Matt was a little leery about the idea, I think he thought I was going to do one of those breaded chicken things in a sweet citrus sauce like you see at some Chinese restaurants. My idea though was for something a little more savory and full of flavors that go well with citrus. Things like red pepper and ginger.
Well, I was saying I told you so as we both devoured this dish, it was so good. All the flavors just blended perfectly together with the tang of the citrus being the star. Now, to be completely honest with you, this dish could have easily been made as a quick stir-fry instead of a braise and probably tasted the same. I just had this idea in my head that the clementines would get a more roasted flavor in the oven. Really since they were cooking in a sauce that didn't matter. So, I would say if you make this go ahead and cook it either way.
Clementine Braised Chicken
1 T olive oil
1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5 scallions, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 t powdered ginger
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T honey
3/4 c chicken stock
2 T orange juice
crushed red pepper
1 T cornstarch (optional)
hot cooked rice
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a oven-proof pan, like a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper, garlic, and most of the scallions (reserve a bit of the chopped green stem for garnishing). Cook for about a minute. Add the chicken thighs and brown a little on both sides. Zest the clementine and add the zest to the pot. Then peel it and add the clementine segments to the pot. Add the ginger, soy, honey, chicken stock, orange juice anda few pinched of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Put into oven and let cook for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
If you would like a thicker sauce like we did, add cornstarch in the following manner. When you take the pot out of the oven, return it to the medium-high heat on the stove top and stir in about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in water. Stir until thickened.
Serve over hot rice and garnish with reserved scallion slices.
Makes 2 servings. (You could probably cook 6 thighs in the same amount of sauce for more servings)
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