I was recently asked by one of Scotland's new gin distillers if I could come up with a recipe that utilised gin as one of the main ingredients. I initially had the idea of using 'Mother's Ruin' in a dessert with the thought of a sorbet infused with gin, lemon and thyme running through my head. However in the end, I felt that there would be more chance of a recipe being tried out by people at home if it was an easy to prepare savoury dish, so here is my Gin & Lime Chicken with red onion & orzo.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
- 50ml gin
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g dried orzo
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 150g tender stem broccoli, sliced into 1" pieces
- Mix the gin, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and oregano together in a bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl, making sure to cover completely with the marinade. Marinate for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Heat a griddle pan or frying pan then add the marinated chicken to pan. The chicken will have become pale in colour as the lime juice will have started to break down the protein strands. (This is ok) The chicken will only take about 4 minutes on each side so you have to get busy with the other steps.
- Add the remaining marinade to a small pot along with the thinly sliced red onion and bring to the boil then reduce to simmer. Keep stirring the onion until the liquid has almost evaporated then remove from the heat and set aside.
- In another pot, cook the orzo according to the packet instructions. In the last few minutes of cooking, add the broccoli and cook until al dente.
- Stir the the reduced onion mix through the drained orzo and broccoli.
To serve, divide the orzo, broccoli and onion mix between two pasta bowls and layer the chargrilled chicken breast across the top. Sweetness from the red onion is matched by the sharpness from the lime juice and the chicken was moist and well flavoured. It might be difficult to detect the gin in the finished dish, but I'm sure that the oregano complimented the botanicals from the spirit. In this case, I used Gordon's Gin as it was all that I had at home. I'm sure that the different gins will give a differing end result. For instance, Citadelle Gin might allow cinnamon to be used in the marinade whilst Hendrick's Gin would work with a light cucumber salad.
The Gin & Lime Chicken can be prepare in about 45 minutes including the time to marinate, and can be made with simple ingredients that you're likely to have in your cupboards, so why not try something different and let me know how you get on?
Written by Gerry Haughian