Friday, February 15, 2008

Chicken Yucatan

For Christmas, my sister-in-law Ashlie gave me the Joan Lunden Healthy Cooking cookbook. I'll be honest with you, when I first saw it I thought, "Did Ashlie just pawn off one of her old cookbooks on me?" But then I opened it up and she wrote me a letter letting me know that she received this cookbook for her wedding from a schizophrenic lady and it's ended up being her favorite cookbook! She gave me a list of her favorite recipes from the book and then wrote notes for me to make it better on the individual recipes. That is so perfect! I want to start a tradition of doing that for people, it's just so meaningful.

The first recipe that I have tried from the book was a success! I've decided that I really like baking chicken because it is so much more moist than when I saute or pan fry it. I served it with couscous, although rice would be perfect with it as well. Joan Lunden's commentary with this recipe suggests serving it with platter of seasonal fruit that complements the "cumin-scented, citrusy sauce".
  • Dash of cornstarch (1/4 teaspoon) - Ashlie's recommendation
  • Dash of honey (2/3 teaspoon) - Ashlie's recommendation
  • 3 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon fresh oregano (2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4-6 dashes hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin and fat removed (I used chicken breasts)
In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except for the chicken. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish and brush half the citrus-herb mixture. Bake the chicken in a 375 degree oven, turning once and brushing with the remaining sauce. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the inside chicken is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.

*Ashlie's tip is to marinade the chicken for 30 or more minutes. I would recommend this also!

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