Chicken Thighs with Orange Ginger Glaze

Remember in my Tilapia Piccata post I mentioned how I was impressed with the whole, unprocessed ingredients in most of Cooking Light’s 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes and how you’d see more of them? Well, I supposed I’m being optimistic in assuming folks actually read my entries, haha, but – trust me – I did say that and here I’m making good on that promise. Considering this was another around-midnight dinner, I’m glad the photos came out as well as they did so you can see the lovely glaze this recipe makes…

This recipe was tagged almost immediately by me both because of it’s simplicity and for its Asian flavors (if you didn’t know: I love Asian food). I was originally going to stick with the boneless chicken thighs called for, but after remembering my absolutely delicious successes Chicken Mole and Chicken with Fennel and Tomatoes I decided to stick with what works for me and get bone-in thighs.

Another interesting bit of this meal had nothing to do with the original recipe, but with a unique veggie I found at the market the day before. I had never heard of Valentine radishes before, but the sample slices showed a stunning dark pink center in a greenish-white root. They were described as being slightly milder in flavor than the traditional Cherry Belle we’re used to, but not as mild as – say – Daikon. At the time I didn’t have a recipe in mind, but bought three of the baseball-sized roots figuring they’d make a beautiful snack if nothing else.

I ended up making a simple side with radish slices, toasted sliced almonds, and rice vinegar. I was tempted to shred the radishes, but really wanted to show their unique colors and left them as disks; this made them a little cumbersome to eat, though, so in the future I’ll go with my first hunch and shred them.


Chicken Thighs with Orange Ginger Glaze

( adapted from 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes, Fall ’10)

Ingredients:

For the Chicken and Glaze…

4   bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed

½   t   salt

¼   t   black pepper

1   pinch garlic powder

1 ½   t   EVOO

1   navel orange

3   T   honey

1   t   grated, peeled fresh ginger

chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

For the Radish Side…

2   Valetine radishes, very thinly sliced or shredded

½   C   sliced almonds, toasted

3   T   rice wine vinegar

Procedure:

  1. Prepare radish side first as it should sit a while to develop the flavors: toss radish, toasted almonds, and vinegar in a bowl, cover, and set off to the side.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3 – 4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. As chicken is cooking, grate about 1 teaspoon orange rind and squeeze out ¼ Cup of orange juice. Add the rind, juice, honey, and ginger to the chicken. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits and bring to boil.
  4. As soon as the liquid is boiling, reduce heat and simmer – uncovered – until the chicken is done and orange glaze is syrupy (about 10 minutes).
  5. Sprinkle with chopped green onions if desired and serve with radish side and white rice.

(serves 2)


Beezer’s Notes:

This was a pretty tasty dinner! The glaze was the perfect sticky consistency and the radishes went well with the Asian theme. As I mentioned above, I think I will shred Valentine radishes the next time I use them since they are a bit of a mouthful if left as disks, but their flavor was great. If you aren’t a radish fan, the source recipe calls for steamed broccoli with almonds. I won’t be insulted if you opt for the broccoli although I personally can only stand broccoli raw, haha. Oh! And my chive plant finally gave up the ghost that night so I didn’t have any garnish. A few slices of green onions or the like would have gone a long way with the flavors and I’m sorry I missed them.

The only thing that really bothered me with this recipe was the sweetness of the glaze. Using honey as a base allows the glaze to reduce quickly and get that sticky consistency, but honey – as most folks know – is incredibly sweet and none of that sweetness is hidden here. To be honest, I really would have called this a honey-orange glaze, since I could barely taste the ginger. I have next to no experience with sauces or glazes so I’m not sure what I could do as an alternative here. I’d like to use only 1 Tablespoon honey to let the ginger and orange flavors really shine through, but then I’d be adding more liquid and the reduction would take forever. Any suggestions?

Overall Enjoyment: ♥    ♥    ♥

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I can’t believe the semester is nearly over. Long lectures, early morning labs, late night study sessions, all-nighters for work, and applications to Canadian graduate programs have certainly made the time fly by. I have a camera full of food shots from the meals and treats I’ve squeezed in in the last month or so, but no time to post! Luckily we get a week off for Thanksgiving, so I’m hoping to be able to share at least a few of them with you. I have a delicious dish I’m hoping to make for Thanksgiving dinner, but knowing me you probably won’t see it until Spring, haha.

I don’t know how blog divas like Ree and Deb do it. I certainly won’t say balancing work and school is easy, but I think being a parent trumps all. Kodus to all you moms and dads out there who can make home-cooked meals while juggling parenting and a work schedule – sometimes even school as well. You are my heroes!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

(an amalgamation from both Ratio and The River Cottage Handbook)

Ingredients:

4   C   whole wheat flour (or just over 1 pound)

4   C   AP flour (or just over 1 pound)

1   T   instant yeast*

4   t   salt

2 ½   C   water, at room temperature

2   T   honey

* Note: If you’re like me and store your yeast in the fridge, allow the Tablespoon of yeast to come to room temperature before mixing.

