For my birthday, David took me to one of the best restaurants in our new neighborhood: Craigie on Main. It’s a French restaurant that’s known for it’s consistent high-quality, creative cooking. It’s been on my list of places I’d love to visit for as long as I’ve been in Boston, and now that we live just down the road, we finally made reservations. For my birthday dinner, I had pork prepared four (!) different ways: terrine, sausages, one I can’t remember (whoops), and a pan-seared pork loin in a just-sweet-enough kumquat glaze. It was fabulous, and this chicken dish is a riff on some of the flavors I so enjoyed that night.
Kumquats are new to me. They’re a citrus fruit that’s usually available in the late winter months, so they’re perfect this time of year. They look like tiny little oval oranges, and they’re meant to be eaten whole, skins and all. One of my colleagues at the hospital introduced me to them. She brought a little baggie of them to work one day and gave me a few to snack on, just popping them in to my mouth. When you chew them, there’s a bit of a tart zing, but soon a bright sweetness comes through. It’s kind of like a layered flavor.
For this chicken dish, I sliced the kumquats into thin circles. Eat a few while you’re cooking: if they’re dry or too tart, consider adding a dash of orange juice when you’re making the pan sauce.
Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Kumquat Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 chicken thighs (bone in, skins removed)
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
4 ounces kumquats, sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Heat the olive oil and add the chicken to the skillet (place smooth side down first). Cook for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over once, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook another 5-10 minutes (until the temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees). Remove the chicken and allow to rest 5 minutes.
2. Start the pan sauce by deglazing the skillet with a splash of the white wine. Add the onions, kumquats, and remaining wine to the pan and cook while the chicken rests (about 5 minutes). Finish the pan sauce with the butter, stirring until it melts. Place the chicken in a serving dish or on four plates, pouring the pan sauce over the chicken thighs. Serve immediately.