Cooking with Citrus and Virginia


After the first time I saw Virginia Willis in our Cooking School I started regularly checking her website for recipe ideas, she seems to have a secret path to my Southern heart, and when I happened across a recipe for Spicy Chicken with Clementines, I knew it must be fate or citrus season or both.

After months of rich holiday food, come the new year, like most, I am always ready for something bright, clean, and fresh. This time of year that trifecta that means cooking with citrus, and Virginia's recipe for Spicy Chicken with Clementines seemed the perfect way to cook away the winter blahs. Inspired by Amelia Saltsman's The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Tradition, Virginia recommends assembling this dish in the morning so it can marinate all day and then pop it in the oven at the end of the day, serving it with whole grain couscous and a celery salad. Bright, clean, and fresh – along with healthy, easy, and most of all delicious – the best of weeknight cooking. 
 
Here is the recipe, for you fine folks:
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 clementines, cut into the eighths
3 small onions, quartered
1/4 cup black olives
2 tablespoons harissa, or to taste (or in a pinch, you could use sriracha)
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Combine the chicken, clementines, onions, olives, harissa, and agave in a sealable container. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate to marinate at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours. (I quickly put it together in the morning and let it marinate all day while I am at work.)
 
Heat the oven to 350°F. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and transfer to a shallow baking dish. Set aside for 10 or so minutes to take the chill off. Transfer to the heated oven and bake until the juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a knife and the temperature registers about 160° when tested with an instant read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Change the oven setting to broil and cook until slightly charred and blistered, about 5 minutes depending on the strength of your broiler.

If this has tempted your tastebuds, you can see her in person, in our Cooking Schools in March, class schedules will be released on February 1st.

Photo courtesy of Virginia Willis
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