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Monday, November 5, 2012

Tips to Make Easy Citrus Chicken


Chicken is one of those entrees that can get boring quickly. How many chicken rice and mushroom casseroles can you eat anyway?
The advantages of chicken include it's relatively cheap, tastes good, and cooks quickly. Here's a recipe that is adaptable for any season. The tang of the citrus brings out the best in the chicken. The herbs add a fresh note and more flavor. If you don't like garlic, use scallions instead. Change the citrus and herbs and it's a brand new dish. Here are tips to make easy citrus chicken.
4 Chicken breasts, 8 thighs or 8 drumsticks
1 orange
2 lemons
2 limes
1 pink grapefruit
4 slices of citrus fruit
1/2 cup chopped herbs, sage, cilantro, parsley or tarragon
3 cloves chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
This dish includes all four citrus fruits. However, you could use only one fruit and herb, such as lemon and tarragon for a French dish, limes and cilantro for Southwest flavor -- add a 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or Orange and sage.
Zest the fruit, leaving the white pith. That's bitter and won't add any flavor. Squeeze the citrus fruit until you have at least 1 cup of juice. Add the zest, garlic and chopped herbs. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade.
Pull the skin away from the chicken but don't remove it. You want the marinade to bath the chicken meat. Add the marinade. Push some of the herbs, zest and garlic under the skin. Refrigerate for a minimum of four hours up to overnight.
Now you have your choice of cooking methods. Pull the skin back over the chicken meat. The skin keeps the meat moist. Brown in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Lower the heat and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, the juices run clear and the meat is no longer opaque. Or brown the chicken then transfer to a slow-cooker with the marinade. Add enough chicken broth to cover the meat. Cook for four to eight hours depending on your slow-cooker.
Or put the chicken straight from the fridge into a baking pan. Add the marinade. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with couscous or rice. Add the reserved marinade to the rice or couscous during the last five minutes of cooking. Actually with the couscous add the boiling water, stir then immediately add the marinade. Cover for five minutes then fluff with a fork.
Plate the chicken adding a slice of the citrus fruit on top as a garnish. This dish is good with peas, fresh string beans or asparagus.
Make a double batch. Use the leftovers for chicken salad adding 1/4 cup of the citrus juice you used for the marinade, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of chopped celery and one small can of mandarin oranges.
Now you know how to make easy citrus chicken.
Find more recipes such as pork and apples Dee is the author of several nonfiction books and the novel, Over Time. She likes to share her grilling secrets.
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