Sunday, December 4, 2011

Orange Braised Chicken Thighs with Green Olives & Bulgur Wheat with Root Vegetables

It's the time of the year when people crave stews and roasts--comfort food that warms and nourishes.  It was with this in mind that I first made this meal several nights ago; I was so pleased with the result that I'm making it again.  The Orange Braised Chicken Thighs with Green Olives comes from Epicurious and is a simple dish for two.  The Bulgur Wheat with Root Vegetables is a recipe that I concoted that is also quite simple though you will do some peeling and chopping.

Bulgur Wheat with Root Vegetables
serves 2-4 
  • an assortment of root vegetables (I used 3 carrots, 1 very large turnip and a sweet potato because that is what I had on hand.  Butternut squash is also an excellent choice.)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • cinnamon
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat (if you have never purchased this, you can pick-it-up somewhere like Fresh Market or Whole Foods)                                                                                                                                                                       

  1. Preheat your oven to 425. 
 2.  Peel and chop your vegetables.  It would be best to try to cut the root vegetables into pieces that are similar in size.
3.  Spread the vegetables on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
4.  Pour olive oil all over the vegetables.  Then cover them generously with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

5.  Mix this together--just use your hands--so that the olive oil and spices coat the vegetables.
6.   In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Then, remove from the heat, add 1 cup of bulgur wheat and put a lid on top.  (If you don't have a lid, put something on there--like a small baking sheet--to act as a lid.

7.   Put the vegetables into the oven and roast until tender--probably about 30 minutes though it will depend on how small you diced them.
8.  When the vegetables are done cooking, scrape them into a large bowl.  Uncover the bulgur wheat and toss the two together. 

While the vegetables are roasting, start on your chicken.   I've added notes, below, in red.
Orange Braised Chicken Thighs with Green Olives
  • 4 chicken thighs with skin  (I used skinless.)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (I am currently obsessed with Smoked Paprika and substituted it.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup small pitted green olives


Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken, transferring as browned to a plate.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from pan. (You won't have a lot of fat if you use skinless and you probably won't need to saute the thighs for long.)  Reduce heat to moderate and in skillet cook garlic, stirring, until it begins to turn golden. Add onion and cook, stirring, until pale golden. Stir in cumin, citrus juices, and salt and pepper to taste and add chicken and olives. 

Simmer chicken, covered, 25 minutes, or until tender.

Bon Appetit!