Thursday, January 12, 2012

Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken

For Christmas this year, I got several really great cookbooks. Among them was The Simple Art of Eating Well, a collection of healthy recipes from Eating Well magazine. I asked for it because it was a 2011 James Beard Foundation Award finalist in Healthy Focus, and we are trying to be even healthier in 2012! We try to have several healthy meals per menu (we plan menus for every 2 weeks), but sometimes it gets hard AND old, so I'm always on the lookout for new healthy recipes.

We tried the recipe below this week and it was SO GOOD. One of the things they say in the book is that we don't get enough fruits and veggies in our diet, so in their recipes, they try to pack in the fruits/veggies in creative ways. For instance, in this recipe, there are raspberries in the marinade and dipping sauce. Not that you're getting a lot of servings of fruits/veggies using this method, but every little bit helps!

The book also talks about meal ratios. Only 1/4 of your meal should be meat, followed by 1/4 starches (rice, potatoes, etc.), and the other half should be all veggies. As you can see in the picture below, we didn't follow that guideline here, but we're working towards it!!

As a side note, I wasn't sure if I liked Hoisin (an Asian dipping sauce-it kind of looks like BBQ sauce), but everything tasted great, and you couldn't make out a lot of individual flavors from the marinade in the meat.

Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken
Slightly adapted from original

• 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
• 3/4 cup hoisin sauce (you can find it in the international food section - mine was in a glass jar)
• 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or, as a substitute, you can use 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar)
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 strip (2 by 1/2") orange zest
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (I used the dried kind in the bottle, not fresh)
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• Pinch of crushed red pepper
• 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into kebab chunks (make chunks similar in size)
• 4 skewers

1. Combine raspberries, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, orange zest, ginger, pepper, and crushed red pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth (about 1 minute). Set aside 1/4 cup for dipping sauce.
2. Marinade the chicken in the raspberry marinade overnight.
3. Preheat grill to medium-high or broiler to high.
4. Remove chicken from marinade, scrape off excess (discard marinade), and thread onto 4 skewers, distributing equally.
5. Grill the chicken until browned & cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. If using broiler, place the chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray and broil 4 inches from the heat source until cooked, about 5 minutes per side.
6. Serve with dipping sauce. (We liked the chicken without the dipping sauce better, so taste the sauce before you pour it on!)

Slightly adapted from original

• 2 1/2 cups water
• 1 cup long- or medium-grain brown rice
• 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or, as a substitute, you can use 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar)

1. Combine water & rice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40-50 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until ready to serve.
4. Just before serving, sprinkle rice with rice vinegar and green onions. Fluff with a fork.

That's all for now! More recipes and updates soon.

Love from Houston,
L & J