Procedure:

  1. Pour water into a bowl and add honey. Stir until the honey has completely dissolved. Add yeast and let sit until bubbles begin to form (about 5 minutes)
  2. Stir together flours and salt in a separate bowl. Add water mixture to flour and stir until dough forms.
  3. Kneed dough with an electric mixer with paddle attachment or turn dough out onto floured surface to kneed by hand. Work until dough has pulled together, is silky smooth, and rather stretchy. You can try the windowpane test as described in the Basic Ratio Bread post, but I’ve never really managed to get as stretchy a dough as folks describe. I used my roommate’s Kitchenaid this time around and kneeded for about 10 minutes, with frequent stops to kneed a bit by hand to check consistency.
  4. Divide dough in half. Place each half in a large, floured mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise until doubled in size (about 3 hours for me, but my kitchen was cold at the time).
  5. Turn doughs out, kneed and work each a bit to expel gas and redistribute yeast. Shape each half into nice oval rounds and place in bread pans. Cover each with a towel and let proof for at least another hour.
  6. Repeat Step 5 up to 4 times to improve flavor, if desired (I’m impatient so I proofed only once).
  7. Once dough has risen up in the bread pans, preheat oven to 500°F. Bake bread for 10 minutes, then check and adjust the temperature using the following conditions: if the crust is still pale, turn temp. down to 400°F. If the crust is noticeably browning, turn the temp. down to 350°F. If the crust is browning quickly, turn down to 325°F.
  8. Bake until the loaves are well browned, crusty, and feel hollow when you tap the bottoms (about 40 – 50 minutes).
  9. Remove loaves from the oven and allow to cool completely before turning out of the pans. Trust me, I did not believe this tip and ended up ripping the bottom off my first loaf.
  10. Enjoy!

Beezer’s Notes:

This is my standard bread recipe now. It’s light enough for chewy PB&J sandwiches, but hearty enough for morning toast – my two deal-breakers, haha. I know it’s not 100% whole wheat (which you can do by simply making all 4 Cups whole wheat flour), but I find I enjoy the 100% kind much less and so this 50/50 flour combo is a good compromise for me. Also, I’m glad I attempted the double recipe as described in The River Cottage Bread Handbook. Having twice the amount of dough to kneed seemed like a formidable undertaking and at first I wasn’t sure I wanted to try it. The electric mixer certainly helped, though it still felt like a bit of a cop-out, and both loaves turned out beautifully. The best part is that I have one loaf in the freezer to pull out as soon as I finish the first; with less time to bake these days it’s very convenient.

Overall Enjoyment: ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

Honey- & Goat Cheese-Filled Fig Muffins

Alright, first of all: how can you not attempt a recipe that sounds like this? The title itself demands respect and no matter how your own batch may turn out, simply mentioning this recipe in casual conversation earns kudo points. Of course, the fact that I love all three of the main ingredients certainly helped. 😉

Honey- & Goat Cheese-Filled Fig Muffins (from Eating Well, February 2010)

Ingredients:

3/4     C     crumbled soft goat cheese (or cream cheese)

2         T     honey

1         t     freshly grated lemon zest

1 1/4   t      vanilla extract, divided

2         C     white whole-wheat flour

1 1/2    t     baking powder

1/2       t     baking soda

1/4       t     salt

2                 large eggs

1                 large egg white

3/4      C    packed dark or light brown sugar

1          C    low-fat or non-fat buttermilk

1/3       C     EVOO

1 1/4    C     chopped dried figs

3          T     turbinado or granulated sugar

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 12 (1/2 cup) muffin cups with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.
  2. Thoroughly combine goat cheese/cream cheese, honey, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs and egg white in a medium bowl; add brown sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the buttermilk and oil until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in the figs.
  4. Spoon half the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 generous teaspoon of the reserved cheese filling to the center of each muffin and cover with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the muffins with sugar.
  5. Bake the muffins until the edges start to brown and the tops spring back when gently pressed – 13 to 15 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool.

makes 1 dozen muffins


Beezer’s Notes:

While you do have to be a serious goat-cheese-lover and fig-fan to enjoy these muffins, I am and I certainly did! Mine turned out rather small and dense compared to the magazine’s photo, but I’m positive my use of regular whole-wheat flour rather than the white whole-wheat suggested was the cause. I don’t believe the taste suffered any from my deviation.

Also, the magazine states “the filling should not be visible” when topping off the batter. I, again deliberately, left bits of the cheese peeking through and really liked the outcome. I think it adds more character to the muffin to see bits of creamy white exposed along with dark dots of fig.

Overall enjoyment: ♥  ♥  ♥


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