Winter is the season of sweet and juicy oranges, so we will make the most of them to create special recipes with the flavor of Christmas, but looking cheerful and sunny, like the regions where they come from.
I propose a special combination, ideal for holiday meals (and not only), which says "stop" to cold season. Chicken with orange, honey and fresh mint is not only a culinary recipe but also a recipe of joy, its colorful and festive appearance is intended to create joy and delight. The optimistic colors of orange and green, the aroma which makes you think of Christmas, give a cheerful note to the menu, and your guests. When using culinary aromatherapy you'll have the surprise to see how it warms the atmosphere and smiles appear on guests' faces.
It is a recipe for the winter holidays because it has that magical effect, with fragrant, warm and relaxed smell of orange, reinvigorated with fresh notes of green mint and sensual aroma of melted honey.
Remember, holidays are not just long meals but rather the pleasure to be with loved ones, receive and give gifts, it means a lot of cheer and joy. People love Christmas because it is a celebration of joy, so do not forget the true spirit of this holiday. Take advantage of them, feel the magic of the moment, forget the problems of the year!
-6 chicken legs (or other pieces of chicken)
-2 sweet and juicy oranges
-1 bundle of green mint
-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
-fresh thyme (ideal is the one with oval leaves, thyme citron because it has a strong flavor of citrus, floral, fruity, which supports the combination of flavors)
-1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon of multicolored pepper (stimulates the color effect of celebration)
-2 tablespoons of honey
-a clove of garlic
Wash and drain the chicken legs well.
Now the "magic" starts :). Making a great marinade is the key to success, so I'll tell you all the secrets.
Start by squeezing an orange into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of honey. Sprinkle a little chopped chili.
Grind one tablespoon of multicolored peppercorns and a quarter teaspoon of aniseed in a mortar. Add them in the marinade. Break a few rosemary leaves and add them on it. Sprinkle a pinch of Cayenne pepper. Grind a clove of garlic and mix it with other flavors.
Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a few sprigs of citron thyme.
Chop half of the green mint (only leaves - about 3 tablespoons of chopped mint), and put a little salt. Mix the marinade well. It smells good already.
Grease a baking dish with little oil, place the legs and then pour the marinade. Add a cup of water; sauce should cover 3 / 4 of the legs' thickness. And the last secret, scrape a little orange peel directly over the legs (colored part only, not the white one because it's bitter).
Cover with foil and put in the refrigerator for several hours (3-4).
Heat the oven to 180 degrees and then enter the dish in the oven, covered with aluminum foil for 45-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, squeeze the other orange and mix the juice with a large spoon of honey. This is the secret to get a browned crust, shiny, sweet-spicy.
Remove the foil, brush the chicken thighs with this super sweet juice. Put the tray in the oven without foil.
Repeat for another 3 times, until the juice ends, alternating spraying the juice with the hot sauce in the pan (the crust will become sweet and spicy).
It's ready in about 30 minutes, when you will have beautiful brown chicken legs.
It smells inviting! Before serving, decorate with fresh orange slices.
Add a few whole mint leaves to freshen up the platter.
Serve warm but not hot, to feel better the flavors.
Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.
A refined accent can be achieved if you put the garnish in layers, as in the picture, and then sprinkle elegantly with sauce.
Use a metal ring to create these festive basmati rice and peas turrets. You will see how guests will be impressed by this presentation. In addition, the recipe is so special that it deserves a presentation as special as the recipe. Be creative, details matter :)