- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This chicken dish has a vibrant Latin flair, a touch of Cuban style. Allow a little time for marinating the chicken in a typical mojo, the highly seasoned but low-fat citrus marinade. Then savor the resulting rich taste and aroma.

The recipe is among several developed by Steve Petusevsky for the April issue of Health magazine.

The chicken is accompanied, if you wish, by a coconut-rice side dish. The rice gets a golden glow from turmeric and a flavor twist from the coconut.

Suggested wine pairing: chardonnay.

Mojo chicken

The preparation time is 10 minutes, plus 1 to 3 hours for marinating. Cooking time is 45 minutes.

½ cup sour orange juice (see note)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

4 bone-in chicken-breast halves, skinned

Cooking spray

Combine juices, oil, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt and chili flakes in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place chicken in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake, covered, 20 minutes; uncover and bake 25 minutes or until chicken is done.

Makes 4 servings (each 1 chicken breast).

Note: Sour orange juice can be found in the ethnic section of most supermarkets, bottled by brands such as Goya. If you can’t find it, fresh regular orange juice works, but not as well.

Nutrition information per serving: 159 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 73 mg cholesterol, 27 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 112 mg sodium.

Coco rice with green onions

The preparation time is 15 minutes, and the cooking time is 25 minutes.

2 teaspoons canola or olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup basmati rice

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut (see note)

1½ cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

½ cup water

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender, stirring constantly.

Add rice and turmeric; saute until rice becomes yellow. Stir in unsweetened coconut.

Add broth and ½ cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until tender.

Turn off heat, uncover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in green onions and serve.

Makes 4 servings (serving size ½ cup).

Note: Dried, flaked unsweetened coconut is found in most Asian stores and natural-food markets.

Nutrition information per serving: 268 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g protein, 48 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 104 mg sodium.

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