Oh hi. Here is proof that I didn’t live on the couch all last week.
I need this solid evidence for myself. Because for the past three days we pretty much DID live on the couch in a Netflix haze. Did you know that gummy fish, yogurt pretzels and leftover pizza can last dayssss if you really don’t want to move?
Also: a bag of Dove dark chocolate mint swirled squares last about seven seconds. It’s so weird how that works.
So last week I made chicken three times in five days. Sifting through my winter funk is causing my dinner recipe brain to, well… disappear, and it’s like I totally forget how to cook. Wasn’t it just two weeks ago that we basically ate a week full of meatballs? Yes it was.
In the last two weeks I’ve also made fish tacos twice. And eaten this garlic toast egg combo about five times. PULL ME OUT OF THIS SLUMP! I want to be eating all the things.
This is what did it though.
This chicken. Oh so good. Sucking me out of the slump one juicy bite at a time.
Let’s talk about how to make a delicious chicken skillet. Because clearly I can’t teach you how to pour a proper glass full of beer considering that mine still come out half foam.
Might have to do with that whole lack of patience thing. Maybe.
Chicken I can do. Beer I cannot.
If you’ve been reading, you know we’re constantly on a quest to find a new favorite chicken recipe. Or at least keep things interesting and exciting with chicken. This has been a goal for years and years. What I can flavor it with or what can I stick it in? I mean, like tacos or whatever. I’ll just stop.
But it’s because I get soooo bored.
Luckily, it’s one of my favorite times of year and it makes cooking easier: winter citrus season! While grapefruits are my number one, I prefer those for pure snacking. Oranges tend to have too much pith for my liking and – of course – there is that whole patience thing again so yeah. I cook with them or juice them more than eating them straight up.
Anyhoo. My go-to key for cooking chicken in a skillet (preferably cast iron) is fairly high heat. I want that skillet to be HOT and once I throw the chicken on there, I keep it there. I actually exercise the patience that I do not have and refuse to flip the chicken for at least two minutes, sometimes longer. I want that deep, golden color which simply translates to FLAVOR. Flavor flavor flavor. It’s like my lifelong search.
I have been on the boring, flavorless, dry, always-tastes-the-same chicken train and quite frankly, it sucks. Lots of seasoning and high heat searing is what saves me every singe time.
Another one of this season’s obsessions has been baby arugula. I mentioned it weeks ago and it’s sticking. Regardless of what we are eating for dinner, I’ve reeeeeally been trying to make a little salad to go with it and 99% of the time that consists of an arugula base. I’m convinced it has something to do with my weird infatuation with bitter vegetables like kale and brussels sprouts when I don’t even like normal people vegetables such as carrots and celery. The pepperiness just gets me.
And this chicken is sort of sweet, a little tangy and compliments it perfectly. I don’t want to even tell you that it’s my new favorite… but you know the drill.
Yield: serves about 4
Total Time: 45 minutes
1/2 cup of your favorite beer (I prefer a wheat version)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (and/or drumsticks)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
orange arugula greens
6 cups baby arugula
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tangerine or orange, segmented
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeeze orange juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine 1/4 cup of beer, orange juice, marmalade, zest and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thick, for about 6 to 8 minutes.
Heat a large oven-safe skillet (I like cast iron) over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and add it to the skillet, searing on both sides until deeply golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. After the second side is seared, add the 1/4 cup of beer to the skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour in the orange mixture and turn off the heat.
Place the chicken in the oven uncovered and bake for 20 minutes. Every 5 minutes, baste the chicken with the glaze in the bottom of the pan. Serve with greens.
orange arugula greens
Combine arugula, tangerine and onion in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together the oil, juice, vinegar, salt and pepper until combined, then pour half on the greens and toss well to coat. Save the mixture for extra dressing if desired. Sprinkle the pine nuts on the salad and toss once more. Serve immediately with the chicken.
just look at that color!