Chicken with Orange Juice and Vanilla
Serves 2 to 3
6 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar, Japanese rice vinegar, or other mild-flavored vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1 vanilla bean, split
A few sprigs of cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice or tortillas for serving (optional)
1. Season chicken with the salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces skin side down, and brown until golden on both sides, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
2. When chicken is browned, pour off any excess fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Sprinkle cayenne and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper over chicken, turning pieces to coat evenly. Taste a pinch of the skin, and add more cayenne if additional heat is desired. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add vinegar, butter and orange juice. Scrape in pulp of vanilla bean and add bean. Stir liquid to blend.
3. Cook chicken skin side up, uncovered, basting occasionally with sauce, until sauce is reduced to a syrupy glaze, 20 to 25 minutes. If interior of chicken needs further cooking (it should be 170 degrees when tested in center with an instant-read thermometer), cover and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or as needed. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot, with rice or tortillas, if desired.