Citrus Chili Chicken


Hello all– It’s been been fun to sit down to dinner this week.  My sis, Luanne and her husband are staying with us for a couple weeks, on their summer home from Kosovo.  Mostly we’ve been cooking together and working on a couple sewing projects and watching a whole lot of the Olympics.

So here was dinner a couple nights back.  Citrus flavor with a bit of spice glazing the chicken, and toasty roasted potatoes rounding out the plate.  Add a bright salad and a couple congenial houseguests.  Just great.

12 red potatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
6 chicken thighs
1 lime
1 orange
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
25 good olives
1 cup chicken broth
1 tab. cornstarch

Cut the potatoes into wedges.  Put them in a glass bowl with an inch of water and cook for 5 minutes in the microwave.  Drain the water from the potatoes and spread them on a baking sheet.  Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle the garlic salt over the top.

Remove the skin from the chicken thighs (You can leave it on if you don’t mind the fat).  Set them in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Juice the lime and pour the juice over the chicken thighs.

Grate the peel from the orange and save.  Juice the orange and then in a mixing bowl stir together the orange juice, orange peel, smoked paprika, chili powder and salt.  Pour the mixture over the chicken.

Pop the chicken in the baking dish and the baking sheet of potatoes into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Take out the chicken and baste the chicken with the juices in the baking dish.  Cook the potatoes and chicken 20 minutes more.

When they are done, lift the chicken thighs  and potatoes onto a platter.  Sprinkle the olives over the top. Cover to keep warm.

Pour the juices from the chicken baking dish into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  In a container with a tight fitting lid shake together the chopped cilantro, chicken broth and cornstarch until it is all well blended.  Pour into the sauce pan with the juice and stir until the sauce thickens.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve it up warm with a crispy salad and a chunk of sturdy bread.  Enjoy!



Citrus Cole Slaw

IMG_0001Hi all– Coleslaw.  I love it.  It just adds a bowl of freshness to the table–with bar-b-qued anything!  So when I made up some bar-b-que chicken sandwiches last week, it was fun to try out this new cole slaw recipe– sweet and tart all at once and nicely crunchy.  I’m sure I’ll be making it more this summer…

8 cups of cabbage, shredded*
2 carrots peeled and grated
4 tab. sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp/ salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 tab. tarragon vinegar (or any vinegar you love)
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate (undiluted)
1 tab. grated orange peel (about 1 orange)

First make the dressing so the flavors will set together while you do the rest.  In a large bowl stir together the sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice concentrate and orange peel.  Then chop that cabbage and grate the carrots.  Mix it all together and serve it up.  Best if you eat it right away.  I think it will wake up your mouth!

*If you like a fine coleslaw, you can chop it up in the food processor.  I like mine more chunky, so I just use a good old knife.

Tinto de Verano

Hello Summer friends.  For three years we lived in Utrera, a pueblo near Seville, Spain.  The summers were parched…  Midday, with the sun overhead, the cobbled streets of our pueblo were empty.  But by 11:00 in the evening everyone was out, strolling on plazas, kids on tricycles, families lingering over tapas in cafes in the cool of the night time.  We’d gather with friends around a table in the park, our 4 kids racing around the playground.  Jose Maria would order round after round of  summer tapas.  And the perfect drink for sitting outdoors with little plates of shrimp and croquetas is a tall class of “tinto de verano”- summer wine.  It’s almost a sangria, cold and simple.

Citrus Soda (we like Fresca)*
Red wine
lemons, limes or oranges
lots of ice in a tall glass

That’s it.  Pour it all together with a squeeze of lemon or other citrus.  Add slices of fruit to the glass and lots of ice.  Sip on a hot day.

*In Andalusia the drink was Casera, lemon based soda.  It came in big glass bottles with a flip off cork when we first lived in Spain.  I’d like to relive one of those summers all over again.