Did you know it was sunny outside!? As Brits we have somewhat of a reputation for talking about the weather. And with the developments in social media, it seems that not only do we talk about the weather, but we also tweet about the weather, rant on facebook about the weather, instagram pictures of the sun/seaside/storm clouds, and just to make sure all bases are covered, take screen shots of the weather forecast on our phones, or photos of the temperature gauge on our dashboards to share with all our friends just in case they happened to have not opened their curtains and checked outside for themselves! I would confidently say that 50% of my timelines are filled with "it's too hot", "I'm stuck inside", "check out my sunburn" type complaints, and it is taking all of my will power not to go on an angry keyboard rampage across the web shouting down everyone that utters any of the above. If you like the heat, go outside and make the most of it, if you don't, stay inside with the curtains drawn and the fan on. Either way, it'll be over soon, so just, please, step away from the computer/smart phone/tablet and have some fun! Phew! Ok, that's that taken care of...
|Lemon and Maple Grilled Chicken, with Sunshine Rice|
I chose Maple Syrup as this month's Feel Good Food ingredient, and it's proved to be a lot more controversial than I expected. I wanted to develop a great recipe to showcase how versatile maple syrup can really be as a healthy alternative to sugar/honey/syrup and use to add a real depth of flavour. As Feel Good Food is all about finding healthier food that still tastes good, I really concentrated on that in this recipe, using whole grain rice, and chicken breasts with the skin off. There also isn't any fat or oil used in the cooking process for this recipe either!
For the Lemon and Maple Chicken;
4 chicken breasts
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
For the Sunshine Rice;
400 grams whole grain rice
400 gram tinned chopped tomatoes
300 ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 yellow pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Start by marinading the chicken. Mix the lemon juice, maple syrup and paprika together in a dish. Score the chicken all over and place into the marinade, coating both sides. Cover with clingfilm, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
For the sunshine rice, add all of the ingredients listed to a large pan, stir well, and place over a medium heat.
Remove the chicken from the fridge, and place the breasts on a baking tray. Place the chicken under a grill. Pour the leftover chicken and maple marinade into the rice, and stir through.
Grill the chicken for around 8 - 10 minutes on either side. Check that the chicken is cooked through and then set aside to rest. Check the rice, it will have had around 25-30 minutes cooking time now. Because it is cooking in the tomatoes rather then just water, it will take a little longer than the packet instructions, so just keep testing it until it is soft.
Once the rice is soft enough, serve alongside the grilled chicken.
This dish is light, and flavoursome, with the sweetness of the maple and the sharpness of the lemon flavouring the chicken well, and cutting through the fruity tomato flavour of the rice. Perfect for a summer's evening out on the patio, or for bringing the sun back on those less sunny days!