Boneless chicken breasts are a popular dinner delicacy these days because they cook so quickly, in less than 10 minutes. But a steady diet of such choice material takes a toll on the food budget, unless you're performing the deboning task yourself.
Because many cooks think that job is too slippery, here's a basic chicken recipe that requires less handling. Just buy chicken quarters or whole leg pieces (thigh attached to drumstick). If you find a bargain on whole broiler-fryers, use a cleaver to quickly divide the poultry into quarters.If you think of it in the morning, stir up the simple lime-honey marinade and pour it over the chicken parts in a glass dish. Cover and refrigerate until you're home for the day and ready to cook dinner.
Have the broiler preheating while you set the table and assemble other menu accompaniments, then arrange the chicken in a foil-lined baking pan. In 30 minutes, with one turning, you'll be serving a wonderful chicken dinner. This recipe is geared for two, but you could broil enough chicken to refrigerate for the next day's lunch.
To make this chicken dinner a distinct departure from the norm, accompany the bird with a homemade carrot-cashew soup and moist, round slices of graham brown bread (canned); have fresh pineapple for dessert.
Lime-Honey Broiled Chicken
2 broiler-fryer chicken quarters (or whole legs)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon honey
1 small garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white wine (or water)
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper Yield: 2 servings
Prep time: 40 minutes
In small saucepan, place lime juice, butter and honey. Heat over medium temperature. Meanwhile, on a small cutting board, mash garlic clove with flat blade of a knife. Remove papery peel and then mince and mash garlic with the grains of salt. Use tip of knife and completely combine the garlic and salt to make a fresh form of "garlic salt." Add to saucepan, along with white wine. Stir well.
Line a small baking pan (just large enough to hold chicken pieces in a single layer) with foil. Arrange chicken in pan, skin side up. Pour lime juice mixture over chicken and let stand 5 minutes. (If desired, chicken can be refrigerated overnight at this point; cover tightly.)
When ready to cook, sprinkle chicken parts with pepper. Set oven at broil (at least 450 degrees) and arrange rack so chicken is 5 inches from heat. Broil 15 minutes; turn chicken and spoon sauce from pan over chicken. Broil about 15 more minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease.
Remove from oven; spoon sauce from pan over chicken once more and let stand 3 minutes.
NOTE: If you do not want to eat the chicken skin, loosen it so lime marinade can reach the flesh underneath. Broil chicken with skin intact to keep meat from drying. Then remove skin before serving, sprinkling on the pepper after skin is discarded.- Recipe adapted from the National Broiler Council.
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 pound carrots, scraped, sliced
4 1/2 cups water or light chicken stock, divided use
3/4 cup dry-roasted, unsalted cashews
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon "lite" soy sauce Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 1 hour
Heat the peanut oil in a large, heavy pot and saute the onion until tender. Stir in the garlic, ginger and sliced carrots. Continue to cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water or stock; bring to a boil, reduce heat to a lively simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are very tender.
Meanwhile, combine the cashews and about 2 tablespoons of remaining water or stock in a blender or food processor. Cover and whirl to make a smooth cashew butter. Continue to blend, gradually adding remaining stock or water. Transfer to another container.
Process or blend the carrot mixture, in more than one batch as necessary. Return to pot and stir in the cashew liquid. While heating to serving temperature, stir in lemon juice and soy sauce. Do not allow soup to boil. Taste for salt, or add more soy sauce.