Chicken with Lemon and Ginger

The first time that I made these, I didn’t really have enough chicken to go around so I cut the chicken up in chunks and served it over rice. The combination of the tart lemon, the ginger and the spicy red pepper flakes is just perfect. Whole chicken breasts are even better. The lemon zest is best cut with a zester, to achieve long strands of lemon rather than the minced lemon you get from a grater.

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Asian Chicken

1 ¾ – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
4 scallions, white and green chopped, plus additional whole scallions for garnish
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Place everything, except the canola oil, salt and cilantro, in a bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to four.

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt. Place a large cast iron or non stick skillet over high heat and when it is hot, add the canola oil. Place the chicken, skinned side down, in the skillet, one at a time, waiting about 30 seconds between additions. Cook until well browned and cooked throughout, about 5- 7 minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve immediately garnished with the cilantro leaves and additional scallions.

Spicy Sesame Orange Chicken

1 ¾ – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 quarter size chunk ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 – 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Place the chicken, garlic, ginger, chili powder, sesame oil and orange juice in a large non-reactive shallow bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least ½ hour and up to overnight.

Remove and discard as much of the marinade as possible. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Prepare a grill or place a large cast iron or non stick skillet over high heat and when it is hot, add the chicken breasts, skinned side down, one at a time, waiting about 30 seconds between additions. Cook until well browned and cooked throughout, about 5- 7 minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Herb Chicken with White Bean Salad

With the help of good quality canned white beans, this meal can be whipped up in minutes. If you want to make the salad in advance, leave out the oil, vinegar and lemon juice until just prior to serving. The chicken can also be made in advance, by this method or on a grill, and served cold. With sliced cucumbers and a bottle of white wine, it makes a perfect summer picnic.

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