I started thinking about Jalapeño Honey Chicken as a fluke. You see, my mom came up with this idea. She asked my sister and I if we wanted to have a "cooking club." First, one of us gives the others a recipe at the beginning of the week. Then, we all have to make it, take pictures, and e-mail the images to each other. My mom sent us a recipe for Mediterranean Chicken (which I still have yet to make), and as I was flipping through other chicken recipes, I took ideas from here and there. With these tips, along with my imagination, Jalapeño Honey Chicken was born.
Getting back to the point, the shared recipe among mom and us daughters has to be gluten-free and oven-less, for my sake.
However, the fiance and I will not be oven-less for much longer, because we are moving! That's right, we are moving to our first apartment together, where we will be alone, just us. In a few days we will embark on our big transition (basically across the street from where we are living now), to our new apartment with a new stove and oven! I'm thrilled, excited, anxious, giddy, and I have to admit, a teensy bit sad about it all.
I had a bit of a down moment even when I was feeling, and sharing, such joy with the fiance. Sometimes, living abroad brings up the strangest emotions at the most inappropriate times. For example, this will be the first time that my parents will not help me move. In college, I moved an obnoxious amount - at the beginning of every school year, and also at the beginning and end of each summer - and they were always there. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even think about it until I talked with them yesterday and they wished me good luck.
...Wait, you won't be here? You won't help me unpack and find a good place for everything and then go out to dinner with me and the fiance afterward?
As trivial as it may sound, it hit me smack dab in the middle of my chest that not only am I far from my parents and my sister, but I'm starting a new chapter without them here. How many moments such as these have I taken for granted? Too many to count. After a deep breath, I had to remind myself of something: Even though I'm far away, I'm so lucky to have a good relationship with my family. Creativity and technology bring us together even when we are physically apart. When I am a bit more settled, our virtual cooking club will allow my sister, my mom, and I to share our meals together. Through e-mail I was able to send them all the photos of our new place, and thanks to Skype we were able to gab face-to-face about it. And here, in the DR, I'm already living with my best friend, on the cusp of a new adventure, and the most beautiful part - on the cusp of binding our lives together. My world geographically may be spaced out in an inconvenient way, but it's all there.
It would be greedy to ask for anything more, but I do, every single day. We all do, because even when it seems like everything is falling into its perfect place, there is always something else to reach for and to dream about.
So, just try the recipe. It's _______ awesome. I mean it.
Jalapeño Honey Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons of red jalapeños in its brine, finely chopped (I bought a 8 oz. can of red jalapeños - brand La Costeña)
1/2 cup orange juice
3+ tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
Boil the chicken for about 10-12 minutes. While the chicken is boiling, make the Jalapeño Honey sauce. Combine the jalapeños, orange juice, honey, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and salt in a small bowl. Then, after the chicken has boiled, add the olive oil and sugar to a pan. Let them heat together for up to 1 minute, until the oil begins to change color. This can be a tricky step, because you don't want the sugar to burn. Once you notice the oil changing color, add your chicken. Place the chicken in the pan, on medium-high heat, and make sure to turn it frequently, so that it finishes cooking and turns a golden color. After about 5 minutes, add the sauce. Let it a boil, and then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serves 4.
P.S. If you are worried about it being spicy, don't be. The honey and balsamic vinegar knock out the extra spice of the jalapenos. If you are not convinced, only chop up about 1 teaspoon of the jalapeños instead of 2 - just in case.
a buen tiempo!