This is true fusions cooking. Seriously. Citrus and plums? From Persia you have cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and oranges…and then there are those plums. Oh wait…that’s also Indian, isn’t it? Hmmm…but just to confuse things further, there’s some Sichuan pepper, allspice and hot chilies in the mix, too. But, it works. And it works well. This blend of interesting spices will knock your socks off! I made it into a sandwich with some Salsa Cremosa and put some peanut butter in there, too. And, as we know, peanuts aren’t part of Persian cuisine, though you do find them in Indian and Asian food. The Persian usually prefer cashews or pistachios.
But don’t be put off by this. I know the list of ingredients looks long and perhaps, a bit daunting. You’ll have to trust The Goddess. Has she steered you wrong yet? The flavors are wonderful. They are warm, slightly sweet, a little spicy, and there’s a nice kick of heat. There’s a party happening with your taste buds.
This can be a skillet dinner. You know how we love those…only one pan to clean, making it seriously easy, even mid-week. I used some blood oranges, and just arranged them on top of the onions and garlic. Then plop the browned chicken thighs on top and bake…see. Simple!
Spiced Persian Chicken with Citrus & Plums
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or bone-in and skin-on)
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1/2 teaspoon onion granules
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2-1 teaspoon ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- oil for sautéing the chicken
- 1 onion, thinly sliced from top to bottom
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced
- 2 firm plums, cut in quarters
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- cilantro leaves as desired
Place the chicken thighs in a medium-sized bowl. Add the vinegar, oils, cornstarch and spices. Using your hands, rub the spices into the chicken until everything is well mixed and the chicken is well-coated. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you’re going to cook it.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add some oil; and place the chicken skin side down. It should sizzle. Lower the heat slightly and cook for at least 3 minutes before turning. Don’t move the chicken, or it won’t brown well. Turn the chicken and continue cooking for 3 minutes or until brown. Remove the thighs and set aside. Add the onions and oranges to the pan. You may need to add additional oil, but usually there’s enough from the chicken. Place the chicken back in the pan, skin side up. Place the pan in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Add the plums to the pan, just pushing the wedges in between the chicken pieces. Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting until the chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven (careful—that handle is HOT!). Remove the chicken to a serving plate. Place the plums around the chicken and onions and orange slices over the chicken. Cover loosely with foil and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the wine. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bits off the pan. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid thickens slightly. Immediately pour over the chicken, garnish with chopped or whole cilantro leaves and serve immediately.
Spiced Persian Chicken with Citrus & Plums Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
Saffron rice with some barberries added would be perfect for this. I left my barberries in Miami, so I used cranberries. Of course, I didn’t take pictures of that, but I did take grab a photo the next day when I served it with a new find…Spicy Sichuan Roasted Potatoes. All the same, this is pretty enough to serve to both family and friends. But, only good friends!