Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chicken in Orange Sauce with Tomato-Squash Strata

I put together a quick baked Chicken in Orange Sauce the other day before I layed down to take a nap before work. I needed something something that would literally cook all by itself so I could could awaken to a hot meal, spend that quality 15-20 minutes with the family, and still get to work on time. So this is a chicken dish you can do in your sleep!

I made two casseroles, one with chicken and one with vegetables. They each required different cooking times, but they would be okay cooking at the same temperature. My chicken dish was simply chicken thighs coated in avocado oil, drizzled with orange juice and seasoned with garlic salt and black pepper. I put the orange rinds in with the chicken and sprinkled it with chopped green onions. I covered the dish with foil and put it into the frig until baking time. This one would need about an hour of baking.

Then I assembled the vegetable casserole. It couldn't get any easier...I just chopped onions to cover the bottom of the square baking dish, drizzled in avocado oil and then layered rows of alternating zucchini, tomato and yellow squash that all came in the box from SLO Veg. More avocado oil drizzled on top, then seasonings: coarse salt, fresh ground black pepper and dried thyme and marjoram. A handful of parmesan cheese on top completed the prep, then the dish was covered and into the frig it went. 
I let my husband have the honors of putting the chicken in the oven to bake about two hours before I needed to leave for work. I asked him to put the vegetable casserole in 30 minutes after the chicken. He is pretty good at following directions, so I had complete confidence in him. When I woke up, I checked on the progress. The dishes just needed some browning, so I removed the foil covers and cranked the oven temp up to 375° for 15 more minutes. During that time I showered and got dressed for work. Then we sat down together and ate dinner and chatted before I had to leave. The dishes, of course, were left for Lee to take care of.  With a full stomach, he didn't mind a bit. 

4 chicken thighs or breasts
Avocado or olive oil
Juice from 2 oranges
garlic salt and fresh ground black pepper
Thyme and marjoram

Put chicken in a glass baking dish and coat with oil. Squeeze orange juice all over chicken. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and marjoram. Cover with foil and bake for one hour at 350°. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 375°. Bake for 15 more minutes until chicken is browned.

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