Weekday dinner inspiration: Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs, and more

Mon | Freezer foraging

With the holidays long over, you've probably got some things in your freezer that need eating. Leftover ham? A stray piece of chicken or a sausage link? Get it thawing and plan on a Variety Night. If the meat is grillable, crank up the fire. Surely there's enough lettuce for a salad, or some green beans that are crying to be cooked. Look through the pantry, too. Cook one of those boxes of BOGO pasta and toss it with Parmesan cheese, olive oil and coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. It's not exactly dinner fit for a king dinner, but we aren't exactly royalty, are we?

Tues | Lone Star burgers

Tonight's Texas Toast Open-Face Patty Melt starts with frozen Texas Toast and cooked beef patties. Slather the toast with spicy mustard, then layer on the cooked patty, sauteed spinach, mushrooms and Jack cheese. Pop it under the broiler until the cheese is gooey. Serve with a simple salad dressed with vinaigrette.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Easy Chicken Tacos make use of shredded chicken warmed with red or green salsa then piled in tortillas, soft or hard. Garnish with shredded pepper Jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce. A squeeze or two of lime to brighten the flavors won't hurt. Serve with rice and beans.

Thurs | Thighs have it

All you need to go with Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs (recipe below) is a pile of rice. You'll probably have some leftover sauce you can use on steak or salmon. It will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, say the editors of Fine Cooking magazine.

Fri | Carbo loading

Tonight you're in training. Training for Sunday's Super Bowl party. Make your favorite Spaghetti and Meatballs, only add a few cooked sausages to the sauce. Hot Italian bread? Check. Green salad of iceberg, cucumber and tomatoes with Italian vinaigrette? Check, check and check.

Sign up for Easy Meal Ideas from Janet's Kitchen at enews.tampabay.com. Get a free recipe e-mailed to you every weekday.

Mon | Freezer foraging

With the holidays long over, you've probably got some things in your freezer that need eating. Leftover ham? A stray piece of chicken or a sausage link? Get it thawing and plan on a Variety Night. If the meat is grillable, crank up the fire. Surely there's enough lettuce for a salad, or some green beans that are crying to be cooked. Look through the pantry, too. Cook one of those boxes of BOGO pasta and toss it with Parmesan cheese, olive oil and coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. It's not exactly dinner fit for a king dinner, but we aren't exactly royalty, are we?

Tues | Lone Star burgers

Tonight's Texas Toast Open-Face Patty Melt starts with frozen Texas Toast and cooked beef patties. Slather the toast with spicy mustard, then layer on the cooked patty, sauteed spinach, mushrooms and Jack cheese. Pop it under the broiler until the cheese is gooey. Serve with a simple salad dressed with vinaigrette.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Easy Chicken Tacos make use of shredded chicken warmed with red or green salsa then piled in tortillas, soft or hard. Garnish with shredded pepper Jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce. A squeeze or two of lime to brighten the flavors won't hurt. Serve with rice and beans.

Thurs | Thighs have it

All you need to go with Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs (recipe below) is a pile of rice. You'll probably have some leftover sauce you can use on steak or salmon. It will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, say the editors of Fine Cooking magazine.

Fri | Carbo loading

Tonight you're in training. Training for Sunday's Super Bowl party. Make your favorite Spaghetti and Meatballs, only add a few cooked sausages to the sauce. Hot Italian bread? Check. Green salad of iceberg, cucumber and tomatoes with Italian vinaigrette? Check, check and check.

Sign up for Easy Meal Ideas from Janet's Kitchen at enews.tampabay.com. Get a free recipe e-mailed to you every weekday.

>>moderate

Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs

Vegetable oil for the broiler pan

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 small to medium shiitake mushrooms, stemmed

3 medium scallions (green parts only), cut into 3-inch lengths

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons mirin

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Position a rack about 7 inches from the broiler and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and lightly oil the top of the pan.

Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Arrange the shiitake in 8 pairs, gill sides up, on the prepared broiler pan and season with salt and pepper. Arrange 2 or 3 scallion pieces on top of each mushroom pair, then put a chicken thigh, skin side up, on top. Press with your hand to flatten. Roast until the edges of the chicken begin to brown and an instant read thermometer inserted in a thick part of the biggest thigh registers 165 degrees, about 20 minutes. Then, broil until skin is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes, rotating the pan once.

While the chicken is cooking, combine soy sauce, sugar, mirin and orange zest in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

In a small bowl, stir orange juice and cornstarch; add this mixture to saucepan. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and glossy, about 1 minute.

To serve, transfer the chicken, scallions and mushrooms to dinner plates, drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serves 4.

Source: Fine Cooking (Dec. 30, 2009)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs, and more 02/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 3:30am]

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