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Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cara Cara Orange Sauce

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Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cara Cara Orange Sauce

Not many people think of a savory meal when they think of vanilla, but I am here to tell you that it’s amazing in savory recipes like this Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken thighs with Cara Cara orange sauce.
Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs #vanillaweek

I am a huge fan of citrus with chicken and the the flavors of the vanilla and the cara cara oranges work so well with chicken, especially chicken thighs. 

Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs #vanillaweek

There are so many vanilla extract brands. I am a big fan of Nielsen Massey bourbon vanilla extract.  It has a great flavor and its easiest to find in stores near me.

Their Tahitian vanilla is also amazing, but I would say my favorite vanilla I have ever tried is Mexican vanilla. The scent and flavor is very different, and it is so good.

Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs #vanillaweek

I wanted to make a recipe that was delicious but also quick to make. I love gourmet looking meals that are easy to make.  I am such a fan of roasted chicken thighs I knew they would be amazing in this recipe. 
Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs #vanillaweek
I also knew I didn’t want to use regular balsamic vinegar since its a very strong flavor and would over power the vanilla so I went with a white balsamic. The oranges compliment both flavors really well and we had just bought some gorgeous cara cara oranges from the farmers market the other day so I knew I wanted to use them in this recipe, and I am glad I did.
Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs #vanillaweek

Yield: 5-6

Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cara Cara Orange Sauce

Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cara Cara Orange Sauce

Vanilla Orange Balsamic Chicken Thighs with Cara Cara Orange Sauce


  • 3 lbs bone in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1/3 C plus 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Juice of half a cara cara orange, about 1/3 c
  • 1 Cara Cara Orange quartered ans sliced into 1/2” wedges


  • Rinse and pat dry the chicken thighs, place in a baggie or shallow pan. Mix together 1/3 C of the white balsamic with 1 tablespoon of the vanilla extract and pour over the chicken, coating all of the chicken, let marinade 20-30 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 425 Deg F.
  • Set a roasting pan in the oven to heat up with 1 tbsp butter to melt and coat the bottom of the pan. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Place a skillet over medium high heat and melt 1 Tbsp butter. Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken skin side down for 3-4 minutes or until skin starts to get crispy. Transfer to roasting pan skin side down and repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Pour marinade over chicken and roast for 40 minutes, turning to skin side up after 20 min, or until the chicken thighs register 170 Deg F on an instant read meat thermometer.
  • Remove chicken from oven and remove chicken to a serving plate. In a small skillet over medium heat add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, tablespoon of vanilla extract, cara cara orange juice and the pan juices from the roasting pan. Taste and add more slate and pepper or vanilla if desired. Add in the remaining tablespoon of butter and simmer until slightly thickened. Add in the sliced oranges and sauté for one min until starting to soften. Spoon the sauce and oranges over the chicken and serve. Goes great with rice.
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    Vanilla Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs #vanillaweek
    Delicious vanilla balsamic roasted chicken thighs.

    Don’t forget to check out all the other awesome vanilla recipes made for today and check back each day this week since all of the participating bloggers made several recipes for Vanilla Week!

    Here are more #VanillaWeek Blogger recipes:

    Berry Vanilla and Yogurt Loaf Cake from Take A Bite Out of Boca.
    Vanilla Glazed Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits from Frugal Foodie Mama.
    I Love You Strawberry Cake from Hip Foodie Mom.
    Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll Casserole from It’s Yummi.
    Strawberry Vanilla Cream Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
    Vanilla Balsamic Roast Chicken Thighs from Pineapple and Coconuts.
    Vanilla Bean Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes & Kale Chips.
    Vanilla Bean Cream Puffs from Taste Cook Sip.
    Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries from {i love} my disorganized life.
    Vanilla Cinnamon Candied Pecans from Big Bear’s Wife.
    Vanilla Macarons from Love and Confections.
    White Chocolate Dipped Snickerdoodles from Life Tastes Good.

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