Curried Orange Chicken

Nobody is more Southern than my sister, and when I complimented her on the “Indian” chicken dish she once served at her home in Wilmington, North Carolina, she looked at me with puzzlement and said, “Honey, I don’t know what on earth you’re talking about. This recipe goes back almost three hundred years, to the Cape Fear rice planters, and every friend I have in Wilmington has her special version.” So much for this particular ethnic influence on Southern cooking, I figured, fully bewildered. Naturally, Hootie served the simple dish with rice, as I now do, and, without fail, guests rave as if I’d been cooking half a day.

Ingredients

  • 3 whole chicken breasts on the bone, split
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • cups orange juice
  • ½ cup dark raisins
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Arrange the chicken breasts in a greased shallow baking dish, dot with the butter, season with salt and pepper, and bake 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, raisins, almonds, curry powder, and thyme in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes.

Pour the orange juice mixture evenly over the chicken, reduce the heat to 325°F, and bake till tender and nicely glazed, about 30 minutes.