Fried chicken is always a favorite. Add orange and complementary spices, and it becomes something extra special. Chicken dark parts are used, but you could easily modify the recipe for chicken breasts — just be sure you do not overcook them. I prefer skin-on, bone-in poultry to retain moisture and flavor, but use what you like best. Orange Braised Fried Chicken is quite easy to make, but elegant enough for guests. Do not skip the resting step. It helps the coating stick to the chicken.
Orange Braised Fried Chicken Recipe
Chicken and Coating Mix:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper powder or cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2-1/2 pounds chicken legs or thighs or a mixture of both
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons or 1/2 stick) butter
12-ounce can frozen unsweetened orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted (see Notes below)
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Orange wedges and chopped chives for garnish, optional
Combine flour, paprika, salt, cumin, chipotle or cayenne powder, cinnamon, and ginger in a large plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag a few at a time to coat with the flour mixture. Shake off excess and place on a platter, not touching each other, and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Toast the sesame seeds by placing them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking often, until they begin to turn golden and smell fragrant. Remove the sesame seeds from the skillet and set aside to cool.
Heat a large, deep, oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the butter and swirl to coat the pan. Cook the chicken in batches, browning on both sides, turning only once. Remove the chicken to a platter.
Add the orange juice concentrate, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet’s drippings. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits.
Return the chicken to the deep skillet, turning to coat both sides in the sauce. Arrange chicken in a single layer. (See Notes below.) Cover skillet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake an additional 15 minutes. (Interior should test at 165 F. on an instant-read meat thermometer.)
Sprinkle chicken with reserved toasted sesame seeds and chopped chives. Serve with a wedge of orange to squeeze over the chicken.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Orange Braised Fried Chicken Recipe Photo ©2018 Peggy Filippone