Woodwind Gourmet: Spicy Orange-Glazed Chicken with Almond Rice

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    “I always knew it helped to be both fruity and nutty if you wanted to be an oboist, but it never occurred to me to take those two elements outside of the practice room and bring them into the kitchen (another of my favorite places to spend time). I decided to put together a small series of recipes to highlight the musical union of oboes, oranges, and almonds.”

The second recipe in our series about oboes, oranges, and almonds is sure to be a dinnertime hit on those weeknights when that everyday chicken could use a lilt. A spritz of fresh citrus, some herbs and spices from the pantry, an easy, nutty rice… all you need to add is a salad or a veggie side and then put on your favorite zesty oboe music!

Spicy Orange-Glazed Chicken with Almond Rice
Serves 4

      Spice Rub:
      3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
      1/2 teaspoon dried sage
      1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
      1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
      1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
      1/2 teaspoon sea salt
      1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
      1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
      1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
      1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

      1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
      1 large navel orange
      1 tablespoon olive oil IMG_8170
      1/4 cup dry white wine
      3 tablespoons orange marmalade

      Almond Rice:
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1/2 medium onion, minced
      1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
      1/4 teaspoon sea salt
      1 cup long-grain white rice
      2 cups chicken stock
      Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

      Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Rub chicken all over with spice mixture; let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grate the zest of the orange and then juice the orange, reserving juice; set aside.

      Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Add reserved orange juice, zest and wine to skillet; cover, reduce heat, and lightly simmer 6 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken to a plate tented with foil; keep warm. Bring juices in pan to a boil; cook until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Remove from heat and stir in the marmalade until incorporated. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Cover and keep warm.

      While chicken is cooking, prepare the almond rice: in a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, almonds, and salt; cook, stirring frequently 5-7 minutes or until the onion is softened and the almonds are golden-brown. Add the rice; and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Slowly add the stock; and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Allow to sit 5 minutes then fluff with a fork and garnish with parsley.

      Serve the chicken and sauce atop the almond rice and garnish with additional chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

    Dinner’s done… now let’s tango!

    The other recipes in the oboes, oranges, and almonds series:

    Orange-Almond Rice Pudding
    Orange-Almond Scones

Woodwind Gourmet: Orange-Almond Rice Pudding

IMG_8143I was putting away my oboe after a practice session, the other day, when it occurred to me that I put a lot more in my oboe case than just my oboe. Inside my case is my oboe, a polishing cloth, the obligatory cork grease, a tiny humidifier, and orange peels. Why orange peels? The fresh, citrusy scent is merely a bonus. Actually, the orange peels keep the wood of the oboe from drying out during our long northern Michigan winters.

After thinking further, I realized my oboe has another meaningful encounter with food: a monthly rubdown with almond oil during the winter months. It’s just another way to help the oboe’s wood deal with humidity fluctuations that can lead to cracks and leaks if left unchecked.

So oranges and almonds… interesting! I always knew it helped to be both fruity and nutty if you wanted to be an oboist, but it never occurred to me to take those two elements outside of the practice room and bring them into the kitchen (another of my favorite places to spend time). I decided to put together a small series of recipes to highlight the musical union of oboes, oranges, and almonds.

Today’s offering puts a spin on an old favorite…

Orange-Almond Rice Pudding
Serves 8

    1 large navel orange or other sweet orange
    2 1/2 cups cooked white rice (basmati is great!)
    4 cups milk (2% or whole)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 cinnamon sticks (3-4″ each)
    3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1 tablespoon amaretto (almond liqueur) or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
    ground cinnamon, as desired

    Using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, remove zest from the orange in large pieces (be sure to avoid the bitter white pith). Juice the orange into a small measuring cup, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. Set aside.

    Combine the orange zest, cooked rice, milk, salt, and cinnamon sticks in a two-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until IMG_8150mixture is thick and creamy (about 25 minutes). Remove from the heat and fish out the cinnamon sticks and zest pieces; discard.

    Return to the heat and stir in the condensed milk, amaretto or almond extract, vanilla, and reserved orange juice; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until desired consistency is reached (about 5-8 minutes). The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.

    Divide pudding into 8 serving bowls or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least two hours. To serve, top with toasted almonds and a dash of ground cinnamon.

The other recipes in the oboes, oranges, and almonds series:

Spicy Orange-Glazed Chicken with Almond Rice
Orange-Almond Scones

Shrek: The Musical

PrintManitou Winds’ own Sam Clark is musical director for the upcoming Old Town Playhouse mainstage production of Shrek: The Musical. Sam has been busy for several weeks doing her part in getting the Old Town Playhouse pit orchestra and cast ready for this production.

“Based on the Oscar® winning DreamWorks film that started it all, Shrek: The Musical brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage. In a faraway kingdom an unseemly ogre rescues a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you need a real hero. Luckily, there’s Shrek! A romantic twisted fairy tale, it’s irreverent fun for everyone!”

The Old Town Playhouse production is directed by Brett Nichols, choreographed by Kristina Nichols, and features an all-local cast of talented performers.

Performances are March 6-28 and include a special family matinee on Saturday, March 28th, at 3:00pm. Go to the Old Town Playhouse website or call 231.947.2210 for more information and performance times.

NMC Concert Band

NMC LogoAnne Bara, Laura Hood, and Jason McKinney of Manitou Winds will be performing with the NMC Concert Band on Friday, February 27th, at 7:30pm in Northwestern Michigan College’s Milliken Auditorium.

The concert will feature works by Gustav Holst, John Williams, Frank Ticheli, and many others under the direction of Pat Brumbaugh.

The NMC Concert Band is comprised of talented community members from across Northern Lower Michigan. Come and support the local arts scene! Tickets are available at the door: $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors, and free for NMC students.

Encore Winds Concert

Encore Winds Manitou Winds’ own Sam Clark, Anne Bara, and Jason McKinney will be performing in Encore Winds’ upcoming concert “Running On Island Time” with guest conductor Tim Topolewski on Sunday, February 8, 3:00pm at the First Congregational Church in Traverse City.

The concert will feature works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Alfred Reed, John Philip Sousa, and many others with a guest appearance by the Petoskey Steel Band conducted by Barry Bennett.

It’s going to be a great concert! Tickets will be available at the door: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for students.

Stormcloud Brewery

Stormcircle This summer, in an effort to raise community awareness of the Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra and its concerts for the 2015 season, Manitou Winds will be performing on the patio at Frankfort’s Stormcloud Brewing Company.

The brewery’s patrons will be greeted by the sounds of Mozart, Haydn, Ibert, and many others as they enjoy a meal from one of Frankfort’s newest and finest eateries.

Manitou Winds’ own Laura Hood and Jason McKinney are members of the BASO and are excited to invite members of the surrounding community to attend the upcoming 2015 season.

Please stay tuned for specific dates and times — come and join us at Stormcloud!

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