Remember that Asian-Orange Chicken I told you about a few weeks ago, the one that was my debut into Asian cooking on this blog? Well, it’s back again, kinda, sorta.
These Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs are the rich man’s version of orange chicken. They are the solution to a dinner party where you want to impress but know your guests would be just as happy with some chinese takeout. Many of the same flavors are married together in a different presentation, leaving you with all the flavor you wanted without the accompanying soy sauce packets and crumbly fortune cookies.
Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs
Originally from finecooking.com, Fine Cooking 103, p. 89
Vegetable oil for the broiler pan
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 small to medium shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
3 medium scallions (green parts only), cut into 3-inch lengths
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. mirin * I subbed this with half honey, half corn syrup since it’s not an ingredient I need often
1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1-1/4 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Position a rack about 7 inches from the broiler and heat the oven to 450°F. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and lightly oil the top of the pan.
Season the chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Arrange the shiitake in 8 pairs, gill sides up, on the prepared broiler pan and season with salt and pepper. Arrange 2 or 3 scallion pieces on top of each mushroom pair, then put a chicken thigh, skin side up, on top. Press with your hand to flatten. Roast until the edges of the chicken begin to brown and an instantread thermometer inserted in a thick part of the biggest thigh registers 165°F, about 20 minutes. Turn the broiler to high and broil until the skin is crisp and deeply browned, 5 to 6 minutes, rotating the pan once for even browning.
While the chicken is cooking, combine the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
In a small bowl, stir the orange juice and cornstarch; add this mixture to the saucepan. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and glossy, about 1 minute.
To serve, transfer the chicken, scallions, and mushrooms to dinner plates, drizzle with the sauce, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.