Sweet and smoky and spicy are three flavors that work wonderfully together, and this recipe for roasted chicken thighs is a fast, easy and delicious way to make that point.
I start by combining a mess of dry seasonings with honey to use as a wet, though very thick, rub for the chicken. The spicy comes from ginger and chili powder, but have no fear, it’s mild. And what heat there is gets tamed by the sweet honey and the mellow smoked sweet paprika.
For a second blast of sweet, we roast the chicken thighs on top of a layer of orange slices. The sugars in these slices caramelize during cooking, intensifying the flavors. The juice from the slices is the finishing touch that gets squeezed over the chicken, tying everything together.
The best part: The flavors are complex, but the prep isn’t. The dish is ready for the oven in under 15 minutes; ready to serve just 25 minutes later.
Honey-Paprika Chicken With Roasted Oranges
4 navel oranges
1/4 cup smoked sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons chicken broth, white wine, orange juice or water
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup mixed marinated olives, sliced
Heat oven to 400. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Slice off and discard the ends of each orange. Cut each orange crosswise into 4 thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer over the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin and ginger. Stir in the honey and broth to form a thick paste. Rub paste thickly and completely over each chicken thigh, then set the thighs in an even layer over the orange slices. Scatter the olives over the chicken. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
To serve, divide the chicken thighs and olives between 8 servings plates. Use tongs to squeeze 1 or 2 orange slices over each serving.
Nutrition per serving: 320 calories; 15g fat; 75mg cholesterol; 25g carbs; 4g fiber; 18g sugar; 670mg sodium.