The trick to quickly prepared meals is just a little foresight and planning. In this case you marinate the chicken pieces overnight, but once you take them out of the marinade, they take less than 20 minutes to cook. My father found this recipe on a local sausage maker’s calendar, of all places. We futzed with it a bit, pounded the chicken thighs for more even cooking, used olive oil instead of vegetable spray, and served it with some of my mother’s awesome Spanish rice. Loved it.
Orange Marinated Chicken Recipe
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (4 pounds if buying bone-in)
- 6 oranges, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped (or 2-3 cups fresh squeezed orange juice)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 of a 7-ounce-can of chipotle chili peppers in adobo
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 Tbsp fresh marjoram leaves (or oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried of either)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Chopped fresh parsley and orange slices for garnish
1 In a blender or food processor, combine the chopped oranges, onion, chipotle in adobo, garlic, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and salt. Pulse a few times to make a coarse purée.
2 Put boneless chicken thighs between two sheets of wax paper and pound with a meat hammer until an even thickness of about 1/2-inch. Combine the chicken pieces and the orange marinade together either in a bowl or in a ziplock freezer bag. Refrigerate overnight.
3 Heat olive oil in a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. Remove chicken pieces from the marinade, wiping off excess (but not all) marinade. Working in batches, cook the chicken pieces for 5 minutes on each side.
Serve over rice or Spanish rice.
Yield: Serves 6.