• Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Nothing could be easier than this three ingredient sweet and spicy chicken.  It’s honey, Sriracha, and oranges.  I like to use clementines this time of year (in the Mandarin family) but really you can use any kind you can find. The great thing about this recipe is you can feed a crowd or cut it up and put it on skewers as a fancy appetizer.  Either way it’s a winner.  The key is to marinade for at least a couple of hours but that’s the hardest part about it.  Other than that it’s a cinch to pull off.  And you can adjust the spicy to sweetness level to suit your taste.  It’s going to taste spicy when you first mix it together but remember it soaks into the meat and then you use the reduction of the marinade as a sauce so you aren’t getting a lot of it.  I personally like to err on the side of spicy.

By making the marinade and then draining the chicken and reserving the marinade you are able to use all that yumminess for a sauce.  No waste!  It’s totally safe to do so as long as you bring the mixture to a boil. I like to use a heavy bottom enamal sauce pan for this step.  I find that it doesn’t burn the sauce mixture because it distributes heat better than a thinner metal sauce pan.  Just remember to do a low boil (tiny bubbles) not a high heat boil and cook it for about 6-8 minutes until it reduces down a bit.  I do this step while the chicken is cooking. This sauce is soooo delicious.  You may want to make extra.

As far as the cooking goes be sure sure to blot the chicken dry by patting it down with a paper towel.  This helps get that crusty texture to the outside of the chicken when it’s on the grill or in a cast iron pan (my two favorite methods for cooking chicken).

Here’s the play by play.

1.  Make the marinade – honey, Sriracha, and orange (zest and juice).  That’s it!

Honey, Sriracha, Orange zest and juice

Honey, Sriracha, Orange zest and juice

2.  Whisk it around and give it a taste before you add the meat.  If you like it sweeter add more honey.  Spicier?  More Sriracha.  More orange flavor? You guessed it.  I actually like to add the segments of orange to it while it’s marinating but then I strain the marinate before I reduce to sauce for the finished chicken.

marinade combined

Marinade combined

3.  Add your chicken.  Make sure to use a dish that isn’t too big so that the marinade almost covers the chicken.  I like to poke a few holes in my chicken with a fork just to make sure the flavors really get in there.

Chicken breasts marinating

Chicken breasts in marinade

4.  Pat chicken dry before adding to the grill or grill pan.  This will give it a nice crust. (Fire up that grill)

Blot chicken

Chicken breast on paper towel

5.  Don’t forget to season well with salt and pepper on both sides before this chicken hits the grill or pan!

season chicken

Season chicken with salt and pepper

6.  Add the chicken to the hot grill or cast iron pan on the stove and cook for 6-7 minutes per side until done.  While that is happening make the sauce reduction. This is what the sauce should look like once it’s reduced for 6-8 minutes.  *make sure you bring it to a low boil during the reduction process

sauce reduced

Sauced reduced

 

 

 

 

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Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Prep/ Marinate Time: 4 hours or overnight
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sriracha (chili garlic paste)
  • 4 Clementines (small mandarines)- (1 tablespoon zest and juice of all 4)
  • 1/4 cup scallions for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  1. In a medium bowl combine the honey, Sriracha, and orange zest and juice. Whisk to combine and taste. Adjust as desired with more sprice or more honey.
  2. Add the chicken breasts to a dish or zip lock bag and poke with a fork a few times. Add the marinade and make sure the coat the chicken all over. Cover and place in the fridge 4 hours or overnight. Flip if necessary to get the marinade on both sides.
  3. Remove chicken from the fridge and the marinade (reserve marinade). Pat chicken dry on paper towels, season both sides with salt and pepper, and preheat grill or cast iron pan and add about 1 Tablespoon canola oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Strain the marinade through a seive (if the orange segements were added) and put into a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil and reduce for 6-8 minutes until thickened slightly.
  5. Cook chicken 6-7 minutes on first side and then flip once. You should have a nice crust before flipping. Cook until 160-165 internal temp. Will vary on thickness of chicken. I like to remove chicken to indirect heat on the grill once the crust is formed on each side.
  6. Serve as a whole breast or sliced with sauce drizzled over the top and on the sides and sprinkled with green scallions for garnish

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