Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sumac And Blood Orange Garnish

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on April 10, 2010

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We have all been trained by the American diet gurus to eat only skinless boneless chicken breasts.  Sometimes they can be juicy and delicious but many times breasts are just dry or overly chewy.  Luckily, I live close to the fabulous shopping street of Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles.  Pico Boulevard is lined with Kosher and ethnic grocery stores as well as kosher eateries for about 1.5 miles from where my street intersects it then proceeding east.  I promise a detailed post about Pico when I return from the mystery trip.

One store that I have a love hate relationship with is Pico Glatt.  I think that English is not the native tongue of most of the shoppers in this store and it is chock full of imported ingredients and exotic produce.  I purchase my Feta cheese and everything else from Sumac, shanbelile (fenugreek leaves) for Ghormeh Sabzi, lavash, and boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this store.  I have to mind what time of day I go or risk being trampled in the isles or cursed in the parking lot.

Well, back to the chicken thighs.  Anyone who has not tried chicken thighs instead of chicken breast is missing out.  Thighs have so much more flavor and are wonderfully moist.  You can make this dish for everyday without the bother of the oranges.  I make the oranges when I am entertaining.  You can make the oranges ahead and they keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or two.

Serve the chicken with some kind of rice or rice and lentils and a vegetable or salad and you have a meal.

Candied Blood Oranges and Syrup

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

5 blood oranges washed and sliced into thin rounds

Place sugar and water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Place orange slices on top of sugar and water bring to a gentle boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook partially covered for several hours until orange slices look translucent and candied.  I make sure that orange slices all submerge by pressing down on the oranges periodically with a wood spoon.  Set aside to cool.

The color of the syrup is a spectacular deep orange with rose colored overtones.  Store  oranges and syrup in the refrigerator in a clean container, for a week or two. Right now there are blood oranges with their spectacular wine red colored flesh available at many farmer’s markets.

Serves 4 to 6

12 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless

Juice of 2 juicy limes and their zest

6 garlic cloves

3 to4 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup ground sumac

Salt and pepper to taste

Using a sharp pair of kitchen shears trim any large pieces of fat remaining on the chicken thighs.  Cut out the little gristle piece if it is still attached.  Place thighs in a baking dish to marinate, then squeeze limes over  chicken.  In a mini processor grind the garlic and add the olive oil to create a puree.  Spread the puree of garlic and oil over chicken.  Marinate chicken thighs for two hours. 

Prepare barbecue or indoor grill or grill pan.  Sprinkle the chicken with the ground sumac powder and salt and pepper.  Grill until the chicken is golden with dark grill marks but not overdone.  Remove the thighs from the grill and set aside covered with foil until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, place thighs on serving platter.  Garnish with Blood Orange slices and a little of the syrup from the oranges. 

This is great with Pomegranate rice.Chicken Thigh

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