Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Orange Fancy

I have been working back to back to back Paris trips and feel like I live in Paris more than at home in Massachusetts. Oh, what a tease life is! Upon arrival, the morning Parisian sun glowed a soft orange, giving a feeling of warmth and brightness. It has certainly been warm in Paris lately and according to the traffic, most Parisians were headed for holiday or just out of the city. I went shopping. The summer sales are going strong now,and I had planned to go to a store near the Madeleine that sells handbags. I needed to add to my Longchamp collection. And I did! And it was orange! It is such a happy bag that I had to use it immediately. I even found a companion, but it was just a fantasy! As dinner time approached, my friend and I decided to go to Chez Papa. I had never been, and after shopping, a bistro was in the budget. It specializes in the south west cuisine of France, which is spicier than other regional food. My friend and I both had duck. I had Duck Confit that came with sautéed potatoes. On the side was a spicy and sweet red pepper jam, and a dry pepper condiment to spoon on top. Wow, that really made the dish. I thought how nice it would be to have those spices with chicken as well.

After a short walk back to the hotel,
I managed to get a solid 8 hours sleep before my alarm went off. After the flight back home, I decided to give my idea for chicken a try. I marinated the chicken in orange juice, because I was in an orange state of mind, and herbs and spices. The chicken was marinating, the grill was firing up and I readied the plates. I then grilled the chicken, and served it with a red pepper jam mixed with orange zest. I think I have a new orange fancy...besides my new bag, of course!

Orange Chicken With Red Pepper Jam

2 pounds chicken breasts, split or cut of choice

For the marinade:
3/4 cup orange juice
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried
4 fresh sage leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix garlic, herbs, and cayenne pepper with orange juice. Put chicken in a covered glass pan or zip lock bag, and pour in marinade. Marinate 2 hours, drain and discard marinade. Grill until done.
Garnish with orange zest and serve with Red Pepper Orange Jam.

Serves 4.

Red Pepper Orange Jam

1/3 cup red pepper jam*
1 tablespoon grated orange zest, plus more for garnish

*I used a Red Pepper Jam with Ancho Chilies, by Earth & Vine Provisions, Inc.

Stir orange zest into red pepper jam and serve.

Makes 1/3 cup.

Written and photographed by Diane.

Grilled Orange
Chicken With Red Pepper Jam recipe (pdf)

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