First "real" frost of the year this morning. Oh, we've had a few frosts already, but they've mostly been the cover your plants variety. Last night was a good old-fashioned 25 degree turn the lawn white and crunchy frost.
I know that this frost was a manly frost because of the Pooch. During the week I get up early to get the newspaper and walk him. Most days it's still quite dark and I carry a flashlight to find the paper, warn passing drivers and illuminate a spot for him to "do his business".
I suspect we make quite a sight. Me shabbily bundled against the cold with a spectral light weaving in time to my stride suddenly stopping on the shadowy image of a slightly embarrassed canine trying to get a little privacy. Most days we dawdle a bit. He sniffs for deer, I yawn listening for sleepy drivers speeding down our street. But not today.
Today it was downright cold. Pooch hit the grass and it looked like he wanted to raise all four paws at once. This made for a difficult time trying to "get things done", especially when it came to squatting. Every time the little guy got set, another blade of ice cold grass hit him in just the right spot. He'd jump up and shuffle to a new location only to spring up again. He looked like a chicken scratching at the ground looking for a little comfort.
Of course that reminded me of a chicken dinner from a few weeks back. Honey-Ginger Chicken Breasts is one of those meals that ends up looking complicated on the plate, but is actually very easy to prepare. The key as always is to try and maximize marinating time. The reserved marinade gets boiled to kill off any nasties and then you add a thickener to get it to set up nicely
adapted from Cooking Light
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup orange juice
2 TBSP freshly grated ginger
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP cider vinegar
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine all the ingredients into a re-sealable bag and shake well to distribute. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, turning occasionally.
1 TBSP cooking oil
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP water
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Chopped scallions, for garnish
Remove the chicken from the re-sealable bag and SAVE the marinade.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the cooking oil. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in the pan and cook for 7-8 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for an additional 7 minutes.
Transfer the chicken from the pan to a serving plate and lightly cover with aluminum foil.
While the chicken is resting, strain the marinade and discard any solids. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and boil or 3 minutes. As the marinade boils combine the cornstarch and water into a thin slurry.
After boiling for three minutes add the slurry and cook for an additional minute. The sauce will thicken.
Slice the breasts, arranging pieces on individual plates. Spoon some sauce atop the chicken and then garnish with sesame seeds and scallions pieces.
OK crablings, this is actually a very easy recipe. Well, now that the sun's been up for a few hours, the Pooch is looking to go back out at a more leisurely pace. Until next time, remember you can do it, you can cook.