Citrus baked chicken thighs

Although my time was limited, I thought I’d take some pictures and share the outcome of today’s mini break from studying with you. Time to go back to my notes now!

I’ve locked myself up for the last few days in an effort to stay concentrated and study. I took a wine tasting and wine appreciation course and now I’m in a studying frenzy right before my exams! My head is about to explode! It feels like a huge balloon trying to fit an enormous amount of information about acidity, tannins, the different bodies of wine, thousands of varieties, wine barrels, vinification methods, pairing.. And the list goes on! Ultimate chaos. So much information, so little time.

At the same time, this is a truly amazing experience and I’m extremely happy to have learned so many new and interesting things. But I have to admit that studying for hours nonstop, staying focused and memorizing has become a difficult task! I feel strange saying that because I used to take pride in memorizing entire books easily when I was younger! Why does it have to be such a struggle for me now?

Perhaps it’s because my mind flies fast in so many directions, from what I’m studying to 50 other things simultaneously. And just like that, after having read five pages of my notes, I discover that Burgundy wine is totally linked with the plumber that is late for our appointment, my bank account, my mother that has caught the flu and needs my help and so many other things.

All jokes aside, forgetting easily, having a hard time memorizing information and being unable to remain focused are undeniable facts. It becomes harder and harder for me to concentrate, relax and focus on one thing at a time. I have to try really, really hard and not always successfully.

I’ve been staring at the few citrus fruits still left on my plants for days. I absolutely love these plants, their flowers and their fresh fruits. Definitely some of my favourites. This time I riveted my eyes on two pots of beautiful, orange kumquats and started thinking of what I could make with them besides a classic kumquat jam. I always thought that kumquats aren’t really consumed, I mean in anything other than spoon sweets.

Kumquats, also known as little “golden oranges”, are very nutritious, a great source of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and more. A superfood almost. And most importantly, they can be consumed raw with their skin being a lot tastier and sweeter than their somewhat sour flesh. The combination is absolutely fantastic, like bubbles of citrus essential oils bursting in your mouth. I love their fresh taste in salads, breakfast bowls or yogurt..

I felt the need to take a mini break from studying and relax and of course, there’s nothing more relaxing to me than being in the kitchen and cooking. That’s my way of escaping reality and resting my mind while doing something I truly love and enjoy. I have something really special in mind.

Besides kumquats, I have some bitter oranges and a few blood oranges. Someone else would probably think of something sweet, but not me. I chose to make a savoury dish; citrus baked chicken thighs. I love incorporating fruity flavours into savoury dishes, especially when they’re not too sweet but a bit more acidic and bitter. I like to add generous amounts of lemon or orange juice to my roasts quite often. It really makes all the difference. Today’s dish is one of the most colourful I’ve ever made, the colours are amazing and so is the taste. The strong aroma of cooked and slightly caramelized citrus fruits is just out of this world. Although my time was limited, I thought I’d take some pictures and share the outcome of today’s mini break from studying with you. Time to go back to my notes now!



8 chicken thighs

1 red onion, cut in 4 and opened in smaller pieces

2 sweet potatoes, cut in thick slices

2-3 garlic cloves

1 orange juice

15 kumquats cut in half

2 blood oranges, sliced up

1 bitter orange, sliced up

2-3 rosemary sprigs

4-5 sage leaves

6tbsp olive oil

½ glass water


1. Wash and prepare the chicken thighs. Season with salt and put them in a bowl with pepper, olive oil, orange juice, onion, garlic, rosemary and sage. Cover the bowl and let the chicken in the marinade for 1 hour. Turn the chicken upside down in half of the time.

2. Heat the oven to 200C. In a shallow baking tray, add the sweet potato slices evenly, the bitter oranges, blood oranges and kumquats. Remove the chicken from the marinade and put it on top of the citrus fruit slices. Pour the marinade on top and add onions, garlic and herbs. Bake in the oven at 200C for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to 180C. Bake for about 1 hour until the chicken is cooked properly and gets a nice golden colour.