Spicy Braised Chicken with Citrus and Rhubarb

By • May 15, 2011 • 12 Comments

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Author Notes: Cooking with chicken thighs is a great way to provide rich flavor, tenderness, and protein on a shoestring budget. The chicken for this dish costs less than $2. And if you find a "buy one, get one or two free" sale, then you can feed your whole neighborhood. Sagegreen

Serves 4 (to even 8)

  • 2 pounds free-range, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds or pollen
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground peppercorns, preferably pink
  • 1 splashes olive oil
  • 1 ounce German speck or pancetta, cut up (optional)
  • One 3-inch knob peeled ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 pinch sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 to 2 large vidalias or other sweet onion, cut into thin rings, then quartered
  • Peel of 1 sweet orange, cut into matchsticks
  • Peel of 1 Meyer lemon, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-cut, fresh fennel bulb (optional)
  • 2 to 3 ample stalks fresh rhubarb, diced
  • 1 pinch Saigon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 2 cups homemade chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, or as needed
  • 3 cups cooked, warm medium-grain brown rice
  • Quartered slices orange and lemon, without rind, for garnish
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley, for garnish
  • 1 squeeze Meyer lemon, to serve
  1. Before I started this recipe I began my brown rice using a simple oven method to be ready in 1 hour. Then to begin this recipe sprinkle the ground fennel and pepper on the dry chicken thighs. Heat a large braising pan with a touch of olive oil. Brown the chicken thighs with the optional speck or pancetta and ginger matchsticks. Season with salt. Turn the chicken thighs over to brown on the other side. When both sides have a golden color, remove to a platter and let rest. Wipe out the pan.
  2. Add another splash of olive oil and bring the pan to medium high. Add the onions.Have at least one and a half cups of cut onions. Saute slowly until translucent. Stir in the orange and lemon peel (with pith removed) and cook for about 3 minutes. Take off heat. (If you happened to have half a cup of fennel bulb you could add these cut matchstick style as another additional option). Stir in the rhubarb and the cinnamon.
  3. Return the chicken, speck and ginger to the pan. Return to heat. Pour in the wine, stirring to deglaze the pan. Whisk the mustard and maple syrup together with the broth. Stir that in and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook slowly for about 40-50 minutes until the liquid reduces by almost half. Add more liquid if needed. Season with sea salt if needed. Taste and adjust for the sweet/sour balance you like: Add a tiny splash of cider vinegar if too sweet, or a touch more maple syrup if too tart.
  4. To serve, create a bed of the rice on each plate. Nest the chicken thigh in the center. Lather the onions, rhubarb and citrus peels on top. Squeeze with fresh lemon; season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro or parsley and rindless citrus wheels. To stretch this further, you could also debone the chicken first and serve twice as many folks.

Tags: ginger

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Comments (12) Questions (0)

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about 4 years ago inpatskitchen

Chicken thighs are my favorite! Thanks for this recipe..a new take on these!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, inpatskitchen. These were great fun to make. My more traditional Moroccan chicken recipe using thighs I may not post, since it probably is more familiar.

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about 4 years ago omarston

Wow, looks delicious!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, O! Now I am working on a variation of a frugal gourmet Morroccan chicken recipe.

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about 4 years ago ellenl

Can't wait to try this!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, ellenl! Please let me know what you think. If you like more sour, you can also add a little cider vinegar, or more sweet then a little more maple.

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about 4 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Luscious!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks! It is sweet and sour, too. I made it up as I went along.

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about 4 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And isn't that the fun of this contest!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Amen to that! Yes, this is inspiring to think up new combinations!

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about 4 years ago wssmom

This looks AMAZING!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks so much, wssmom. It is so great to have a little window of time to spend on this site; it is crazy busy this season for me at work!!!