Warm Caribbean Rice Salad with Chicken and Almonds

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Serves: 4
Ingredients: 
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons extra light olive oil, divided
2  6-ounce chicken breasts, boneless, skin on    
4 cups spinach, washed and stems removed
1 cup orange segments
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Dressing
 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onions
1 Caribbean or jalapeno chili, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
1 1/4 cups orange juice (divided into 1 cup and 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/2  teaspoon grated orange zest
Yellow Rice with Cilantro (recipe below)
Preparation: 

Heat a large skillet on medium high. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until they turn gold. Tip into a bowl and set aside.

Heat half of the oil in a skillet and cook the chicken breasts, turning several times, until almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove to a hot plate and cover to finish cooking. While the chicken is cooking, make the yellow rice (instructions below) and dressing.

To make the dressing: Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, chile, and jerk seasoning and cook, stirring, until wilted and translucent but not brown, 5 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of the orange juice and boil to reduce about 5 minutes. Combine the arrowroot and remaining orange juice and stir into the sauce to thicken. Add the salt and orange zest. Remove the skin from the chicken breasts and cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Toss the chicken, orange segments, half of the toasted almonds, cilantro and spinach together. Add the hot rice and dressing, and toss again to mix thoroughly. Serve topped with the remaining toasted almonds.

Yellow Rice with Cilantro :
2/3 cup long grain white rice
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads or a pinch of powdered saffron
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Combine the rice, water, saffron and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to very low and cook 10 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is gone.|Set aside with the lid on for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and stir in the cilantro.

Tips: Roasted whole or slivered almonds give a whole different kind of crunch to green salads. They combine perfectly with broccoli salad, salads with pears and any kind of spinach salad.

Salsa idea:  Combine 1 cup orange segments, 1/4 cup roasted, slivered almonds and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Scatter over broiled white fish, pork chops or chicken breasts. If you’re serving the yellow rice separately – it’s terrific served with grilled chicken, fish and pork – just add 1/4 cup of roasted, slivered almonds for flavor, texture and extra vitamin E.

Nutritional Info: 

Calories 388; Fat 12 g; Sat Fat 1.6 g; Mono Fat 6.6 g; Poly Fat 2.6 g; Protein 25 g; Carb 47 g; Fiber 5 g; Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium 218 mg; Calcium 112 mg; Potassium 726 mg; Vitamin E 4.8 mg*;

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