Friday, January 23, 2009

Good 'Nuf Chicken

The other evening it was chilly and dinner time was coming around too soon it seemed. I needed to make something with the chicken thighs that were in the fridge, but it had to be a quick recipe and I wanted it to be somewhat healthy, too. After all, I'm saving my calories for bread a lot of the time lately. Might as well have an entree that is easy on the heart and waistline, too.

This is the time of year for citrus in our part of the world. It is plentiful, juicy, and the sunny colors really brighten up a gray day.

This chicken dish is a variation of a favorite lemon chicken recipe I've posted in the past. This time I changed it a bit and included some finely minced orange peel, including some of the pith. It carries the citrus flavor even further and the pith adds a touch of bitterness that really complements the mustard and lemon flavors. I slimmed down the recipe by reducing the olive oil a fair amount, too.

The resulting chicken is moist, flavorful, sunny with citrus, sparked with the tang of mustard and mellow garlic and zesty rosemary. It goes well with rice or noodles or just soak up the sauce with some sourdough bread if you have some. Can you tell I'm obsessed with sourdough bread?? Haha!

I'm entering this dish in Ilva of Lucullian Delights's event Heart of the Matter - Slimming, a great event for this time of year!

Sunny Citrus Chicken
Serves about 4-6

10 boneless skinless chicken pieces
1 tablespoons olive oil for coating pans
6-8 cloves fresh garlic
2 lemons
¼ cup Dijon mustard
4 branches fresh rosemary, each about 5 inches long, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh orange peel, some pith (white part just under skin) included.

Arrange the boneless skinless chicken thighs (or substitute some boneless skinless chicken breasts if you wish) in a 11 x 13 baking pans where the bottom of the pan have been lightly oiled with the olive oil, evenly divided. Keep the chicken pieces touching each other. Place whole, unpeeled garlic cloves between some of the pieces, about 6-8.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, the juice of 2 lemons, & 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour the mixture over the pan of chicken. Tuck a few sprigs of remaining fresh rosemary between some of the chicken pieces in the pan. Sprinkle the orange peel evenly over the pan of chicken. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 3-4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the chicken and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until the juice runs clear when a piece of chicken is pierced. Be sure to serve the sauce as well as the chicken.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or boiled potatoes, with bread to sop up the sauce. The sauce is mighty good. The chicken is amazing.

:) Leftovers are delicious, too. You can also freeze this, well wrapped, for a month. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350 degree oven until heated through, or in the microwave, reheating at no more than 50% power.


  1. Mmmmm....looks great! Yum...and easy. I need to try this sometime.

  2. Makes me laugh that your pictures also look like football plays!!

    Citrus is so good with just... everything. A great idea to add that touch of bitter with the pith. We've been using limes in a lot of our stir frying -- lime and pepper and bell peppers with a bit of "beef" and tofu over a tiny bit of rice (definitely: let's save the carb calories for bread!). Yum.

    (Try grinding dry citrus peel [a teensy bit] into fresh coffee grounds. Double yum.)

  3. I love anything with citrus. This sounds delicious!

  4. Lovely dish, I must try it! Thanks a lot for this entry, it's perfect!

  5. Oh, yes lemon has to be my most favorite flavors to cook chicken with. ;) yes there is a lot of bread these days and good sauces are so wonderful with it ;)

  6. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Last week I picked a huge batch of meyer lemons from the tree in my grandmas back yard so I'm out looking for recipes asking for fresh lemon juice. This fits the bill!