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Orange chicken nested in pecan pilaf recipe

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Adjust Servings:
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil (about)
1 pound medium Mushrooms , stemmed, wiped clean, and thinly sliced (reserve stems for soup or stew another day)
3 medium Yellow Onions , coarsely chopped
1 large Garlic clove, finely minced
1 large whole Bay Leaf (preferably fresh)
2 teaspoons dried leaf Marjoram , crumbled
1 teaspoon dried leaf Thyme , crumbled
2 teaspoons Salt , or to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper , or to taste
3⁄4 cup fresh Orange Juice
1⁄2 cup dry White Wine
1⁄2 teaspoon finely grated Orange Zest
1½ cups unsifted all-purpose Flour
6 small boneless Chicken breasts (not chicken scallops)
6 Chicken thighs, boned
2½ cups converted Rice , cooked according to package directions
1 cup coarsely chopped, lightly toasted Pecans
3⁄4 teaspoon Salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Orange chicken nested in pecan pilaf recipe

  • Serves 8
  • Medium


  • Chicken

  • Pilaf



Back when I was a junior food editor at Ladies’ Home Journal in New York, I created a party dish using three of my favorite Southern foods: chicken, rice, and pecans. Everyone loved it, I’m pleased to say. I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years and still find it perfect for company although it’s difficult to find small broiler-fryers these days let alone a butcher who will disjoint them and bone each piece. Note: My solution is to use boneless chicken breasts and bone-in thighs, which are easy to bone. Just make sure that you have a sharp knife. Insert it in the center of each thigh—the underside. Once you’ve found the bone, draw knife the length of it, peel back flesh, and remove bone. Tip: To toast pecans, spread in a pie pan and set on middle shelf of a 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully.



For Chicken

Preheat oven to 300°F. Spritz 13 × 9 × 2-inch baking dish or large shallow casserole with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large heavy skillet over moderately high heat 1 minute, add mushrooms and onions, and sauté, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes until mushrooms give up their juices and these evaporate.


Add garlic, bay leaf, and half each of the marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute, then mix in orange juice, wine, and orange zest. Bring to a boil, reduce heat so mixture bubbles gently, then simmer uncovered 5 to 7 minutes until reduced by about one-fourth. Discard bay leaf, set mushroom mixture off-heat, and reserve.


Combine flour and remaining marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper by shaking in large plastic zipper bag. Dredge chicken breasts and thighs, several pieces at a time, by shaking in flour mixture.


Heat 3 tablespoons remaining olive oil in second large heavy skillet 1½ to 2 minutes over moderately high heat until ripples appear on skillet bottom. Brown chicken in batches in oil, adding more oil if needed and allowing 3 to 5 minutes per side per batch. As chicken browns, lift to paper toweling to drain.


For Pilaf

Leaving rice in pan in which it cooked, add all remaining ingredients and toss well.


To Assemble

Bed pilaf in bottom of baking dish and spoon half the mushroom mixture over it. Toss well, then spread to corners. Lay browned chicken skin side up on top of pilaf, pushing in slightly, and ladle remaining mushroom mixture evenly over all.


Cover snugly with aluminum foil, slide onto middle oven shelf, and bake 1 to 1½ hours until an instant-read thermometer, inserted in meaty piece of chicken not touching bone, registers 165°F.


Serve hot as the centerpiece of a dinner party.


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