Chicken and Multi-Colored Carrots in Tangerine Sauce

July 28, 2014 | By | COMMENTS

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Monday night is healthy dinner night. I don’t drink wine, even if Craig makes a stink and opens a bottle in protest. I don’t make dessert, even if he begs for my famous chocolate chip cookies. What I do, on Monday night, is penance for all of the ridiculous things I ate over the weekend and, also, I set the tone for the upcoming week: if I eat healthy on Monday night, it’ll make the fact that I went to the gym earlier in the day seem worthwhile. Also, it’ll keep me in the zone for going to the gym next day. The trick, though, is to make the dinner just healthy enough; meaning, it shouldn’t be punishing. It should still be good. Which is how I came up with the dinner I’m about to tell you about.

The elements of this dish come from two very different sources: the CSA box that arrives on my doorstep every Sunday and the Trader Joe’s underneath my gym. This week’s CSA came with gorgeous multi-colored carrots:

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And pixie tangerines which I cut in half and juiced (about 6 of them):

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The chicken breasts–bone-in, skin-on (duh!) and brined, because they’re kosher–came from Trader Joe’s.

To make the dinner, I cranked the oven up to 425. I heated a few tablespoons of olive oil in a metal skillet on high heat and while that was heating, I patted the chicken breasts really dry with paper towels and then sprinkled on a little more salt and pepper. When the oil was good and hot, I laid the chicken breasts in skin-side down and listened to the loud sizzle (that’s a very good sign).

While that sizzled away, I washed the carrots, patted them dry, but I didn’t peel them. I scraped them with a knife (a trick I learned writing my book; it helps keep the color); you’re just scraping off any rough ugly patches. Then I sliced the thick ones in half vertically; the small ones I kept whole, trimming the greens at the top. All of these I placed on a cookie sheet and tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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Into the oven that went, on one shelf. Meanwhile, when the chicken had browned for some time on the skin-side, I flipped it over with a pair of tongs and also transferred it to the oven, on to another shelf.

Then, basically, you wait about 20 minutes. The carrots you may have to flip half-way through; just check ‘em. They’re done when they’re golden brown and a knife goes through easily. Meanwhile, the chicken takes about 10 minutes longer. Check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer; should be around 165 when it’s done.

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To finish, lift the chicken to a plate with a spatula (not those raw chicken-coated tongs), pour out a little of the fat, then turn up the heat on the pan and pour in all of that tangerine juice and–here’s the unhealthy part–a pat of butter to make a sauce.

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As it begins to boil, stir and scrape up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Those are what make the sauce delicious. Taste for salt, but it really shouldn’t need any; this is powerful stuff:

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Pile up the carrots on to two plates, place the chicken breasts next to them, and pour the tangerine sauce over everything.

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Now that’s my kind of healthy Monday night dinner. What’s that you say? It’s not really a healthy Monday night dinner? FINE, THEN LEAVE OUT THE BUTTER. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO SUCK THE JOY OUT OF EVERYTHING!?!

Bon Appétit.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Misc. Entrees, Recipes

  • Adam

    So then for those of us that don’t always eat healthy…what IS your famous chocolate chip cookie recipe?

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  • Adam Amateur Gourmet

    Ha, well it’s not so much a particular recipe–I pivot from David Leite’s New York Times cookies (if I have bread flour) to the Back in the Day Bakery recipe (not sure I’ve blogged that) and every so often, Martha Stewart’s which I did blog about once here: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2006/10/the_best_cookie.html.

  • Adam Amateur Gourmet

    Ha, well it’s not so much a particular recipe–I pivot from David Leite’s New York Times cookies (if I have bread flour) to the Back in the Day Bakery recipe (not sure I’ve blogged that) and every so often, Martha Stewart’s which I did blog about once here: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2006/10/the_best_cookie.html.

  • Adam Amateur Gourmet

    Ha, well it’s not so much a particular recipe–I pivot from David Leite’s New York Times cookies (if I have bread flour) to the Back in the Day Bakery recipe (not sure I’ve blogged that) and every so often, Martha Stewart’s which I did blog about once here: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2006/10/the_best_cookie.html.

  • Agent Strong

    Thanks for another great idea for dinner!

  • Agent Strong

    Though I don’t see why I can’t roast the carrots in the same pan, alongside the chicken.

  • Anonymous

    Hey thanks a lot for restarting my sweet tooth addiction! Man those are some good cooks. Mind if I put your recipe on my blog?

  • Anonymous

    You know, butter isn’t inherently unhealthy. Too much butter stuffed into everything, sure, but a tablespoon or two like you used isn’t anything to freak about.

  • BobYes

    Agreed. I pat of butter for 2 people is miniscule and healthy. I wish people would get over their butter thing – the original science has long been disproved except, of course, if Adam had put a stick of butter in the pan.

  • toot

    Grassfed butter is healthy. Not unhealthy with redeeming qualities. Its healthy. Weston price. Read.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome reference! Made my day. Glad you didn’t resist. No apologies necessary…

  • Anonymous

    Hey thanks a lot for restarting my sweet tooth addiction! Man those are some good cooks. Mind if I put your recipe on my blog

  • Elizabeth McDougal

    Thank you….tonight’s dinner. Can’t wait

  • bavaria

    Thanks for the beautiful sauce idea. No guilt with butter because fats are absolutely necessary for optimal brain function.

  • bavaria

    Thanks for the beautiful sauce idea. No guilt with butter because fats are absolutely necessary for optimal brain function.

  • bavaria

    Thanks for the beautiful sauce idea. No guilt with butter because fats are absolutely necessary for optimal brain function.

  • bavaria

    Thanks for the beautiful sauce idea. No guilt with butter because fats are absolutely necessary for optimal brain function.

  • Tamme Pompilio

    Real butter is not unhealthy, it’s all that imitation crap and margarine that is real bad for you! Our body recognizes “natural fats” (like meat fats and butter) and burns it as energy. It’s the artificial fats (like equal, sweet and low etc) that our body doesn’t recognize and doesn’t know what to do with it, so it stores it as fat.

  • Tamme Pompilio

    This sounds great! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the great idea…….

  • http://www.runningfoodie.com/ christinanpr

    I’m currently cooking the broccoli version of this recipe, though Imma bookmark this for next time. Citrus is such a great flavor with chicken.

    Next time, I’ll use the breasts so that less fat renders out.

  • http://mumbaidentalcenter.com/ Prashant Shah

    Have always healthy food as a dentist in Ghatkopar I can Suggest you this for the betterment of your body and teeth

  • http://mumbaidentalcenter.com/ Prashant Shah

    Hey Butter is healthy no?

  • http://Healthyroadadventures.blogspot.com Angel

    That broth looks absolutely delicious too!
    Angel – healthyroadadventures.blogspot.com

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  • Debra

    We really enjoyed this. Chicken breasts were very moist and flavorful. Juiced oranges instead of tangerines to make the sauce and it was delicious. Thanks!
    Debra

  • Ezika Donbosco

    Another fiorentine recipe !…..distinguished.

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  • Dayana

    huuuum.. that delights ..