This week’s recipe is a tasty chicken treat sautéed with vegetables and herbs. The canola oil’s high smoke point enables you to sear the chicken, giving it a light brown crust. This locks in the flavor and creates a crispy exterior and tender inside.
Grinding the cumin seeds releases their warm, earthy and nutty flavor. The turmeric, with its yellowish tint and peppery, pungent taste, adds to the aroma, and color of the dish. This is balanced by the sweetness of the bell pepper and the cool, fresh properties of mint. A little cornstarch thickens the sauce and ensures that the meat retains its moisture.
The peppers and carrots provide color and nutrition. The ancient carrot is widely believed to have originated in Afghanistan over 5000 years ago. Originally it came in an assortment of colors, including white, black, purple and red, but surprisingly not orange. In the 16th century, the Dutch crossbred yellow and red carrots to produce the orange variety we know today.
Healthy and easy to make, this is a great dish for deck, patio and backyard dining. It allows you to enjoy the goodness of chicken and take advantage of fresh summer vegetables. You can refrigerate extra portions for convenient leftovers.
Seared Herb Chicken and Veggies
Makes 4 servings.
- 1 tsp. each fennel seeds and cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. coriander (can also substitute 2 tsp curry powder for fennel, cumin, turmeric and coriander)
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4-1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
- 1 small red pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne or red pepper, or to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 1 1/2-2 tsp. lime juice, or to taste
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
Grind fennel and cumin seeds in pestle or spice grinder to a course texture. Place in bowl and add turmeric, coriander, oregano, cornstarch and salt and stir to combine. Add chicken and stir until coated.
Preheat wok or iron skillet over high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil. When oil shimmers, add bell peppers, carrots, onion, garlic and cayenne pepper and pinch of salt, to taste. Cook, stirring, until vegetables begin to brown. Transfer and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium-high and add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. Add coated chicken and cook, stirring, until no longer pink in middle, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in vegetables, lime juice and mint and cook until heated through, less than 1 minute.
Per serving: 200 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 12 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 370 mg sodium
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $91 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.