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Recipe of the Month:

CHICKEN SCALOPINI À L’ ORANGE WITH ACORN SQUASH AND PEPPERS

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When I was on vacation in England some time ago, I discovered that they offered duck parts at the supermarket. I rarely go to the trouble to cook an entire duck for just my husband and myself, so I was delighted I could purchase just the leg and thigh. Since we don’t have an elaborate kitchen in our small cottage, I decided to try making a mock orange sauce and to my delight it worked perfectly—a lot simpler, many fewer calories, and very tasty.

Needless to say, I can’t seem to find duck parts in this country, so I thought I would try it with something else. In order to keep the calorie count down, I thought chicken breast would work fine. I came up with two alternatives that are worth trying. I will explain as the recipe proceeds.

Ingredients:

Sauce:
½ cup or chicken broth—2.5 calories
1 tbls of orange marmalade (make sure the rinds are present)—50 calories
1 lemon wedge
1 tsp of cornstarch—10 calories
Salt and pepper
1 acorn squash—60 calories
1 ½ cups fresh baby spinach leaves—10 calories
¾ of a cup of frozen pepper stir-fry—18 calories
¼ of a chicken breast if you choose to coat with egg and flour and fry in oil—100 calories
in which case you will also need:  1 tbls of flour—40 calories
1 tbls of oil—66 calories (even though you will be using       
1 tbls there will be about 1/3 of that left in the pan.)
or
½ of a chicken breast if you chose only to sauté in a non-stick fry pan

First step is to put the acorn squash in the microwave. Before placing it there you will need to poke 6-8 holes in it with a sharp knife. That will avoid its explosion in the microwave. You will need to cook it for about 5-6 minutes for each pound, turning it over halfway through the cooking process. So if it weighs 1 and ½ pounds, it will probably need to cook for approximately eight minutes. So put it in for 4 and then turn it and cook it for another 4 minutes. When you are done you will be able to cut it in half and then clean it out and cut one of the halves into quarters. It will look something like the following:

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You can use the other half of acorn squash for a stuffed recipe—there are hundreds on the Web. I like to put creamed spinach in it, for me it makes a nice combination. It will be a nice side dish for another day.

While the acorn squash is cooking, take your non-stick fry pan and spray it with some Pam or olive oil and add to it the ¾ of a cup of peppers.

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After four or five minutes place them on a microwave save dish. Leave the frying pan on the stove, as you will be using it shortly to cook the chicken.

Next take a saucepan and bring to a boil one cup of water and place a chicken bouillon cube in it. Once the cube has dissolved pour off ½ cup. Add the tablespoon of marmalade, the juice from the lemon wedge and salt and pepper to taste. While this simmers put the tsp of cornstarch in a small cup and mix with 1 or 2 tsps of water, and mix into a paste. Take the saucepan off the stove for a minute or two, add the cornstarch, mix well and then return it to the stove. When you add the cornstarch it will look cloudy, but as it cooks some more the sauce will thicken and become clear. Put the sauce aside.

Next take the chicken breast and cut it in half. Remember, portion size is important to keep the calorie count down. An entire breast is much bigger and slightly thicker than the palm of your hand. I’m afraid the photograph for thickness is not too clear but I think you can see that it is thicker than the palm.

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So unlike last month when we made the salmon, which was about the same thickness or a little thinner, we need to use a piece of chicken that it slightly smaller than the entire palm.

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Next you want to butterfly it, by cutting it as shown below.

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If we were to make a stuffed chicken dish we would leave this in one piece, but since we are not, we should cut this piece of chicken in half again. Next we are going to pound the chicken into scalopini form as shown below. Use a piece of plastic wrap to make the job easier.

 

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Now if you wish to coat the chicken and make it a bit crispy, you will only use one of these pieces of chicken. If you would like to simply sauté it in the non-stick pan you can use both.
If your choice is the latter, dip the pounded chicken into a scrambled egg and then coat with flour.
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Put 1 tbls of oil into the frying pan you put aside earlier and make sure it is good and hot before placing the chicken in the pan. Fry for approximately 2-3 minutes or until it begins to brown and then turn over.

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While this is frying reheat the quarter of acorn squash and the peppers for 1 minute in the microwave and plate along with the fresh spinach.

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Put the sauce back on the stove to reheat. If it has gotten a little thick, just add a couple of tsps of water and stir. Plate your chicken and pour the orange sauce over everything.

 

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Total preparation and cooking time is about 25 minutes.  
If you are a novice at cooking, it may take a little longer.

Total calories 350.5 for the sautéed 2 pieces of chicken and 356.5 for the fried single piece.

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