Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs w/ Apricot and Cucumber Salad

 Working in the tv industry, I go through phases of intense traveling, home for barely a week at a time. And this last shoot was in Toledo, OH. Have you ever been to Toledo, Ohio? Don't go. I grew up in Cleveland...everyone says Cleveland is bad. But Toledo, it's worse. Like way worse. Makes Cleveland sparkle. It may actually be worse than Detroit, if that's possible. In fact, that should be Cleveland's new slogan...
"Cleveland...hey, we're not Toledo."

Anywho, shoots are crazy. As planned as you can be, nothing ever goes to plan. And working 15 hour days 4 for a whole week, not working out, and quite possibly eating at Applebees 4 nights in a row wreaks havoc on not just my girlish figure, but life in general. So when I get home, I usually like to cook as much as possible.

That's why tonight, I'm mixing up three awesome dishes... Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs, Apricot, Cucumber, and Lime Basil salad on the side, and a Blackberry Merlot Granita for afterwards.

Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs
TRT: 50 minutes

Citrus-Marinated Chicken Thighs

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, leave and tender stems only
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t. finely grated lime zest
1 t. finely grated orange zest
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/4 c. fresh orange juice
1/4 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 T vegetable oil
1 T kosher salt
2 lb chicken thighs - the original recipe called for skin-on and bone-in, but I chose to use boneless nd skinless thighs instead: undoubtedly less flavorful, but I've got a weird thing about eating meat with bones still in...reminds me too much that it was once a living, clucking thing.

Set aside 1/4 c. sliced scallions. Pulse cilantro, garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, and remaining scallions in blender until a coarse puree forms. Set aside 1/4 c of marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade. Place on foil-lined broilerproof baking sheet;. Broil chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn; continue to broil until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees, 12-15 minutes longer. Serve w/ reserved marinade and scallions.

I have more side dishes waiting in line than I do sides on a dinner plate, so whenever I've got a nice long Sunday to cook, I like to add one in there...not that this salad side dish was hard or anything...

Apricot, Cucumber, and Lime Basil Salad
TRT: 10 minutes

Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot, and Lime Basil Salad

*The original recipe called for "pluots," but let's be honest...I have no idea what a pluot is, nor would I be able to find one at the grocery store, so I just left them out.

3 T fresh lime basil, thinkly sliced
1 t champagne vinegar
Dash of kosher salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 apricots, pitted and cut into thin wedges
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss to coat well.

I'll save that blackberry merlot granita post for another day. Now, I'm going to obsessively plan my meals for the rest of summer from my summer recipe stockpile. Yeah, I'm that crazy.


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