Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"The New York City Marathon Cookbook" - Orange-Grilled Chicken with Curry

Date I made this recipe: November 23, 2008

The New York City Marathon Cookbook by Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D.
Published by: Rutledge Hill Press
© 1994 – ISBN 1-55853-306-0
Recipe: Orange-Grilled Chicken with Curry – p. 151

Okay, sure, so the annual New York City Marathon was held a couple weeks ago at the beginning of November. Sue me!

I honestly meant to put this book aside in order to cook from it for the annual event but in a fit of cleaning, I put it back on the shelf, only to be discovered when I went looking for another cookbook. Oops. No matter, this recipe is easy to make and would suit many an occasion.

But speaking of the New York City Marathon, in 1999 I had the pleasure of watching the
Marathon, first on TV before we left my friend’s apartment (only in New York would you find a cable station with “play-by-play” coverage) and then in Central Park with about two miles to go before the finish. And boy oh boy, there was stuff about marathons that I never knew.

First of all, there are paid runners called Rabbits who set the pace for the race and then drop out after a certain number of miles. One of the lead rabbits that year dyed his hair green but I don’t think that was a statement about the fact that rabbits eat “rabbit food” such as lettuce. Anyway…after they ran the allotted miles, they all hopped in the back of a pickup truck and went off to…wherever race rabbits go. Had I know a person could get paid for doing that, I think I might have taken up running (although I didn’t see a woman in the bunch) and skipped law school all together!

Second, I had no idea the number of family cheering sections that came to see their loved ones race (or limp) to the finish line. The deli my girlfriend and I ate at near the 59th Street Queensboro Bridge (a/k/a the “Feelin’ Groovy” Bridge from Simon and Garfunkle’s song) was packed to the rafters with people wearing racing team colors—sort of like NASCAR drivers but obviously rooting for people wearing running gear and running shoes.

And then there were the crowds ten deep or more standing around said bridge that were amazing. Susan and I were supposed to meet another friend working the first aid station there but this was before cell phones really took off and we finally aborted our mission because we didn’t think we’d ever find her. Besides, the runners had already crossed the bridge and were on the way to the finish.

So we ran like little rabbits ourselves to get to Central Park and managed to see the lead runners round the corner before running the last mile or so to Tavern on the Green a/k/a The Finish Line! And I have to tell you, it was exciting. First the male runners came through and then we managed to press through the crowd to get a front-row look at the women runners (big issue there: we saw on TV that one of the women lapped the front-runner a couple of miles into the race and held onto the lead to win the big prize, something that apparently doesn’t happen all that often.) And bless their hearts, the lead women were not all that far behind the men. You go, girls!

Now this gal has never liked running in the least, much less 26 miles, but I do enjoy walking and I do like to keep my diet in line with my exercise program so this recipe hit the mark. (You may not know it from my blog postings but it’s true) It’s higher in protein than most of the recipes in the book (25 grams per serving) and low in carbohydrates and fat. Carbs are great for race-running but in terms of muscle building muscle tone and weight management, protein is better.

Although this recipe was easy to make (marinate for an hour and then grill or broil) it seemed boring so I made up my own curry sauce that I poured on top of the chicken to add a little extra flavor. I’m pretty proud of it if I do say so myself (although note: your kitchen will really, really smell like curry!).

And now it’s off to the races – hahaha….

Orange-Grilled Chicken with Curry – Serves 4
4 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons curry powder
4 teaspoons dried tarragon or 2 tablespoons fresh minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

Ann’s topping
4 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2 cups orange juice (add more if needed)
4 teaspoons curry powder
(I ran out of tarragon but would have used the amount called for)
2 sliced onions

To make the chicken
In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, orange juice, curry powder and tarragon. Arrange the chicken in a shallow baking dish then pour the marinade evenly over the chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Grill the chicken breasts for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until done. The chicken may also be broiled.

To make the topping
Slice onions then place them and the other ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the onions are soft (I think I cooked them for about 20 minutes to a half an hour). Be careful not to burn the mixture. I served the chicken breasts on top of rice, topped with this mixture – yum!

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