Friday, January 18, 2013

Orange Zest and Pecan Chicken

It's time for another recipe swap, hosted by Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking.  It's hard to believe that I've been doing these swaps for almost two years now, and have found so many good recipes because of it. 

The theme this time was Celebrity Swap.  I swapped my recipe from Bobby Flay for Lamb and Red Onion Tacos with Tomato Relish, and in return received Orange Zest and Pecan Chicken from A Seasoned Greeting that she adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe.

I've started jogging in the evenings after work and this is a simple, not a lot of fuss meal that turns out fantastic.  It is such a great weeknight meal.  Usually Rachel Ray's dishes are ingredient intensive too, so I was glad to see that this recipe had no where near her usual ingredient count. 

Orange Zest and Pecan Chicken
barely adapted from A Seasoned Greeting
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 chicken breasts cut into tenders (I just left my chicken breasts whole)
1 cup orange juice (either fresh or from concentrate)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sweet BBQ sauce
1/3 cup finely crushed pecans
1 navel orange (you'll use the zest and the juice)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2)  Place the chicken in pan and season with salt & pepper, surround chicken breasts with orange juice. Cook 45 minutes (or until no longer pink).
3) In a bowl, mix the maple syrup and BBQ sauce. Zest the orange and stir in the zest. Juice the orange and stir into the mixture.

I have to say that I think the star of this dish is the sauce.  I really could have left the pecans off the dish and been perfectly happy, but this dish had really moist chicken and a sauce that was to die for.  The juice from the orange transforms the barbeque sauce into something unique yet completely delicious.  I have to say that I tried to serve this over some lettuce like Rachel Ray suggested but the sauce is a little too much for the lettuce, and it became a soggy mess with the lettuce.  However, the rice was a great compliment to the dish and absorbed the leftover sauce, which was a bonus too. 

Please check out all the other great Celebrity Swap recipes below!


  1. I'm glad you liked this. I tend to shy away from her recipes too because of the lengthy list of ingredients, but this one is so simple but taste much for intricate!

  2. This sounds delicious, although I'd have to leave the pecans out due to my daughter's nut allergy. Glad you enjoyed it so much!