Originally I was going to just lump this recipe in with the popcorn polenta post as a topping. But this chicken is so good – and could really be eaten by itself or on rice – that I just had to make it a separate recipe!
It is really easy, but brings such a refreshing and tasty element to the chicken.
I literally stumbled on this recipe one night while looking at an orange from the farm sitting to ripen on the windowsill. The Troll and I had been eating chicken as our protein supplement for a …. couple weeks I think! Not everyday, but even so you can imagine the appeal of chicken had started to diminish.
Anyway, the chicken and the orange met in a burst of companionship and spent an hour or two cosied up together in a bowl with seasoning. After that a quick pan sear was all that was needed to seal the deal between these two.
I was making popcorn polenta as a carbohydrate for the night, and the combination of these two, the smooth creamy and comforting taste of the polenta, combined with the happy tasting orange marinated chicken was just the best!
And so I decided to test and shoot this recipe combo for you guys. However, if you want to do rice I think that would be delicious, and for those of your on a low carb kick, it is good just as is (I know from sneaking pieces surreptitiously out of the pan: P).
I will however include the popcorn polenta instructions here – (because it rocks), and then you do not have to open two tabs to makes this complete recipe.
Orange and Leek Pan Fried Chicken with Popcorn PolentaPrint This
- 1 large orange, or 2 small
- 1 large chicken breast, or 2 small
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 flat teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 leek base
- 1/2 bag (9 ounces or 250 gram) of popcorn
- 4 cups of water
- Salt to taste for the polenta
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup cream cheese (optional - I find that the cream cheese changes the popcorn flavor to one more of normal polenta, but you can omit this is you do not have any)
The way I make this meal is of course to first put the chicken in to marinate. I then bumble around wine in hand and do a few odd things, and after a bit make the polenta. Once the polenta is done, then I put a pan on the heat, sear the chicken, and serve!
To Marinate the Chicken
- Cut the chicken into strips. You can do this while semi frozen if using frozen breasts.
- Combine in a bowl with the juice from the orange. To avoid getting any of the orange bits into the marinade, you can squeeze it through a sieve, or use a proper orange/lemon squeezer if you have.
- Add the salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar.
- Cut one of the squeezed orange halves into quarters and lay on top of the marinating chicken.
- Leave to marinate for between 1 -2 hours.
To Cook the Chicken
- Cut the leek into medium to thin rounds.
- Heat a pan or skillet, and add some olive oil.
- Remove the orange skin quarters and add the chicken pieces in three batches, tossing in between.
- Once all of the chicken is added, add the leek pieces.
- Toss lightly and pour in any remaining orange juice.
- Turn down the heat and cook for another few moments. This will allow the orange juice to reduce.
- Remove from the heat as soon as the chicken is cooked.
To Cook the Polenta
I have listed this as last, but you can make the polenta before getting going on frying the chicken (while you are waiting for it to finish marinating). That way the chicken can be served on the polenta immediately while still hot.
- In a large pot with the bottom covered in oil, pop half a packet of stovetop popcorn. Keep the heat high so that most of the kernels will pop. You can also use a popcorn maker – or pop the corn in the microwave if you have one of those clever popcorn microwave cooking bowls.
- Once the popcorn is popped, transfer it into a tallish bowl or container (if you are using a stick blender) or into the blender jug if you are using a blender. Try to avoid including any unpopped kernels. Add 4 cups of cold water, and blend until smooth and thick.
- Wash the pot there is any blackening on the bottom. Sieve the blended popcorn over the pot.
- Discard what is in the sieve, and place the sieved polenta back on the heat.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes adding any further liquid if it is too thick in consistency, stirring regularly.
- Add the olive oil, butter, cream cheese and salt and pepper to taste.