Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken

Warm spices to take the chill off cool spring and summer evenings. This is a one-pot chicken supper, vegetables included, carrots and peppers and mushrooms.

Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken

During a cold snap last spring when May wore the mitt of March, I thumbed through some cold-weather recipes tucked into a thick Cook Now folder. This caught my attention, perfect, I thought, for a chilly night – and so it was.

It’s a one-pot meal, meat and vegetables all in the same dish. The honey provides the sweet, the spice rub the hot (though honestly, it's more 'warm' than 'hot'). After simmering for 30 minutes, there’s still plenty of sauce left to soak into rice or potatoes or for dipping bread.

The underlying flavor reminds me of my mother’s midnight remedy for childhood coughs, hot water with lemon juice and honey. It soothed the throat, letting everyone get back to sleep.

Years later at university, I slept with sixty girls in a cold-air dorm with the windows cracked, even in winter, to meet fire regulations. When one girl coughed hard in the night, 59 girls struggled to sleep.

Remembering Mom’s ministration, I’d tear myself out from under the electric blanket to scamper across the bone-chilling floor for a mug of hot-hot water. Drink this, I’d whisper to the often still-sleeping girl, it’ll help your throat. Soon the dorm would turn silent, sixty girls again deep in sleep.

Some chilly evening this winter, soothe your family with this delicious and healthful chicken dish.

ALANNA's TIPS Chicken thighs have more flavor and are often less expensive than chicken breasts. That said, this dish is good made with the more easily available breasts. For easier measuring, warm the honey in the microwave in 15 second bursts.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send a favorite cold-weather recipe via recipes@kitchen-parade.com

QUICK SUPPER:
SWEET ’n’ HOT CHICKEN

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 8
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (if needed)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut in diagonal slices
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 - 3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup honey (see TIPS)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in Dutch oven over medium high until it shimmers. Meanwhile, combine spices and coat thighs. Brown meat, in batches if needed not to crowd, transfer to plate.

If fat remains in pan, remove all but 1 tablespoon, otherwise add 1 tablespoon olive oil. As they’re cut, add onions, carrots, red pepper and mushrooms and cook until onions are golden. Nestle thighs into vegetable mixture.

Mix water, lemon juice, honey and salt and pour over. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 256 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 23g Carb; 4g Fiber; 879mg Sodium; 94mg Cholesterol; 25g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 5, PointsPlus 7 This recipe has been ‘Alanna-sized’ with reductions in portion size and increases in no-calorie spices and fiber-rich vegetables.

More Recipes Sensuous with Cinnamon

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Cinnamon Sugar Cookies Chocolate Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cake
If you love cinnamon and want to find all the recipes here that call for cinnamon (or any other ingredient), just enter the term in the Search Box and voila!

More Easy Chicken Recipes

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Chicken Cider Stew Easy Margarita Chicken Baked Chicken with Herb-Roasted Potatoes


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Alanna, this sure looks good to me. I was looking for some new ways to cook my favorite part of the chicken-the thigh. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 
This recipe looks delicious, too! Love one-pot meals! The only thing that would make this better is if it could go in the crockpot...thoughts?
 
M ~ You're on a recipe hunt, girl! And you're finding my "favorite of favorites" too! I think this would be fine in a crockpot, maybe a four-hour version rather than an all-day version, however.
PS A goal for 2011 is to convert current recipes to the crockpot and to add new ones as well.
 
What a great goal! You're right; I am hunting for crockpot-adaptable one-dish meals now since I'm 5 months pregnant and need hands-off, easy, and nutritious. I figure I'll continue to need them once my little one arrives too! :)

I'm also collecting freezer meal ideas, if you have any of those!

Thanks, Alanna!
 
M ~ Congratulations! What a good mum you shall be, all these healthy preparations.

I am 'just now' beginning to collect freezer meals but these are both very good! And with any luck, I'll be adding more in 2011 too, at least, that's the plan.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna