Pan-seared chicken thighs that get a flavour zing from mustard, citrus, honey and hot pepper sauce

Chicken Thighs With Mustard-Orange Sauce. Served with haricot verts on the side for a fuss-free meal. PHOTO: DEB LINDSEY

(THE WASHINGTON POST) - There are plenty of people who cannot get behind the "Zen" of kitchen prep work, and I can understand that even those who do find the chopping somewhat meditative would be hard-pressed to feel that way on a busy weeknight.

So here's a recipe that involves seasoning, pouring and stirring. The only knife you'll need is for cutting bite-size pieces at the table. Pan-sear chicken thighs, then stir in a tangy blend of mustard, citrus juice, honey and hot pepper sauce. The original recipe calls for fresh orange juice, but I love the extra zip that tangerine juice brings. You can typically find the latter in the refrigerated produce section these days.

About that chicken: You will save a few bucks when you buy skin-on, bone-in thighs and do the butchering needed to render them skinless and boneless. In that case, yes, you would need a knife to make this recipe. It takes about a minute to pull off the skin, trim the fat and detach the thigh bone at two points; see a quick video on the Instagram account for #washpostlife. Bonus: You'll have bones for making stock, and skins to make gribenes. Toss them in the freezer, and they'll be waiting for you.

Chicken Thighs With Mustard-Orange Sauce

4 servings, healthy Serve with thin green beans (haricots verts).

Adapted from The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook, by Barbara Fairchild (Wiley, 2008).


4 good-size boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

11/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup fresh tangerine juice (may substitute fresh orange juice)

3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth

1/4 cup whole-grain, spicy brown or Creole mustard

1 Tbs honey

1 tsp hot pepper sauce


1. Season the chicken lightly on both sides with the salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the chicken; cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes until browned, then turn them over on their second sides. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until just cooked through and browned. Use tongs to transfer the chicken thighs to a plate.

3. Pour the juice and broth into the pan (over medium-high heat); once the liquid starts bubbling, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.

4. Whisk in the mustard, honey and hot pepper sauce; once the mixture returns to a boil, cook for 5 to 7 minutes, to form a sauce that has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. You can stir once or twice to eliminate any scorching.

5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then return the chicken to the skillet; Cook for about 1 minute, or just until the thighs are heated through, turning to coat them on both sides.

6. Divide the chicken among individual plates, then spoon the pan sauce over each portion. Serve hot.

Nutrition | Per serving: 260 calories, 29 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 130 mg cholesterol, 390 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 9 g sugar

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