Californian Chicken 6.000
Make It, Freeze It, Take It Oct 14, 2009

This chicken starts off in a sunny orange marinade and ends up looking like -- but not tasting like -- curry. The recipe works best with chicken quarters that weigh about 9 ounces each.

Make Ahead: The chicken needs at least 2 hours' and up to 12 hours' marinating time in the refrigerator. Cool the cooked chicken completely, then place in 1 or 2 freezer-safe resealable plastic food storage bags, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing. The chicken can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Servings: 6
  • 6 (about 3 1/2 pounds) chicken quarters (may substitute 4 to 5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • Finely grated zest and juice from 2 navel or blood oranges (about 1 1/2 tablespoons zest and 3/4 cup juice)
  • 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium clove garlic, smashed, plus 2 cloves finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 ounces (1 package) sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • Heaped tablespoon of oregano (may substitute 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • Salt


Remove as much skin as possible and any visible fat from the chicken quarters. (Leaving a little around the end of the drumsticks is okay.) Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic food storage bag.

Add the orange zest and juice, turmeric, peppercorns, bay leaves and chopped garlic to the bag. Seal and massage to coat the chicken pieces. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, repositioning the bag occasionally.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and smashed garlic; cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have softened. Use a spatula to move the mixture to the edges.

Add the chicken, reserving the marinade (discard the smashed garlic, if desired, and the peppercorns and bay leaves). Increase the heat to medium-high to brown the chicken all over, turning the pieces as needed. This will take 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the reserved marinade and broth; bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the mushrooms and oregano, stirring them into the liquid; cover and cook for at least 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and quite tender. Taste and season lightly with salt as needed.

Serve hot, over rice, or cool completely before storing.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Omega-3 Cookbook," by Michael van Straten (Kyle, 2007).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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