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chicken with carrots and honey

November 7, 2011

If there’s one dish I’m all over like white on rice for Thanksgiving, it’s candied carrots. Well, that and my mom’s corn casserole. And her mashed potatoes. I am the picture of restraint on all holidays.


Needless to say, I was psyched to try this recipe out. After a quick, 48-hour defrost for our frozen chicken breasts (seriously, what is the deal with bone-in chicken parts?) and saute, dinner was ours. And it was, indeed, tasty. The honey made everything nice and Thanksgiving-y and was a natural fit with the sweet-ish caramelized onions and carrots, but the lemon juice added some zing to keep things interesting. And the chicken was pretty tasty in its own right, too; I was a little skeptical about using cinnamon in anything that doesn’t also include pumpkin or apples or bread dough, but it took on a whole different, exotic-ish flavor when mixed with paprika and pepper and rubbed into the chicken.

Chicken with Carrots and Honey
Ingredients:
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 lb. carrots (6 medium), cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons mild honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Pat chicken dry. Stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons salt with paprika, cinnamon, and pepper and rub onto chicken.
2. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning over once, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
3. Discard all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet, then add onion and carrots. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.
4. Return chicken, skin side up, to skillet, nestling it into vegetables. Stir together water, lemon juice, and honey until blended and add to skillet, then cook over moderately low heat, covered, until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, 25 to 30 minutes [check the temperature of the chicken to make sure it reads 165  before taking it off the heat–I think this might’ve taken us more like 40 minutes]. If necessary, skim fat from sauce, then add salt to taste. Sprinkle with herbs just before serving.

Source: adapted slightly from Love & Olive Oil

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