did everyone have a nice fourth of july? i realize it may have just been a tuesday, depending on where you live, but hopefully it was a pleasant tuesday. i spent the days leading up to the fourth getting ready to cater a family party on monday the third, so the fourth itself was a day of cleanup and rest. plus fireworks. and even those were restful because we live in the best place ever (read: has just the right population density).
so, more to come soon on what i learned from cooking for a crowd, but for now, cardamom chicken and rice with mango and green beans. alternative title: can-i-pair-cardamom-with-something-healthier-than-butter-and-sugar-so-that-i-can-eat-it-more-often-because-yuuum. but that seems like kind of a long title, so we’ll stick with (the not much shorter) cardamom chicken and rice with mango and green beans.
just in case that alternative title didn’t give it away, this recipe was intended from the very start as a vehicle for eating more cardamom. because i love it. and it’s delicious. and so far i’ve only paired it with sugar. which is also delicious, but not something that i feel great about eating for dinner (often).
so i started with cardamom, and then figured i might need to add another ingredient or two, just to really make it a complete meal, rather than a bowl of ground spice. borrowing from indian food, i picked chicken for the protein and rice for some substance.
then i started playing around and thinking about what other flavors and textures would be welcome. slivered almonds (toasted) for crunch (and flavor). mango for yum. green beans for green, or “a gesture towards vegetables” as one of my favorite humans adroitly put it, referring to something she had cooked for dinner. then some raisins, garlic, and orange zest for additional layers of yum.
this cardamom chicken and rice with mango and green beans was one of those beautiful miracles where i basically made the whole thing up out of nothing (/all the various and assorted recipes i’ve ever read that have lodged in my subconscious) and it worked on the first try!
which is good, because it means that now i have at least one layer of defense when i’m craving cardamom but don’t think that a huge bowl of granola is actually a dinner that will make me feel good, delicious though it may be…
did you make this recipe? i’d love to know what you think of it! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.
cardamom chicken and rice with mango and green beans is a perfect summer dinner all in one bowl. a zesty orange vinaigrette, raisins, and almonds add flavor and crunch. enjoy this gluten free and dairy free recipe today!
- 1 cup uncooked rice (brown basmati rice is my default/favorite)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom, divided
- zest and juice of 1 large naval orange
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup (47 g. / 1 5/8 oz.) raisins
- 1/3 cup (41 g. / 1 ½ oz.) slivered almonds, toasted
- 8 oz. (227 g.) green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half into bite-sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lb. (454 g.) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 mango, peeled and diced (slightly overripe isn’t necessary but it works well, if that’s what you happen to have)
- 1/2 cup (15 g. / 1/2 oz.) chopped fresh cilantro
- cook rice according to package directions, adding 1 teaspoon of the ground cardamom to the rice and water at the beginning of the cook time. set aside to cool a bit once cooked.
- zest the orange into a small bowl or glass jar with a tight fitting lid. after zesting, juice the orange into the same bowl or jar (you should get about 1/3 cup / 2 ¾ fl. oz. / 80 ml of juice). add the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. whisk or shake to combine, then add the raisins to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- if your almonds are not toasted (enough), set them in a dry heavy bottomed (!) skillet over medium-low heat. if they start changing color before you start to get impatient that they are not changing color yet, turn the heat down. toast the almonds gently over low heat, keeping a close eye on them, turning them frequently, and checking on them immediately as soon as you smell them. we’re going for milky coffee color. set aside off the heat once they are toasted.
- bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. add the green beans and blanch (boil) for 2 minutes. drain and immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. set aside.
- in a large skillet, heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. add the garlic and remaining ½ teaspoon cardamom and stir constantly for 30 seconds, until the garlic and cardamom are fragrant but the garlic is not yet starting to brown. add the chicken pieces and stir to coat the chicken in the garlic/cardamom mixture. stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes (+/- depending on how big your chicken pieces are), until they are golden brown on all sides and cooked all the way through (165° F in the center of the largest pieces).
- in a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, chicken, green beans, almonds, and dressing (with raisins). toss well to evenly distribute everything. add the mango and cilantro and toss again, more gently if your mango is very soft. serve immediately at warmish room temperature. leftovers keep for 1 day in an airtight container in the refrigerator but even a leftover lover like me doesn’t think this dish tastes great after about 40 hours so you may wish to scale the recipe to feed just your immediate dining companions.
what else we’re eating:
um, thai takeout? see above re: catering for 35 people… if you have the energy to cook dinner for yourself, 1) bravo! and 2) here are some thai noodles that are tasty (and more work than a phone call). we’ll be back on track soon with more interesting things to share here… especially since i froze the rest of the leftover grilled mojito chicken that was part of the catering so we won’t be having yet another version of it for the *fourth* night in a row tonight… (chicken nachos anyone?)