Why did the chicken cross the road?

To jump into my creative and clean marinades, of course! I love picking up whole chickens and dedicating a few hours to making them into something delicious. The frames always end up boiling away late into the night and render a delicious, warm and full bodied stock (I’m also a spice girl), but you can’t just always roast your chicken. This isn’t a quick dinner but boy you’ll be happy you put in the leg work.

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What You Need
Peanut Ginger Chicken

1 half chicken, breast, thigh and wing removed
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes

As per usual, my sauces are always to taste. I typically put in the work and then take it as I go. Most of the time, it needs more heat, acidity or sweetness. I love adding a touch of fresh squeezed lime juice to cut the flavours and add a crispness. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until the peanut butter has completely dissolved. In a large ziplock bag with the chicken, pour the sauce in, seal it up and mix well. Let the chicken sit in the fridge for about an hour.

What You Need
Balsamic Chicken

1 half chicken, breast, thigh, wing removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir. Combine with chicken in a large zip-lock bag and let sit in the fridge for about an hour. Keep an eye on your clock, it’s going to feel like an eternity, but I promise it will be worth it! Even an hour and a half would be prime. You want your chicken to marinade in the juices, and if you even do a day-ahead prep, you might be in heaven

After you’ve logged some marinading time, preheat your oven to 350F. I personally created aluminum beds for each flavour so that they could simmer solo, but you can also use two separate smaller deep dish pans. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.

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While your bird is chillin’ in the fridge, take the time to make your beds. Beds? What? For our peanut ginger chicken, we simply put it over our favourite sticky rice, cooked to perfection. The balsamic chicken deserved a little more, though.

What You Need
Vegetable “Rice”

1/2 head of cauliflower
1 medium orange pepper
1 medium red pepper
3 stalks celery
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 medium onion
4 small broccoli florets
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tbsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

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 In a large processor, pulse all vegetables until the consistency resembles rice. This is a great side dish for your token picky eater because, seasoned the right way, you can sneak in so many vegetables and they won’t know what hit them! In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt your coconut oil and sautee your veggie mix with your herbs and spices until colours have intensified and pieces have slightly softened. The cauliflower may gain a subtle brown colour. This has become a staple in our home, an easy, healthy, green spoons approved side dish that went perfectly with the balsamic chicken! I recommend allowing your cauliflower concoction to sit covered at room temperature while your chicken cooks to really get the flavours dancing with one another!

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Alright, all the pieces of the puzzle are together! This is a meal you will want to have over and over again! I love experimenting with flavour, but this dinner was special. I brought two completely different dishes to one main idea, and the leftovers were even better.

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 What is your favourite homemade marinade? Do you overnight it or just let it chill for a few hours? What do you use as a bed? I love challenging myself and changing up my beds to bring out different flavours, savory, sweet and salty.

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