Sunday, January 6, 2013

Blackened Chicken & Lime Quinoa

  My life has been pretty much focused around studying and exams for the past few days weeks which is why I haven't posted anything in 9 days a while. I have been making good grades on my exams and projects so my mom took me shopping to Cavender's where I got 2 new pairs of boots and 2 belts which brings my total of cowboy boots I own to 5 pairs. I still have to take my final exam, complete my final project, and send in my extra credit all before the 10th before I'm officially finished with this class.
  I originally though I would have about a 2 week break between finishing my wintermester and starting my spring classes, but  just noticed that it is actually only have 8 days. In those 8 days, I am planning on spending one day with my grandma since I've been putting off due to classes, trying to finish some of my crochet and knitting projects that have been almost forgotten, and to make & photograph a few recipes to have saved up for later.

This dish that proves healthy food can be delicious and fast to prepare!! 
This is my new favorite dish. 
Original Post I wrote a few months back:

 A few months ago, I made this blackened chicken and lime quinoa from Sarcastic Cooking. This recipe is extremely simple, can be made in less than 30 minutes, and is a good way to zest up the chicken in your fridge. If you do halve the recipe like I did, there will still be enough quinoa for 2 people depending on how hungry you are. I like some heat in my food and when I tasted the chicken it was delicious, but didn't really have much heat so next time I may keep the original amount of cayenne even if I do halve the recipe. For the quinoa, I seasoned it to fit my taste with cilantro, vegetable stock, lime juice,and lime & orange zest.
 She said if the chicken was too spicy, that you can top it with an avocado sauce which I think sounds delicious and will make sure we have avocados next time I make this.

Updated Post (1/6/13):
Blackened Chicken/Lime Quinoa/Avocado Sauce
 This time when I made this dish I has avocados on hand, but no cilantro so I seasoned the quinoa with water+roasted vegetable concentrate paste {instead of chicken stock},onion powder, lime zest & juice,and pepper. Another difference is that I added a little water to the chicken pan so the chicken didn't dry out and/or burn which reduced to a thick, concentrated sauce. After I sliced the chicken I added it back to the pan to soak up some of the reduced sauce which turned it an orange-ish color. You don't have to do this step, but I did and it adds a little extra flavor to the chicken.
I made my mom some after I made mine and I thought I would take some step by step pictures of making the pan sauce.

Blackened Chicken & Lime Quinoa
serves: 2-4

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken breasts
½ tsp paprika {we only had sweet paprika, but smoked might be better}
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups low sodium chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 cup dry quinoa {when cooked this amount will feed about 4: I usually 1/2 it}
zest & juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper
Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1. Combine and mix all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Coat the entire chicken breast with the spice mixture.{You can do this step ahead of time and let the chicken marinade in the spice mixture in the fridge.}
2. Add the oil to a skillet and heat over medium/high heat for a few minutes . Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side covered with a lid or foil. *If the heat is too high & you don't want the chicken to dry out, you can add a little water or extra stock into the pan when the chicken is cooking.*
3. Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes with the lid on, until all of the liquid has absorbed.
4. After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Add the warm quinoa to a medium bowl with the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.
6. If you made a pan sauce with water you can coat the chicken in it before serving it on top of the quinoa.

Avocado Sauce: You can made an avocado sauce to serve on top by mixing an avocado with some (maybe 2 Tbsp) yogurt or sour cream, lime juice and pepper in a food processor. 
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  1. Sounds so yummy!!! I'm always looking for new chicken to see your post :)

  2. Oops, when I clicked publish, I saw that your recipe was on this post..duh! Love the addition of avocado sauce to tame the bit of heat from the cayenne...a great combo.