Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yucatan Spiced Chicken- Olé!

Bring the Yucatan to your kitchen with this spicy, citrusy chicken dish.  It's light and easy to make.  Serve this chicken with rice and beans, maybe a side of Mexican inspired cole slaw and you have yourself a special dinner.
Yucatan chicken served with roasted chayote squash and rice and black beans

This recipe serves four.
Finely grated zest of one orange
3/4  cup orange juice
Finely grated zest of two limes
1/4  cup of lime juice
4     cloves of garlic, chopped
3     tbsp ancho chile powder
2     tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4  cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1    3-lb chicken or 4-  8-oz chicken breasts halves on the bone, with skin (1/2 breasts and 1/2 thighs)
1     large chayote, halved lengthwise, pitted and cut into 12 wedges (substitute summer squash)
1     poblano, seeded, cut into thin rings
1     red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2     tbsp each, fresh cilantro and mint, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a blender, puree the orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, garlic, ancho powder, oregano and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the chicken (or chicken breasts) in a shallow baking dish, skin side up, and make three deep cuts in each.  Season with salt and cover with the puree, rubbing it into the slits.  Spread the chayote, poblano and onion on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.  Roast the chicken breast side up in the upper third of the oven for about 30 minutes, basting a few times. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook until just cooked through.  At the same time, roast the vegetables for about 30 minutes, until browned and the chayote is tender crisp.

Preheat the broiler.  Cut the chicken into quarters, then broil the chicken six inches from the heat until well glazed, two minutes.  Garnish with the herbs and serve the chicken and vegetables with the pan juices.

Vary the vegetables: zucchini, butternut squash, tomatillos, etc.  Add slivers of fresh ginger.

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