Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Garlic, Fennel and Orange Grilled Chicken Thighs – When your brain wants Chicken, but your heart wants Italian Sausage

You’re about to see a delicious culinary compromise. I was craving some grilled Italian sausage, but had a package of chicken thighs in the fridge waiting for me to grill them. What to do? My Uncle Bill (he of the now famous homemade pasta and chicken D’Arduini video recipes) makes a great Italian sausage scented with fennel, garlic and a touch of orange zest. He makes these before Christmas, cures them in his cellar, and cooks them on Christmas Eve after Midnight Mass. They are sublime. So, that’s really what I wanted, but as I said I had chicken to work with. I decided to use the same basic flavors to marinade the chicken to see if I could impart some of the magic of those sausages I was dreaming about.

Did it work? Yes and no. The chicken turned out to be very delicious. Anything grilled on a fire, after being marinated in garlic, fennel and orange is going to taste great, so on that level it was a great success. The only problem was it made me crave my Uncle’s sausage even more! By the way, if you’re wondering how I prepped my grill so the skinless chicken wouldn’t stick, go check out the Tandoori Chicken video recipe clip. Also, I like to garnish grilled meat dishes like this with the same fresh herb that I use in its dry form in the marinade. Since there was some dried oregano in the Italian herb mix, I finished my platter with some beautiful flowering oregano. This is just another great reason to plant some herbs, whether it’s in your backyard, rooftop, or windowsill. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 cloves garlic
1/2 orange, zest and juice
1 1/2 tbl kosher salt
1 tbl dried Italian herb mix (oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme)
1 tbl sweet paprika
1 tbl black pepper
2 tbl fennel seed
1 tbl olive oil

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks great, can you use chicken breats?

Anonymous said...

Looks good! So the slogan(What's your food wish?) is yours? Why does your lawn look dead, but then the oregano flowers look wonderful?

Aristolochia said...

any reason for using kosher salt instead of regular table salt this time?

Aristolochia said...

any reason for using kosher salt instead of regular table salt this time?

Chef John said...

Yes, that my catch phrase. Why? You want to buy it?

actually it's not a lawn, but old cedar chips where I grill. I like to always BBQ on a really flamable surface to add to the excitement.

I use kosher salt because I like the larger flakier texture. You can use any salt, but use less table salt since Kosher salt is larger grained the same amount of table may be too much.

Chef John said...

You can use chicken breasts, but I like the thighs better.

Anonymous said...

If I use ground chicken instead of chicken thighs and mix in all the other ingredients and make patties, would I have nice italian sausage flavored patties?

Chef John said...

Yes, BUT the amounts of spice i used were for the outside of the chicken. You would not want that much fennel or orange zest inside, I think. You would have to season and cook a small piece and adjust.
But, I like how you're thinking!

Anonymous said...

Any chance of a video of making the sausages this recipe is based on?

Chef John said...

yes, I may do that one also. Stay tuned.

Manjula Kularathne said...

Awesome mate! Keep up your good work sharing among us.

JesusFish said...

Is there any other way of cooking this chicken other then on the bbq?

Chef John said...

sure, baked and broiled will work. It's all good.

PrimeBrit said...

Ooops. I put the salt in the marinade!

Chef John said...

relax

Lisa said...

I saw your videos for the first time after doing a recipe search from my BigOven software. I really like your style of cooking and I do a much better job in the kitchen when I see a video first. I wanted to thank you first off and secondly, I want to know if there is an easy way to move your reciepes (ingredients and directions) into my bigoven recipe boxes? currently I have to copy and paste the ingredient list and create "a new recipe" by hand and I don't have the directions.

The food you like and way you cook really jives with me and my family...but bigoven helps me organize and shop, so i want the best of both worlds. is thier any hope for me?

Chef John said...

no

Chef John said...

actually, I should speak with Steve at BO to see if he wants to do something about this. I would email BO and demand they contact me regarding this issue.

Anonymous said...

It's been two years and I'm still tuned in, waiting for this sausage recipe ;)

Brian howard said...

Just made this for the second time last night. I love this marinade. Most of my friends are professional chefs, so when they cook out, it can get a bit intimidating for me. I would be out of my depth in a professional kitchen, but your recipes allow me to "bring something to the table" when my friends get together around the back yard grill. This marinade is just awesome. Thank you.