The comforting combo of chicken and rice can be found in many cultures throughout the world. Here’s how the culinary team at the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Va., gets inspiration from the flavors of Brazil with fresh orange and lime juice and zest, garlic, mint, cilantro, jalapenos, cumin and chili powder, all in a high-volume recipe.
YIELD: 100 servings
100 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 ½ gallons fresh orange juice
3 1/8 qt. fresh lime juice
1 5/8 cup olive oil
6 ¼ oz. fresh garlic cloves, peeled
1 ½ qt. fresh mint, finely chopped
1 ½ qt. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 ½ oz. fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced 1/8”
1 cup cumin
2 1/8 oz. chili powder
4 1/8 oz. kosher salt
1 ½ lb. orange zest, grated
6 ¼ oz. lime zest, grated
4 ½ oz. canola-olive oil blend
2 ¼ lbs. yellow onions, diced ¼”
6 ¾ lbs. white rice, raw
2 ¾ gallon water
1 ½ oz. salt
3 lbs. plum tomatoes, fresh, finely chopped
For roasted vegetables:
6 ¼ lbs. eggplant, julienned
6 1/4 lbs. zucchini, julienned
6 ¼ lbs. red bell peppers, julienned
6 ¼ lbs. red onions, julienned
2 1/3 qt. prepared balsamic vinaigrette
oil for sheet pan
For chimichurri sauce:
1 ½ pt. chicken stock
6 ¼ oz. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
12 ½ oz. cilantro, coarsely chopped
10 oz. fresh carrots, coarsely chopped
12 ½ oz. yellow onion, coarsely chopped
10 oz. red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
6 ¼ oz. garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 5/8 cups canola-olive oil blend
6 ¼ oz. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 oz. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper
1. For chicken: Combine all chicken ingredients except for chicken into marinade. Mix until well blended. Pour marinade over chicken. Hold refrigerated at internal temperature of 40°F for 4 hours to marinate. Drain and discard excess marinade.
2. Place chicken on sheet pans. Roast at 350°F in convection oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. For rice: Heat sauce pan or braising pan over medium heat. Add oil and onion. Sauté until onion is translucent.
4. Add rice. Stir constantly. Cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add water and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is fully absorbed.
6. Gently fold tomato into rice. Transfer to hotel pan. Hold hot (140°F or above).
7. For roasted vegetables: Combine eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and onion with vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Arrange in single layer on lightly oiled sheet pans.
8. Heat oven to 400°F (standard oven) or 375°F (convection oven) and cook for 6 to 10 minutes until just tender and lightly caramelized. Turn or stir vegetables if needed for even cooking. Handle vegetables carefully so they do not break or tear.
9. For chimichurri sauce: Combine all chimichurri ingredients in food processor. Process on medium speed until smooth.
10. For service: Plate 1 chicken breast, 4 oz. of rice and 4 oz. of roasted vegetables. Ladle 1 oz. chimichurri sauce over chicken and serve immediately.
Photo and recipe: University of Mary Washington/Sodexo