There's a tangy sharpness to this chicken, yet no knife is required
There are plenty of people who cannot get behind the "Zen" of kitchen prep work, and I can understand that even those who do find the chopping somewhat meditative would be hard-pressed to feel that way on a busy weeknight.
So here's a recipe that involves seasoning, pouring and stirring. The only knife you'll need is for cutting bite-size pieces at the table. Pan-sear chicken thighs, then stir in a tangy blend of mustard, citrus juice, honey and hot pepper sauce. The original recipe calls for fresh orange juice, but I love the extra zip that tangerine juice brings. You can typically find the latter in the refrigerated produce section these days.
About that chicken: You will save a few bucks when you buy skin-on, bone-in thighs and do the butchering needed to render them skinless and boneless. (In that case, yes, you would need a knife to make this recipe.) It takes about a minute to pull off the skin, trim the fat and detach the thigh bone at two points; see a quick video on the Instagram account for #washpostlife. Bonus: You'll have bones for making stock, and skins to make gribenes. Toss them in the freezer, and they'll be waiting for you.
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Chicken Thighs With Mustard-Orange Sauce
4 servings, Healthy
Serve with thin green beans (haricots verts).
Adapted from "The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook," by Barbara Fairchild (Wiley, 2008).
4 good-size boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup fresh tangerine juice (may substitute fresh orange juice; see headnote)
3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
1/4 cup whole-grain, spicy brown or Creole mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Season the chicken lightly on both sides with the salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the chicken; cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes until browned, then turn them over on their second sides. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until just cooked through and browned. Use tongs to transfer the chicken thighs to a plate.
Pour the juice and broth into the pan (over medium-high heat); once the liquid starts bubbling, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Whisk in the mustard, honey and hot pepper sauce; once the mixture returns to a boil, cook for 5 to 7 minutes, to form a sauce that has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. You can stir once or twice to eliminate any scorching.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, then return the chicken to the skillet; Cook for about 1 minute, or just until the thighs are heated through, turning to coat them on both sides.
Divide the chicken among individual plates, then spoon the pan sauce over each portion. Serve hot.
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