Saucy, orange-poached chicken lies on a bed of arugula, finished with roasted red pepper strips and black olives. Eaten at room temperature, this delightful dish defies classification. It’s chicken-centric, but if pressed, I guess you could call it a substantial dinner salad. Serve Orange Chicken & Arugula with crusty bread. This recipe is an old favourite, its origins long forgotten.
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb/500 g)
Sea salt to taste
3/4 cup (175 mL) orange juice
1 large red bell pepper, roasted
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid honey
1/4 tsp (1 mL) chili flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch arugula, stemmed, torn
12 whole black olives
Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
Place chicken in 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish. Pour orange juice overtop. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover with foil. Poach in preheated oven 15 minutes. Uncover. Roast 15 minutes, or until juices run clear. Using tongs, transfer chicken to shallow bowl.
Make sauce: Scrape juices from baking dish into small pan. Cut roasted pepper into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) strips, reserving juices. Set strips aside. Add pepper juices to pan. Add garlic, honey and chili flakes. Boil on medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup (75 mL). Add salt and pepper.
Pour sauce over chicken. Cool to room temperature.
Line serving platter with arugula. Using tongs, transfer chicken to cutting board, then slice thinly. Arrange over arugula. Scrape sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange roasted pepper strips and olives around chicken. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Kitchen Secrets: Letting the chicken cool with the sauce makes the meat plump and moist.
Oh No: Serve this dish right after it’s assembled. Otherwise, the greens will get soggy. Avoid dental emergencies: Warn diners if the olives are not pitted. Or if you prefer, pit the olives.
CREDIT: SUSAN SAMPSON
TESTED IN IMPERIAL