Friday, September 08, 2006

Pilaf and Orange Chicken...

For tonight's dinner, I started off by making a Multigrain Pilaf with Sunflower Seeds. This recipe uses pearl barley again for a second time this week! Sunflower seeds are first pan-toasted with canola oil and salt until they turn golden. After removing the seeds, butter and oil warm up together to cook thinly sliced leeks until tender. Water, broth, pearl barley (I rinsed and toasted the barley just as we did the first time) and a brown/wild rice blend are stirred in and allowed to simmer. After 35 minutes of the mixture slowly bubbling, juicy golden raisins and bulgur are gently stirred in and left to cook another 10 minutes. The original recipe calls for dried currants, but I had to substitute with golden raisins as I didn't get a chance to pick any up this week. I'm not sure if the ratio was off or something, but I still had quite a bit of liquid left over that I ended up draining off. The toasted seeds and some chopped fresh italian parsley are stirred in and it's ready to go. Textures from the crunchy seeds, chewy grains and soft raisins paired with the mild onion flavor in the leeks was a pleasure to eat.

I wanted a light protein dish that I could quickly prepare as the pilaf was going to take awhile between the prep and long cooking time. I decided on the recipe, Orange Chicken, as I love sweet sauces with chicken. To hasten the cook time, chicken breasts are first pounded thin before being seasoned and dredged in flour. A bit of butter and oil are melted together again, but this time we heated them until the butter turned golden and a nutty aroma emerged. The chicken is added and cooked until a rich brown crust on each side appears. The chicken is removed and kept warm while white wine and orange juice are poured in to loosen up the tasty bits left behind. The tender chicken pieces are thinly sliced while the sauce quickly reduces to half the amount originally added in. With the tangy sauce being drizzled over the warm slices, I could see serving this over a salad, but paired with the pilaf, it was a very filling combination.


  1. Another recipe I want to try, your Orange Chicken looks delicious!

  2. Oh, that pilaf looks delicious.

  3. About how much extra liquid did you pour off? I want to difference the extra amount from the recipe when I try this. Other reviews from CL website had the same problem.

  4. Anon - good question! It has been quite some time since we made the recipe. I believe it was some where between 1/4 to 1/3 cup.