January, an orange fetish. The color orange in carrots and sweet potatoes. The citrus fruit orange in just about everything. Maybe it’s a vitamin deficiency or just the hankerings of a season. Having been basically flat on my back for over a week with a version of the dreaded flu, I woke up to the urgency of putting dinner on the table. Rallying, what I had on hand were some boneless chicken thighs and a few orange-colored ingredients.
So I made a quick chicken braise with sliced onions, carrots, red-orange peppers, slivered orange peel, sliced oranges and rosemary. This whole dish goes together in under 30 minutes and tastes and looks fresh and healthy.
Chicken Braised with Carrots and Oranges
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1-2 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp diced prosciutto, optional
1 small or half a medium onion, cut longwise and sliced crosswise
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ small red or orange bell pepper, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
½ c white wine
½ c chicken stock
Flesh from 1/2 small orange, without the membrane
1 tbsp slivered orange peel (without the white pith)
1 tbsp rosemary leaves
Trim any fat from the chicken thighs. Add salt and pepper to the flour and dredge the chicken in it, shaking off any excess. Warm the oil in a braising pan or sauté pan with a lid, large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Sauté the chicken over medium-high heat until brown on both sides and remove it to a platter, covering it to keep it warm.
If using prosciutto, sauté it lightly to brown on all sides and remove to the platter with the chicken.
Add the onion to the pan and sauté slowly over medium heat until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and stir. Add the pepper and carrot and sauté for a minute or two.
Add the white wine, turn up the heat and let the wine reduce a bit. Add the chicken stock, the chicken, the orange flesh and peel and the rosemary. Nestle the chicken among the vegetables so that it is at least partially covered. Bring the mixture to a simmer, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook slowly until the chicken is done, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve over rice or quinoa.