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Recipe: Tarragon Chicken

September 22, 2009

In my life I have seen millions of recipes, and other than the photos nothing has ever compelled me to actually pick one up and make it.  I don’t know why.  The thing is, you will need to pick up some of these recipes and change how you eat at home.  If you eat at home more often and you eat proper healthy meals, you will get much fitter.  You need to print out recipes and make these meals.  You need to have at least 10 go to meals.  These are explained here.  You need to be able to fill up the weekly meal calendar (found here) so there are no gaps.  This is organization and it is a first step to make you a fit person (or at least more like a fit person).

Tarragon is one of those flavours that if you have ever had it in a dish, you will crave it over and over again.  It is a very distinctive flavour.  So this week, I am recommending a Tarragon chicken recipe that I found on About.com – albeit with several healthy adjustments.

Tarragon Chicken Dish:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ strips
  • 1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch (if necessary)
  • 10 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained, reserving 1/2 cup syrup
Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add chicken, tarragon, garlic, and onion and cook over medium high heat until vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

In small bowl, stir together orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, chicken broth, cornstarch, and reserved mandarin orange syrup. Stir into chicken mixture. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender and sauce has thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in oranges and serve with hot cooked rice. Serving size is 1/2 of full breast of chicken per person per meal.  Remember how many cut strips is in each portion.  If you go with the 4 breasts as shown above, then you should have 8 portions.

You will need to have at least 2 vegetables side dishes with this item.  I am recommending gingered carrots, because they taste awesome (they are also the only dish I can think of that I add sugar to) and oven roasted asparagus.

Ginger glazed roast carrots

  • 6 large carrots, cleaned and cut in large chunks
  • 10-12 shallots, outer skins removed and topped and tailed
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp sugar or brown sugar (I used what they call sucre roux, which is brown crystal sugar)
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Toss all the ingredients in a roasting pan and mix well. Place in a hot oven (200c/375f) for about an hour. Stir the ingredients every 15 minutes or so to make sure they are browning on more than one side.

Roast Asparagus:

  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Clean asparagus, and take each stalk in your hands. Bend the stalk, and the asparagus will naturally snap at the point where it becomes tough. Place the tips on a heavy baking pan and toss with the olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees F for 5-10 minutes, until asparagus is tender and begins to brown. It can also be roasted at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes, or 375 degrees F. for 12-16 minutes.  Note, that if you roast it at 375, you can roast it in the same oven as the glazed carrots.  Picking items that can be cooked together, either on a stove top or in an oven is always a good idea.

BTW, I loved the advice that Meg gives at the end of the recipe from Too Many Chefs:

The useful thing about roasting your vegetables is that they can remain in the hot oven almost indefinitely, while you wait for the rest of the dinner to finish or (more likely in this household) for your spouse to get home from work. They can also heat your chilly apartment and fill it with delectable sweet ginger scents!

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