A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Asian Grilled Chicken & Orange Sesame Brown Rice Salad

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Asian Grilled Chicken & Orange Sesame Brown Rice Salad

Menu planning really helps me stay organized and on budget when it comes to grocery shopping. The downside? Sometimes a dinner that I planned out on Saturday doesn't sound so appealing when I'm about to prepare it on Thursday. I hate when that happens.

That's what happened last week when I was planning to make a grilled chicken salad for dinner... it just sounded so blah. I had already thawed the chicken breasts so I knew I needed to use them. Then I rummaged through my fridge and pantry and got creative with what I found and it turned into a flavorful Asian-inspired summer rice salad. The marinade and the dressing combine the bold flavors of sesame oil and soy with the sweetness of orange juice and honey. The rice salad gets delicious crunch from fresh vegetables and peanuts. If you can, refrigerate the salad for several hours (stirring occasionally) to let the flavors deepen.

This is a flavorful and light dinner that's perfect for a hot summer evening. I'm still waiting for one of those hot summer evenings to actually arrive, but in the meantime we'll still enjoy this dinner!


For the chicken--
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • Juice of 1/2 navel orange
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
For the rice salad--
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sriracha
  • 1/2 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/4 large orange
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, diced
  • 1/3 cup matchstick carrots
  • 2 green onions (green and white parts), diced
  • 1/2 orange, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice *I used brown basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tbs. cilantro, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together canola oil and next 8 ingredients (through pepper). Place chicken breasts in a zip-locking plastic bag and pour marinade mixture over the top. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, if not overnight. When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grill 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through and the juices run clear.

In a medium bowl, whisk sesame oil and next 9 ingredients through salt and pepper until fully combined. Add peppers, carrots, green onion, orange, and cooled rice. Toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Once you are ready to serve, top rice salad with peanuts and cilantro.

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