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Spring Chicken

Stir-Fried Chicken with
Mandarin Oranges and Broccoli

4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges, drained (reserve liquid)
1 Tbsp honey
1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup sliced scallions, divided
2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

In a bowl, toss chicken breast cubes with five-spice powder. In a separate small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, reserved mandarin orange juice (about 3/4 cup), honey, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch; reserve. Heat a large sauté pan or wok over high heat, add vegetable oil and sesame oil. Heat until just smoking. Add ginger and chicken cubes, toss until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and place in bowl. To the same pan, add broccoli and toss until bright green and crisp tender, about 6–8 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Add 3 tablespoons sliced scallions and sauce. Stir until sauce begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add oranges and heat through. Serve over steamed rice. Garnish with remaining tablespoon of scallions and cilantro.

Warm Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches

1 lb pre-cooked chicken, sliced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp fresh basil, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground
black pepper
1 loaf crusty baguette, split lengthwise and soft insides removed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 lb sliced provolone cheese
8 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and cut into strips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine rosemary, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper; set aside. Brush inside of baguette halves with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with herb mixture. Place sliced chicken, provolone, and sundried tomato strips evenly on one baguette half. Put other half of baguette on top, press down slightly and tie the baguette, at 2-inch intervals, with kitchen string, if desired. Place baguette on a baking sheet and move into the hot oven. Bake until warmed through and cheese is melted, about 10–12 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove strings and cut into quarters before serving.

Chicken and Red Lentil Stew with Greens
and Sweet Potatoes

1-1/2 lbs chicken thigh meat, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 medium onion
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced into
1/2-inch cubes
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup red lentils
1 large bag (12 oz) cleaned and chopped spinach
2 Tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
6 Tbsp plain yogurt or sour cream

In a stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add cubed chicken and sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper. Sauté for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown all sides of meat cubes. Add garlic, ginger, and onion. Sauté for another 2–3 minutes. Add cumin, mustard, coriander, cinnamon, and brown sugar; stir until combined. Add broth and tomatoes with juice; bring to a boil. Add carrots, potatoes, and sweet potato. Return to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add lentils, cover and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Using a fork, check that vegetables are soft. When soft, add spinach, stir to combine until spinach is wilted. Add cilantro. Serve in soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.

Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken Wings

4 lbs chicken wings, remove tips and cut loose skin at joint
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup apricot preserves
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Juice from one lime (2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp chopped chives
Fresh lime wedges for garnish

Season wings with salt. Heat grill to medium high. In the bowl of a food processor (small if available), combine preserves, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, lime juice, vinegar, and cumin; process until smooth. Add chives. Place wings on grill and cook for 8–10 minutes. Turn and grill for another 5–6 minutes. With a pastry brush or spoon, brush sauce on wings. Cook for about 1 minute and turn. Repeat on other side of wings. Cook for 1 additional minute. Wings should register 170 degrees when tested with an instant-read thermometer. Serve the wings garnished with lime wedges.

Photos and recipes courtesy of National Chicken Council.