When I was a kid, we had a drawer full of knives in the kitchen. Yes, you read that right. A drawer. full. of. knives.
We knew it was off limits, but just like the “two cookie rule”, this was a mandate that was not followed. My brother and I often dug around the drawer when no one was looking, praying Mama Bear didn’t bust us. Why butter your toast with a wimpy butter knife when a shiny chef knife could be utilized? Truth be told the butter knives were probably sharper than those that resided in the drawer (clanking around, uncovered, is not how a knife should be cared for), but the bigger knives were forbidden, so of course we wanted to touch them.
I was particularly partial to a set of paring knives, their handles colored like hard candy and their blades flimsy. I had been caught pulling them out of the drawer more than once, but I could not be stopped. One morning as my parent’s slept, I pulled out one of the knives and proceeded to use it to cut an orange, peel still intact. The dexterity of a 9 year old, combined with non existent knife skills and a weak blade? I am sure you can see where this is going.
The blood poured everywhere and I began to panic. The citrus juice stung as it sunk in to the wound. I began contemplating the way in which my mother would kil mel when she discovered what I had done. My brother stood by, laughing, taking glee in my misfortune. He was always the one getting caught, while I flew under the radar, so he could not help but relish my carelessness. I somehow managed to silence my brother, run my finger under cold water to stop the bleeding, and put super glue on it to close the wound. I’d seen my father do it and I was that hardcore, yo. Mom never knew…
I couldn’t help but reminded of this near disaster while slicing oranges for this zesty citrus chicken. Cutting through an orange is some dangerous work–it is a bit unstable and I never seem able to get a straight cut–but the risk was certainly worth it. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. The chicken breasts could surely marinate over night. Conversely, if in a rush, marinating the chicken for half an hour is sufficient enough time to get some tangy citrus flavor. The brown sugar/lime sprinkling atop the the breasts add a nice contrast to the slightly acidic chicken. This is simple, fresh and light. The photos don’t really do it justice, but baked chicken breasts aren’t really the prettiest things.
Enjoy…just watch those fingers while prepping.
Zesty Citrus Chicken
from Cooking Light
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1/4 cup coconut flour or all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
12 thin orange slices
Grate rind from limes, reserving 2 tablespoons rind; set aside. Squeeze juice from limes to equal 3/4 cup.
Combine lime juice, lemon juice, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove chicken from bag, reserving 2 tablespoons marinade. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 3 chicken breast halves; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place chicken in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and chicken.
Combine lime rind and brown sugar; sprinkle over chicken. Combine reserved marinade and broth; drizzle around chicken. Top each chicken breast half with 2 orange slices. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Place chicken on a serving platter. Strain any remaining liquid in dish through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard solids. Spoon sauce over chicken.