Whole30: mango chicken with coconut cauliflower rice

I first learned of cauliflower rice when Patrick ingeniously made it for me last year. Yes, you heard me. My Carhartt loving husband who often wafts of eau de engine oil cologne made me cauliflower rice with sautéed tofu and veggies. Yes, I married up. And, I was hooked on cauliflower rice. Therefore the only logical thing to do was to make cauliflower rice in every imaginable way, especially during Whole30.

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Cauliflower rice is a more than adequate stand-in for “real” rice. It has helped me to discover (during Whole30) the phenomenon of tricking your brain into thinking you are eating one thing, when in fact, you are eating something totally different. Like eating zoodles but your brain thinks they are “real” noodles.

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habanero-garlic-mango sauce from heaven
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I’m obsessed with my oven-proof cast iron skillet!

P.S. I am so grateful that some brave soul tried pairing tropical fruit with poultry, because this is one of my favorite Whole30 dishes ever.

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WHOLE30: MANGO CHICKEN WITH COCONUT CAULIFLOWER RICE
adapted from: Food Faith Fitness

serves 3 as an entrée, 4 as a smaller portion

mango sauce:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 large cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon habanero pepper, minced
1 ¼ cup pure mango, or pure orange-mango juice, unsweetened
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1.5 tablespoons coconut flour

chicken:
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 pound chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
2-4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

coconut cauliflower rice:
1 large head of cauliflower
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

garnish:
1 large mango cut into cubes
cilantro
green onion, diced
toasted sesame seeds

make your sauce:
Heat coconut oil in small saucepan. Add ginger, garlic, habanero pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in juice and coconut aminos and bring to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in flour and boil for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Lower heat, simmer for an additional 6-8 minutes, whisking occasionally. When sauce is reduced in volume by approximately one quarter, remove from heat and set aside.

cook your chicken:
Season chicken with salt and pepper and cut into equal, bite sized cubes. Put chicken in a large plastic bag, pour in coconut flour, and shake until chicken is evenly coated. Alternatively, for those of you who are more earth friendly than I and don’t have a plastic bag, put chicken and flour in a large bowl and toss with a spatula or large spoon until evenly coated.

Heat oil in a large skillet to medium-high. Place chicken evenly in bottom of pan and cook on each side for approximately 3 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and blot off excess oil if desired. You may need to do this in two batches (depending on the surface area of your pan).

make coconut cauliflower rice:
Chop cauliflower into large chunks and put into food processor – blend for no more than 30 seconds, until it resembles rice. If you blend the cauliflower for too long it will become a paste. You may need to stop and give it a quick stir to get all the chunks blended. If your food processor is on the small side, do this in two batches.

Heat the same pan that you used for your chicken to medium high. Add coconut oil, cauliflower, unsweetened coconut, and stir occasionally for 5-8 minutes, until it starts to turn light golden brown.

assemble:
Serve chicken and cauliflower rice topped with chopped mango, green onion, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds.

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