I could easily call this dish “store-cupboard chicken”, since I used whatever was in my fridge and cupboard. But since not all people have the same kitchen supplies, I called it “Citrus Chicken”. Frankly, I had 1 kilo of skinned chicken thighs in the fridge, meant to become my family’s lunch. Lemon and chicken have a very old and meaningful relationship, especially if you are a Cypriot. My grandmother’s “lemonato” (chicken and potatoes braised in lemon juice) is a cherished, childhood memory. I must admit, I got carried away and this is nothing like my grandmother’s “lemonato” but still a delicious and surprisingly easy dish to prepare. I added orange juice and ginger and just a touch of soy sauce to bring a subtle, salty flavor to the chicken. Served with rice this is definitely a “happy” meal.
- 1 kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 Tbs soy sauce
- 2 Tbs honey
- salt and pepper to taste
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Don’t put too much salt as soy sauce will add saltiness to the dish. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the chicken thighs (do this in two batches if your pan is not big enough. Don’t crowd the pan). Cook thighs, turning once, until they have a nice colour on both sides, but are not cooked through.
Remove chicken from the pan and lower the heat to medium. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes or so, until onion is soft and slightly golden. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.
Add the wine, orange and lemon zests and juice, soy sauce and honey. Stir everything together and bring mixture to a boil. Transfer chicken back in the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook chicken, uncovered for 15-18 minutes until chicken is cooked and sauce has reduced and thickened slightly (cook a few minutes longer if sauce seems too thin).
Garnish chicken with some extra orange zest if you like. Serve with rice.