RECIPE: SERIOUSLY ORANGE CHICKEN
A perfect winter warmer yet still light and full of goodness!
Serve over quinoa and chopped fresh spinach for well-rounded meal.
PREP TIME: 10-15 min
COOK TIME: 60 min
FOR THE CHICKEN
1 sachet TASTE OF LEBANON spice blend
3 TBSP (45ml) olive oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt to season
FOR THE VEGETABLES
2 red onions, sliced in wedges
2 sweet potatoes, washed and cut into bite-sized chunks
4 mandarin oranges, peeled and sliced
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup water
OPTIONAL GARNISHES (not pictured)
Fresh mint or chives
OPTIONAL QUINOA/SPINACH SERVING
1 cup (200 g) dried quinoa
2 cups (480 ml) water
2 big handfuls fresh spinach leaves
COOK THE CHICKEN
1) Preheat oven to 200C / 400F.
2) Season chicken with salt on both sides.
3) In a large bowl, mix olive oil and TASTE OF LEBANON spice blend, add the chicken pieces and mix well to combine/fully coat.
4) Add sweet potato and onion to the bottom of an oven-proof dish, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the veggies and then sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
5) Arrange the orange slices over the veggies.
6) Snuggle the seasoned chicken down into the orange slices and veggies, pour the orange juice & water in around the chicken, place dish in the oven and cook for 45 min to and hour* see cooks notes.
MAKE THE QUINO & SPINACH BASE
1) Cook 1 cup quinoa according to directions on package.
2) Chop two big handfuls of fresh spinach, add to a large mixing bowl, season with a pinch of salt and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil (just to soften) and mix well.
Sprinkle fresh mint (or chives) over the top of the cooked dish...
...spoon cooked quinoa into individual serving bowls, divide the chopped spinach across the bowls, then top each bowl with chicken and veggies...
...pour a bit of the juice from the roasting dish over each bowl.
Recipe & Photo Credit: Cathy Menees
CHICKEN: I often use boneless/skinless chicken thighs, but on the bone with skin also works, so don’t worry if you can’t find one or the other. Heck, drumsticks will be just fine as well. But DO NOT use chicken breasts (filets, for my Dutch friends). Chicken breasts only need a short cook time, so they will be overcooked and dry if you try to use them in this recipe.
A lot of nutrients are in the skin, so don’t peel them, just wash them really well. If you can’t find sweet potatoes for some reason, substitute with carrots…those will also give a nice sweetness and crunch to the dish!
Is so easy - 5 minutes to season the chicken with salt, mix it with the spice/oil mixture and another 5-10 minutes with the veggies...so you get dinner in the oven in 10-15 minutes and have your hands free for other things!
As with all meat, try to remove the chicken from the fridge (keeping it in it’s packaging) 30 to 60 min before cooking to let it come to room temperature. Placing really cold chicken in the oven may affect the cooking time…so be sure to check for doneness…
…CHECKING FOR DONENESS
To test if your chicken is thoroughly cooked, insert a toothpick, fork or skewer into one of the pieces – if the juices run clear, it’s ready!
*OVEN TEMPERATURE & TIME
All ovens vary, so check the chicken after 45 minutes to make sure the chicken is nicely browned, but the mandarins are just a bit brown around the edges, but not burned.
FLEXIBLE COOKING TIMES
Need 1 HOUR hands free?
the follow directions above.
Need A FEW HOURS hands free
follow direction above, except cook at 120C / 250F for at 1.5 TO 2 hours...longer if necessary.