I peeled my orange / That was so bright against / The gray of December / That, from some distance, / Someone might have thought / I was making fire in my hands. "Oranges" by Gary Soto
These were originally purchased for a photography experiment. I wanted to catch some of those vibrant autumnal colors that I so love - the deep purple of Italian prunes especially. Well, as you can guess (from the lack of plum photos), that my fruit photography has a ways to go. But these oranges were fated to be something special. I recently had the opportunity to borrow Apples for Jam from my local library, and in a fit of recipe testing (come on, admit it, you get carried away too sometimes don't you?) these were the only oranges I had on hand for orange glazed chicken. Ripe blood oranges have a surprisingly light and floral taste that mellows with cooking, but still adds an elusive sweetness to the final dish. These particular oranges were also highly pigmented and yielded a beautiful purple juice. So, with my plethora of alterations to the original recipe I give you...
Blood Orange Glazed Chicken
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice (about 2 small oranges)
¾ cup tomato sauce
1 ½ Tablespoon soy sauce
1 ½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons wildflower honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Zest of one small lemon
2 chicken breasts
Preheat the oven to 325. Put the sugar, orange juice, tomato sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, water, honey and lemon juice in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Put the chicken in a roasting pan and pour the sauce over. Bake for 1 hour, turning and basting. Near the end of the cooking time, turn the oven to broil to help reduce the sauce and glaze the chicken. Turn and baste frequently, being careful not to let your supper burn. Right before serving, grate lemon zest onto chicken.