Rain has been incessant these days. It started slashing on Friday and has never stopped since. I really need to cheer up with a bit of colour, so I put on my raincoat, arm myself with an umbrella and head off to the market.
I am planning to make an ethnic lunch and I want it to have at the same time a persistent and fresh flavour. Wandering around the stalls, my sight is caught by some beautiful red Sicilian oranges and, just next to them, by a bunch of fresh yellow chillies. I still have veggies at home, what I need now are herbs, honey and, even if I won't use them in this very recipe, spices.
Since I'm in Rialto, a stop at the Antica Drogheria Mascari, the oldest food specialty store in Venice, is mandatory: my pantry has been begging me to buy spices and rice for weeks and this is the best place in town where to find them. It's also the best place for wines and spirits!
Last but not least: the butcher, where I buy 2 big breasts of free-range chicken.
Now, I have everything and what I didn't buy is already at home.
So, let's begin:
RECIPE SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN WITH HONEY & ORANGE JUICE
240 gr free-range chicken breast, chopped
1 and 1/2 red orange
3 tea spoons honey
1 fresh chilly (possibly yellow)
1 crushed garlic clove
fennel leaves to garnish
extra virgin olive oil
160 gr white basmati rice (to boil)
2 portions of salad (to dress)
1) Chop the chicken breast and place it in a bowl. Then squeeze the juice of 1 and a half oranges and 1 lemon, combine with honey (blend well), add a pinch of salt and pour over the chicken. Cover with some plastic film and leave in the fridge for about 2 hours.
2) In the meanwhile you can boil your basmati rice, wash the salad and chop the chilly.
3) After two hours, heat a pan with some oil and the crushed garlic and add first the chilly then the chicken. Don't pour the whole juice immediately, add it gradually and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes.
4) Serve in a bowl and garnish with some fresh fennel leaves.
I hope you enjoy it, I found it delicious and the citrus gives a pleasantly enveloping taste that is both spicy and sweet.