Orange Sriracha Chicken

Yesterday, as I scrolled through Instagram, I came across a hashtag that read #100happydays. It seemed straight-forward enough, but I looked it up anyway. My search brought me to a cute webpage that asked a simple question: can you be happy for 100 days in a row? As it turns out, 71% of people that tried this challenge did not succeed because they were too busy. That seems absurd! It also makes me curious: are these people really deluded, or is it actually hard to be happy 100 days in a row? It really does seem like a no-brainer. We all know of simple tricks to help us look on the bright side when our minds want to keep us in the dark: keep a gratitude journal, get exercise, meditate, spend time in the sunshine, listen to music, eat right, spend time in nature, laugh, surround yourself with loved ones, make your home a sanctuary, change your routine, do things for others, use aromatherapy, and so on. Ok, so can I do those things (and more) for 100 days in a row? I think so! The trick for making it work might be to allow myself some moments each day to be upset or frustrated if warranted. Then, find a gentle way to ease myself back into a bright, luminously happy mindset. Maybe all it really takes is a will to do it and a reason to keep going. I definitely have the will to do it, and I am now making that commitment to you, so I have to really try, right? I admit I am cheating a bit. With only 3 more days until summer break, it won’t be hard to do some or all of the things that make me happy daily—and find plenty new ones too—but I’ll start there and see if I can carry that joy into the next school year. But maybe I won’t think about that just yet…

You can follow me on Instagram (ilyskitchen) to see 1 picture each day of where I’ve found happiness. Are you willing to try the challenge too?

Cooking always makes me happy! These chicken drumsticks are full of flavor and perfect for summer, when all things citrus make their way into my kitchen. Enjoy with rice, a fresh salad, or a side of grilled veggies!

Orange Sriracha Chicken

2 packages organic chicken legs (Trader Joe’s)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Marinade:

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

½ cup orange juice

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon tomato paste

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

*1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

Orange Sriracha Sauce

½ cup orange juice

**2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1 tablespoon vegan, soy-free butter (Earth Balance) or regular butter if there is no lactose intolerance

1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce

Kosher salt to taste

Instructions:

Sprinkle your kosher salt on your drumsticks in a shallow dish and set aside.

To make the marinade, throw all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour marinade over the chicken, cover, and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Put the marinated chicken on a baking sheet, and cook for 40 minutes, until cooked through. Flip legs over once halfway through.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: throw all the sauce ingredients into a sauce pan over high heat. Once it boils, lower the burner to low and cook for 3-5 minutes—you want to reduce it to a syrup. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

After the chicken has cooked for 40 minutes, remove the tray and brush on a thin coat of the orange glaze. Throw it back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Take the tray out, and brush the chicken with more sauce. Devour!

*if you have IBS or a sensitive tummy, leave the garlic and onions out! I did and the dish was still fabulous.

**if you have IBS or a sensitive tummy, leave the honey out. I substituted brown sugar and it was great!

Recipe inspiration from: nomnompaleo.com 

photo 1 (6)