Let’s just take a second to remember this meal.
Remember its colors, its flavors and its general health appeal.
Because the boys have somehow taken over the kitchen and my mind. Oh man, it is bad. They have my brain thinking guy food. Over the top, amazing guy food that pretty much everyone wants, but only guys can get away with eating 24/7.
It’s bad, but it is so good.
Sometimes I can get so caught up in pleasing people and making the foods they love that I make only what they want and lose a little of my creativity in the process.
I am a people pleaser one hundred percent. Sometimes it is a great trait, but other times it is totally annoying. Like right now.
The boys are tired of my cooking.
I have been fighting their requests so hard, but since the younger brothers got back from Europe yesterday I am feeling the urge to give in. The salads will not fly with them and their begging for “good food” is wearing on me.
No, it is kind of killing me. I feel so bad. I mean Creighton (my oldest brother) is only here till Friday and I have given him only a handful of meals that he has really loved. These tacos are his all time favorite, but I am hoping to crank out at least one more favorite before he leaves.
I have to say though, the boys totally missed out on this meal.
I mean, they let the black rice (so good) and the greens freak them out. Instead they ate chicken noodle casserole. A family recipe that people have been begging for me to share, but it pretty much goes against everything I preach. Then again, I also make it like every other week.
Like I said, it is a family favorite. People go nuts for it.
But this meal. It is just so flavorful.
And colorful. I love the colors (<–color freak!).
First of all, the chicken, it is a chipotle, cara cara orange and balsamic glaze that is lick the spoon good. It is kind of like a winter BBQ sauce that just knocked my socks off. The flavor is insane. I blame it all on the very simple ingredients that allow the orange, chipotle and balsamic to really stand out. The recipe makes a little more sauce than you will probably need, but I loved drizzling it over a lunch salad the next day.
The black rice, or forbidden rice as it is also called, adds the heft. It gives the salad its heartiness and chew. Trust me, I was a little weary of straying from my beloved basmati rice, but it was a nice change up and the flavors of the black rice (really it is more of a deep purple) work really well with the orange. I have to say though, I did have a little bit of a hard time getting it to fully cook, but I do think that it was because of the high elevation I live at. If you run into this problem just add some more water to the pot and continue cooking until the rice is soft.
Oh, and the Cara Cara oranges? Wow, this bowl was my first experience with these and I am now addicted, SO good. Seriously, do not use regular oranges, buy the Cara Cara’s. It is worth every single extra penny.
Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta.
- 2-4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1 one
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 in chipotle canned chiles adobo minced (use 1 for less heat) + 1 tablespoon adobo
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- a pinch of salt and pepper
Black Rice + Salad Bowls
- 1 cup black rice
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 2 cara cara oranges peeled + sliced
- 2 avocados peeled, pitted + sliced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- a pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Place the chicken in a glass baking dish. In a medium sauce pot combine the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, tomato paste, minced chipotle chiles + 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce, cumin, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, reduced and become syrup like. Remove from the heat and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Pour about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of the sauce over the chicken and give it a good toss (reserve the remaining sauce for serving). Place the chicken in the fridge for 20 minutes or up to overnight.
To make the rice: Place the rice in a pot. Cover with chicken broth (or water) and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 30-40 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile heat a little extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Grab the chicken and when the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown for 5-8 minutes, then turn and brush with a little more of the remaining sauce. Cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let sit five minutes, slice the chicken into strips.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl or glass jar combine the olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Whisk well, taste and season to your liking.
To assembles the bowls place some lettuce in each bowl, if desired toss the greens with a little dressing. Top each bowl with equal amounts of sliced oranges, grape tomatoes, sliced avocados, cilantro and green onions. Add the rice and chicken. Sprinkle with cashews and feta. Eat warm drizzled with more dressing and any remaining chipotle orange sauce if desired.
Just realizing this is more bowl food. Seriously addicted to the bowls… and the Cara Cara oranges.