake a little freshly cracked pepper and some salt over the veggies, too.

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