Recipe: $16.97 | Per Serving: $2.12 | Yield: 8
Cilantro Orange Chicken! It’s so flavorful and so fresh and not that much work and I absolutely recommend it. Serve it with roasted bell peppers and a big batch of Black Beans, and maybe some rice or fried plantains (!!).
This recipe doesn’t take very long to put together, and is inspired by an old chicken recipe I used to make with my friend Kim at Get Fresh SD, thanks, Kim!
How to Make this Cilantro Orange Chicken
- You’re basically going to blitz together a sauce, pour some of it over the chicken to marinade, pour some of it over the bell peppers (and optional zucchini) for roasting, and save the rest for topping when it’s time to serve.
- Everything gets roasted in the oven and you can go about your business as it comes together.
- If you’re feeling ambitious, make some fried plantains!
- You can also double batch the sauce and freeze it in silicone ice cube trays to save for later. Look at how green and pretty!
For those of you following along on a personal note: we have an update in the loose plans for going to Cuba. We are still on the fence right now. Zac listened to some story on NPR (or maybe he read an article, I can’t remember) about how inflation in Cuba has increased hotels to $600 a night and that now it’s just too expensive to go there, even though most Americans aren’t going there yada yada. So that’s a CON.
Within a week of that, a couple I know left for their trip to Cuba and they totally loved it and flew Southwest and did not report any significant issues. So that’s a PLUS.
So that’s what’s happening over here with all the Cuban-inspired food. Itchy feet! (Though, full disclosure – I’ve been informed that because there are several ingredients here that are not used in Cuban cuisine, I should call it Cuban-American, or Cuban-Mexican cuisine as it is certainly a fusion of at least three cultural cuisines.)
This recipe is so easy and so flavorful, but I’m not sure how Cuban it actually is. I think it might be American Cuban, but I don’t know that this is an authentically Cuban dish. I’ve heard some people say it couldn’t be less Cuban, and others have reported it tastes exactly like their Cuban grandmother’s recipe. 🤷♀️ Regardless, it’s an absolutely delicious dish and I highly recommend it!
How to Make This Dish Low-FODMAP
For those of you following a low-FODMAP diet, I would recommend just skipping the garlic in this dish. The cilantro and orange are potent enough to make it still super delicious!
Paleo: Yes, without rice or beans.
Vegetarian: No, but you could still make the sauce and the vegetables and serve it with these Black Beans and it would be totally vegan.
Whole30: Yes! Without adding rice, beans, or plantains!
↓ PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER ↓
This delicious chicken dish is packed with bright flavors from the orange and cilantro. It’s also a super easy, lightly spiced dish that’s perfect for the whole family!
For the Sauce:
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeño (optional), stem removed
- 1 bunch cilantro (3–4 cups)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1–3 oranges)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
For the Chicken:
- 2 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
For the Peppers:
- 2 pounds, about 4-5, bell peppers (sweet are best, but a green one is good too)
- optional: 1 pound zucchini (to bulk up the veg content)
For the (Optional) Cuban Black Beans:
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cans black beans (need about 2–3 cups cooked)
- ~ 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- For the Sauce: Cut the jalapeño into chunks, removing ribs and seeds if desired. Combine the garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add the orange juice, spices, and olive oil and blend just until well combined.
- For the Chicken: Spread the chicken out in a large casserole dish and lightly salt both sides. Cover with about 1/3 – 1/2 a cup of the sauce, moving the chicken around to make sure you get the tops and bottoms. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes, or up to two hours. (If you marinate chicken in a citrus marinade for too long, it might start to “cook” the chicken and it will turn out tough. 2 hours is usually the max.)
- For the peppers: remove the seeds and stems and chop into 1-inch bite-sized pieces. Toss with about 1/4 cup of the sauce and spread out on a large silicone-lined baking sheet. (Combine with chopped zucchini before roasting if desired.)
- When the oven is to temp and the chicken has been marinating at least 20 minutes, place both the chicken and the peppers in the oven. The chicken should take about 18-20 minutes, and the peppers will take about 20.
- Feel free to use a meat thermometer to check the chicken temperature to be sure. (You could also roast these all together in one dish if you want to save on dishes!)
- For the black beans: In a large pot, sauté the onion until soft and fragrant, add the minced garlic for another minute, stirring well. Add the oregano, cumin, and tomato paste and stir until combined. Add the drained black beans, water, and salt. Simmer until most of the water has evaporated and the beans are somewhat stew-like. You can smash some against the side of the pot if desired. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Serve with fresh lime and crispy fried plantains or plantain chips!