Started on the stove, and finished in the oven, Savory Kumquat Chicken bursts with flavor. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fresh kumquats and tiny tomatoes, Calabrian (or other) peppers, and red onion roast in a pan sauce of garlic, ground cumin, dry sherry, and chicken broth. The resulting chicken is so tender and flavorful, and the dish requires only a few minutes of active time. Delicioso!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Kumquat Chicken
I have been fascinated by kumquats since I was a girl growing up southern California's San Gabriel Valley. Back then, I picked them off the tree in our backyard, and just popped them into my mouth! I had no idea they might be good in sweet or savory dishes, even though my mom was a pretty adventurous cook.
Fast forward 50 years to our arrival in south Texas' Rio Grande Valley... we became reacquainted, and I've been having fun with them ever since. In the fall of 2022, I published this kumquat salsa, and it was followed by this kumquat confit. While both recipes are quite simple, they do really highlight the sweet-tart flavors of the fruit.
A savory kumquat recipe was my next goal, and I knew I wanted to keep it simple. This savory kumquat chicken recipe requires only a few relatively simple ingredients - chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless), kumquats, tomatoes, onion, Calabrian peppers, garlic, ground cumin, dry sherry, chicken broth, honey, and fresh herbs. This unique chicken recipe is "eclectic," borrowing from Mexican and Spanish cuisine, but it's 100% delicious!
📋 Ingredients for Kumquat Chicken
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- chicken - You have options! I typically use boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they're so easy and tasty! I do love bone-in chicken thighs too. If you're looking to shave fat and calories, choose either boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or even bone-in chicken breasts. See Should I Use Chicken Breasts or Thighs for more information.
- tomatoes - I always use tiny tomatoes for these types of dishes. I cook them until they begin to burst. Of course you can use other tomatoes. Substitute good canned tomatoes in a pinch.
- kumquats - It goes without saying, you need fresh kumquats. You can choose to seed them, or not. I don't find the seeds annoying, and I certainly don't remove them when snacking on whole kumquats. However, I do usually take the time to remove them when cooking with them.
- ground cumin
- dry sherry - I keep a bottle of dry sherry in my pantry for cooking. You can also use cooking sherry or a dry white wine.
- chicken broth
- red peppers - Calabrian peppers are outstanding in this recipe, but they're not super easy to find. These southern Italy peppers are considered "medium-hot," and are perhaps best known for their use in arrabbiata pasta sauce. Substitute piquillo or roasted red bell peppers if you can't find them or don't want a spicy sauce. You can add a little crushed red pepper to get the heat if you do want it spicy.
- fresh herbs - I like oregano, but rosemary, thyme, parsley, even cilantro would work.
- onion - I like red onion, but the choice is yours!
- potatoes - An optional ingredient, I like to add potatoes to make the kumquat chicken a substantial one-pot dish. It would also be great with rice, quinoa, or couscous.
- Brown the chicken - Add a drizzle of oil to the pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs. Cook until you have some nice browning before turning. It's the browning we're after, not cooking through. Remove and set aside.
- Cook the tomatoes and toast the aromatics - Sauté the tomatoes over medium-high heat until they show some caramelization, and begin to burst. Add the ground cumin and garlic, and sauté until fragrant (1-2 minutes). De-glaze the pan with the dry sherry.
- Finish the pan sauce - Whisk together the honey and the chicken broth. Add to the skillet along with the sliced kumquats and Calabrian peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Check seasoning.
- Roast the kumquat chicken - Nestle the chicken thighs in the skillet with the tops exposed to the oven. Do the same with the onion wedges (I took the photo before adding them!😬). If adding potatoes, add them now as well. If the skillet looks dry, add a little more chicken broth. Place the skillet uncovered in a 400° oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°, and potatoes are tender if using.
- To serve - Plate using shallow bowls or plates with a rim as you will want the pan sauce! Garnish with fresh herbs, and enjoy!
Is kumquat chicken good leftover?
I prefer it freshly made. It's not bad, and I would definitely eat it, but it does lose its brightness when re-heated. I typically make just what we want for dinner, allowing 4-6 ounces of chicken per serving.
What kind of pan should I use to cook the chicken?
I like a cast iron skillet for this task. You start the dish on the stove, and finish it in the oven, so you need a heavy, ovenproof pan.
What are Calabrian peppers?
Calabrian peppers originated in southern Italy, are considered "medium-hot," and are perhaps best known for their use in arrabbiata pasta sauce. Substitute piquillo or roasted red pepper and some crushed red pepper (if you want the heat).
TIP - Use a paring knife to push the small seeds out of the sliced kumquats. The seeds are small and fairly tender, and I don't always remove them!
Savory Kumquat Chicken
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 5 ounces tomatoes - see Ingredients section for more!
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup dry sherry - see Ingredients section for more!
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 medium onion - cut in wedges
- 8 ounces kumquats, sliced
- 5 Calabrian peppers - sliced; about 1 tablespoon (see Ingredients section for more)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- fresh herbs, chopped - for garnish; see Ingredients section for suggestions
- Preheat oven to 400°. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs. Sear/brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- Sauté the tomatoes over medium-high heat until they show some caramelization, and begin to burst. Add the ground cumin and garlic, and sauté until fragrant. De-glaze the pan with the dry sherry.
- Whisk together the honey and the chicken broth. Add to the skillet along with the sliced kumquats and Calabrian peppers. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Check seasoning.
- Nestle the chicken thighs in the skillet with the tops exposed to the oven. Do the same with the onion wedges and optional potatoes. If the skillet looks dry, add a little more chicken broth.
- Place the skillet in the oven. Cook until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°, and potatoes are tender.
- Plate the chicken, spooning sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh herbs as desired.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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