Catalina Cooking: Orange, Pomegranate and Ginger Chicken Wishing it was duck really!

Orange, pomegranate and ginger chicken is pleasing to both the eye and the tasebuds. Courtesy art

Nothing nicer in the May Gray when it gets cold for a bit and brings you back to more of a fall/winter dinner. Canard a l’orange. With its crispy skin, gooey sauce and sweet tender dark meat. Takes me back to a party I was staff with for Captain Kirk at his home in the hills of Studio City. We were all getting ready and the wait staff and kitchen staff were eating and after the valets came in (surfers that I knew) and said they were starved. So I got 6 plates and put some fruit, leftover staff pasta and a piece of duck for missing out on staff dinner. We were all eating in the kitchen when Captain Kirk comes in and says “What are you eating? Are you eating my canard a l’orange for my guests? Are you feeding my canard a l’orange to these parking boys?” We all turned red and tossed the plates. Duck was gone first luckily! His wife at the time Marcy came in and said they can have as much duck as they would like … Anyway to us from Captain Kirk to Captain Buzzkill. We laughed it off and skated Berry drive after the party drinking his Champagne! Anyway, her is a nice healthier version with chicken. Make it and your will really love it. Play with the seasonings to your palate.

• A Free range organic chicken split right down the middle; save the inners.

• 3 cups of fresh orange juice

• 1/4 cup coconut vinegar

• 1/4 cup soy

• 1 cup white wine

3 shallots minced

• 2 cups chicken stock or duck if you have it.

• A whole thumb size of fresh ginger julienne

• Orange slices

• Fresh thyme

• Onion powder

• Garlic powder

• Sea salt

• Black pepper

• Pomegranate seeds

• Zuccini Cubed

• Roma tomatos diced

• Unsalted butter

• Garlic cloves peeled and minced

• Fresh basil leaves torn

• Wild Rice. Cook to what the bag says. The mixed one is great,

• Fresh Sage Leaves

Take the chicken halves and marinate overnight in a cup of the oj, vinegar, soy and about 1/4 of the ginger. If not overnight do for a couple hours. Put the oven on 375 and take baking sheet and line with foil. I don’t like to waste foil but the water to clean the mess is more of a loss. Put some ginger and orange slices under the skin being careful not to tear it.

Get a roasting pan and line it with foil. Take the halves and dust with the onion and garlic powders, thyme salt and black pepper Lay the halves (reserve the marinade) on the sheets skin side down and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes carefully turn not to tear the skin and bake another 30 minutes. Meanwhile take a sauce pan with the shallots and white wine and reduce to about 3/4. Add the marinade and the remaining oj and ginger and reduce down to about a cup and a half or until it is really thick. Ladle some of this over the chicken and bake another 10 minutes. Garnish with the leftover ginger, pomegranate seeds and orange slices.

Saute your tomatoes and zucchini and toss in some basil. When the rice is done, sauté some in butter with the same tomato and basil and garlic. A nice salad and fresh berries and you are set. Oh Yeah, crisp up some sage leaves in butter and put on the duck as well! Killer for sure.

One more thing. This is in no way the same recipe for the duck. Way different …

Capt. Vaughn Allen was a private chef and butler for the ultra rich and famous most of his life. Vaughn was recently called out of retirement to cook the intimate celebration dinner for Sir Ringo Starr and his close friends. Vaughn is a businessman, scuba instructor and most recently a yacht broker in Redondo Beach. You can contact him at


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