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Citrus Chicken with Carrots and Baby Potatoes

Citrus Chicken with Carrots and Baby Potatoes
Pollo con Limón y Naranja, Zanahorias y Papitas

Serves: 4 to 6

Pollo con Limón y Naranja, Zanahorias y Papitas" alt="Citrus Chicken with Carrots and Baby Potatoes
Pollo con Limón y Naranja, Zanahorias y Papitas" />


1 pound roma tomatoes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

4 pounds chicken pieces (such as thighs, breasts, drumsticks), patted dry

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 cups chopped white onion

4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/4 teaspoon true or ceylon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, or to taste

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

3/4 pound carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced into about 1-inch pieces

1 pound baby red potatoes

To Prepare

Broil, char or roast the roma tomatoes until completely charred, mushy and juicy. If under the broiler, it will take about 9 to 10 minutes, flipping once in between. Once cool enough to handle, chop and place in a bowl, including the seeds and all the juices.

Heat oil in a large casserole or a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and brown for about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken pieces and place them in a bowl.

Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until completely soft and the edges begin to brown. Sprinkle with oregano, thyme, marjoram, cinnamon and chile powder, and give it a good stir. Incorporate chopped tomatoes along with their seeds and juices, as well as the orange and lime juice, mix well.

Add the chicken, carrots and potatoes, and gently spoon the chunky sauce all over them. Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for one hour, flipping the chicken and moving the vegetables around, once in between.


Orange Blossom Rice with Pepitas

Orange Blossom Rice
Arroz con Flor de Azahar y Pepitas

Serves: 6 to 8

Arroz con Flor de Azahar y Pepitas" alt="Orange Blossom Rice
Arroz con Flor de Azahar y Pepitas" />


2 cups long-grain white rice

3 tablespoons corn or safflower oil

1/2 cup finely chopped scallions

4 cups chicken broth, store-bought or homemade, or veggie broth or water

2 tablespoons orange blossom water (agua de naranjo o de azahar), or the rind of an orange (trying to get the least amount of white pith, mostly the orange peel)

1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt

1/2 cup raw and hulled pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

To Prepare

Place rice in a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for about 5 minutes. Strain and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well. If you don’t have time to soak and drain the rice, you can skip this step…

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or casserole, over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the drained rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice becomes milky white and feels heavy in the pan as you stir, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the scallions and stir and cook until softened, 2 to 3 more minutes.

Add the chicken broth, orange blossom water or orange peel, salt and stir. When the mixture starts to boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to lowest setting and cook until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

If the rice grains don't seem soft and cooked through, add a bit more chicken stock or water and let it cook for another 5 more minutes or so. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Serve and decorate with the lightly toasted pumpkin seeds.


December 25, 2009
Bitter Orange-thumb-510x342-568

The bitter orange or naranja agria is a citrus fruit that has a peculiar bitter flavor and a very high acidity that works very well for marinades and to tenderize meats and seafood. It also has a distinct look. It is not very pretty; it’s small, with a pale, somewhat dull colored pebbly textured skin that appears to be speckled with sand or dust. However, slice it down the middle, and you will find a shinny, juicy, deep orange and wonderfully flavored pulp.

It found its way to Mexico through the Spaniards, who got them from the Arabs, who got them from the Persians. In any case, bitter oranges found a wonderful reception in Mexican soil,  especially in some regions such as the Yucatan Peninsula and Veracruz. It is used in many ways: to prepare ceviches, sauces, soups, marinades, salsas, pickles… to name some.

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Bitter Orange


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