CHERRY GINGER GLAZED CHICKEN THIGHS OVER CHERRY ALMOND QUINOA WITH GOAT CHEESE
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
8 ounces, candied ginger, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
½ cup orange marmalade
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound Northwest-grown cherries, pitted and cut in half
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
4 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup raw quinoa, cooked to package directions (about 4 cups cooked)
½ cup slivered almonds
1 cup Northwest-grown cherries, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup goat cheese crumbles
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
To make your glaze, melt the butter in a large sauce pan and sauté the onions and ginger root until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the candied ginger (reserve ¼ cup for garnish), marmalade, and cinnamon to the pan and stir until the marmalade melts. Add the cherries and ½ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and let it cook while you prepare the chicken.
Trim the chicken thighs of any excess fat or skin. Season liberally on both sides with the remaining salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron or oven proof skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken thighs skin-side-down. Cook for 5-7 minutes, without moving them, until the skin is golden brown and very crispy. Flip to the other side and cook for 2 more minutes.
Pour the cherry glaze over the top of the chicken, spreading to cover, but also leaving some of the chicken skin exposed so it will stay crispy. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees and the juices run clear. Of course the thickness of your thighs (the chicken, not yours ha ha!) will determine how long they need to bake.
Cook your quinoa in a large saucepan and toast your almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Combine the quinoa, almonds, cherries, honey, salt and pepper in the pot that the quinoa was cooked in. Just before serving fold in the basil and goat cheese.
Serve one or two chicken thighs over the quinoa and ladle more of the pan juices and cherries over the top. Garnish with candied ginger, basil, and a couple of beautiful cherries. DEVOUR!