Thursday, July 26, 2012

Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs

I have a very warm feeling for Cooking Light magazine. I've been a subscriber for 10 plus years and have even participated in one of their annual cook offs. And just when I think they can't teach me anything more, a recipe for baked Maple-Soy Chicken jumps off the page, the ingredients land in my shopping cart and the finished dish wows me and quickly becomes a new favorite. This recipe is from Julianna Grimes and Hannah Klinger and is featured in the Budget Cooking section of the August 2012 issue. It's not only wallet friendly, but after the marinade combines with the chicken for one hour, it's a quick fix with easy clean up. I followed their recipe precisely and added my own little twist at the end with the brown rice I served as a side.

Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs
from Cooking Light

1/2 cup maple syrup- I used Archer Farms 100% maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh orange juice- I had a huge navel orange and squeezed half of it
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 T grated peeled ginger
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 gloves garlic minced or grated- I always grate if I'm cooking the garlic
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 T scallions sliced

To make the marinade: Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Place marinade in a large zip-lock plastic bag. Add chicken to bag and seal. Refrigerate and marinate chicken for 1 hour. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chicken from bag, pouring marinade into a small saucepan. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Cook until marinade reduces to about 1/4 cup (about 5 minutes). You'll notice that it thickens a bit. I let mine sit off the heat a few minutes more to allow it to thicken even more. I wish I had a picture of it when it got really thick. It became gooey, rich.

Arrange chicken in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and baste with 2 T cooked marinade and sprinkle with salt. I baked mine in two 8 x8 inch pans as my regular baking dish was in use.

Bake chicken for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over and baste with 2 T more maple-soy mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with chopped scallions for garnish. But you don't have to stop there. You can quickly make some rice! I took 1 cup of Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice, 1-3/4 cups of water, 2 T butter and whatever bits of the maple marinade I had left over (about 1 T) and added that to the mix.

Bring rice mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 10-12 minutes until water is absorbed. Add a handfull of cooked edamame, fluff with fork and serve with your yummy Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs. I had half a navel orange left, so I sliced it and  added it to my dinner plate. Yum, Yum. This is a keeper. Thanks Cooking Light.

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