Orange-Fig Glazed Chicken

honeyorange

 

For the past few months, my blog has taken a back seat with catered events rolling in one after another at work, so I apologize to my loyal followers and will do a better job over the coming months of posting a weekly blog entry. About a month ago we ran across a sweet deal at Costco when we found boneless, skinless chicken thighs at a really good price. It had 6 packs containing 5 boneless thighs bundled into one pack (so you can freeze the whole pack and tear off and thaw meals as needed). I believe Costco does most all their chicken this way, but lately I’ve been buying a lot of dark meat chicken. I grew up eating white meat chicken so I’m a late follower to the moistness and deliciousness of dark meat.

Since we’ve had this big pack of thighs in the freezer, I’m constantly trying new things to cook them. Normally I make a glaze of cranberry sauce and wine cooked down to a syrup, with some garlic added, but being out of cranberry sauce forced me to try something new and that’s how this recipe came about. This is what I could make with what I had in the pantry (and bar), but the point here is to play around with what you’ve got on hand. To make a good glaze you need some sort of fruit item (preserves, cranberry sauce, jam, etc) and some sort of acid (in this case some wine). Boiling contents down to a syrup will marry all the flavors and make an incredible glaze for meat. Boiling it down also releases the alcohol and leaves only the rich flavors.

  • 5-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or use breasts if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning blend (I look for Badia brand which is cheap and tasty)
  • 1 tbsp fig preserves
  • zest from 1 orange and juice from same orange
  • 1 tbsp Drambuie liqueur (made from scotch whiskey and honey)
  • 1 tbsp Cabinet Sauvignon wine
  • 1 tbsp mined garlic

Arrange thighs on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning. Roast in a 400F oven for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, in a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the glaze is thick and will cover the back of a spoon.

Remove chicken from the oven and spoon the glaze over the chicken. Return to the oven and cook for 5 more minutes then check the temperature. Chicken needs to be 165F to be done and kill all salmonella or other harmful bacteria. If yours if 165F, it’s done. If not, continue cooking until internal temperature is reached.

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Bacon Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but work has been terrible lately and my creativity has been zapped by the time I get home!

At the local street market this past week, we picked up some cute little patty pan squash, so for dinner tonight, I decided to stuff and bake them. There are several ways you can stuff squash.. with vegetables, rice, meats, you name it, but since I was cooking these as a side dish, I went easy on the filling. Many people see these squash but have no idea what to do with them, so give this recipe a try if you’ve got some patty pan laying around.

  • 4 small patty pan squash
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup PANKO breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

In a small glass baking dish, add 2 tbsp olive oil and set aside. Prep the squash by cutting the top 1/4 off (reserving tops), then using a melon baller, scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/4″ all around. Finely chop the squash centers.

In a saute pan, cook the chopped bacon until brown and slightly crisp. To the bacon, add the onion and squash and cook 4-5 minutes, until onion and squash are tender. Add the wine, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute more, deglazing the pan.

Pour vegetable mixture into a bowl and add the PANKO, chopped spinach and Asiago cheese. Toss well to combine. Spoon breadcrumb/vegetable mixture evenly into the patty pan squash “cups”. Place the saved tops back on the squash (to keep the stuffing from getting too brown while it bakes). Bake at 375F for 30-40 minutes.