Charred Orange, Dark Rum and Allspice Chicken Thighs

Charred orange dark rum and allspice chicken

My charred orange dark rum and allspice chicken thighs are a nod to the Caribbean and all the wonderful sunshine food they eat. They are hot and sticky and have a great spicy kick-up-the-ass from the fruity scotch bonnet chillies. The charred orange adds to the smokey flavour of the chicken and also charring the orange sweetens it, which you really notice when you eat the thighs. These are so quick and easy to make. They are perfect for a last-minute meal when you have friends over – oh, and they go right well with some rice’n peas!

These awesome chicken thighs were inspired by the McCormick 2013 Flavour Forecast – I loved the combination of charred orange, dark rum and allspice. Do let me know what you think of my chicken thighs and this delicious flavour combination @mightyspice

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Charred Orange Dark Rum and Allspice Chicken Thighs

Serves 4

1 tsp. olive oil
1 orange
2 scotch bonnet chillies, roughly chopped
4 spring onions/scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. dark rum
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. allspice
850g/1lb 14oz chicken thighs on the bone or wings
sea Salt to serve

  1. Cut the oranges in half. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and put the oranges, fruit side down, into the pan. Cook for 4 – 4 ½ minutes until the oranges are turning from a golden colour to just charred. Remove the pan from the heat and set to one side.
  2. Chuck the chillies, spring onions, garlic, rum, soy sauce, sugar, thyme and allspice into a mini food processor. Squeeze in the juice from the orange and blend into a smooth paste.
  3. Put the chicken pieces into a large mixing bowl and pour over the spice paste. Mix everything together really well – use a spoon for this the chillies are hot, hot, hot! Cover and put in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight, so the marinade can work its magic on the chicken.
  4. Preheat the over to 200c/400f/gas 6 and get the chicken out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Place the chicken, skin side up, on a grill rack and cook in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through and tender and beautifully golden and crispy on the outside. Serve immediately with a good sprinkling of sea salt.

Charred orange dark rum and allspice chicken

-All thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine-

2013 Flavour Forecast

I am delighted to have been given a sneak preview of the McCormick (that’s Schwartz for those in the UK) 2013 Flavour Forecast. The Flavour Forecast is a look into their world of flavour and an insight into emerging trends over the next few years.

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As you know, I am all about the spice and these guys are one of the biggest players in the market, so it has been fascinating to see what trends they are predicting. With brands in over 100 countries, including Australia, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and North America, they are in a good place to look at what trends and ingredients will be emerging over the next 3-5 years.

For their latest forecast they have identified 5 key trends that are then broken down into two different flavour combinations – think big guys, they have been bold!

The 5 trends are:

  1. No Apologies Necessary – making meals that remind you of somewhere exotic
  2. Personally Handcrafted – every home cook’s own signature dish
  3. Empowered Eating – making food work for you through healthy choices
  4. Hidden Potential – getting the most out of every part of every ingredient
  5. Global My Way – using an ethnic ingredient in a truly local manner

The associated flavour combinations are

  1. No Apologies Necessary
    1. Bitter Chocolate, Sweet Basil and Passion Fruit
    2. Black Rum, Charred Orange and Allspice
  2. Personally Handcrafted
    1. Cider, Sage and Molasses
    2. Smoked Tomato, Rosemary, Chilli Peppers and Sweet Onion
  3. Empowered Eating
    1. Farro Grain, Blackberry and Cove
    2. Broccoli and Dukkah
  4. Hidden Potential
    1. Hearty Meat Cuts, Plantain and Cinnamon
    2. Artichoke, Paprika and Hazelnut
  5. Global My Way
    1. Anise and Cajeta
    2. Japanese Katsu and Oregano

As you can see from their combinations they are bold, relevant and, in some cases, quite out there. I was thrilled to see a mainstream brand offering such unusual flavour combinations. Who would have thought of bringing back an ancient grain – Farro, and pairing it with the humble blackberry and warming cloves. These combinations will go on to be replicated by home cooks and industry experts alike.

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One of my favourite trends was No Apologies Necessary. I constantly travel for work and when I get home to my tiny apartment I like to recreate the exotic food I have eaten to bring the sunshine back into EC2. I loved the nod to the Caribbean, with the combination of black rum, charred orange and allspice. I can imagine this on sticky chicken wings, bbq’d fish or in a mighty fine cocktail.

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Empowered Eating sums up my philosophy on food – I love to eat things that are healthy without meaning to be, so my food choices work for me. Spices are a great basis for this as they are naturally high in flavour and contain no fat. I love dukkah, an Egyptian blend made from ground nuts and spices. It works beautifully on meat, fish and vegetables. I liked the addition of broccoli that brought this exotic seasoning back to somewhere we all recognise. I can imagine a huge piece of lamb covered generously in the dukkah mix, roasted until tender and served with mountains of broccoli and couscous.

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Over the next few weeks I will be using the 2013 Flavour Forecast to create some of my own original recipes for you to try at home.

What do you think of these 2013 trends? Is their anything they have missed out? Let me know @mightyspice