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See what the buzz is all about

What’s Cookin’?

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

If you read this column regularly, you know I am all about bees and honey — especially honey bees. Where would we bee without our pollinators?

Meant to bee: This recipe for garlic honey chicken uses golden nectar.

Did you know that a bee hive contains a ratio of about 40,000 female “workers,” to 8,000 male “drones,” but there can only be one Queen Bee. The worker female bees care for the queen, build honeycomb, guard the entry to the hive and bring food and water.

Drone males do not help their sisters, but are cared for and fed. (Drones are also kicked out of the hive at the end of the summer season.)

The Queen takes her virgin flight to mate, and then she never leaves the hive, but does lay eggs every day. Honey bee females can sting only once, because they die afterward. Honey bee males do not sting.

Here is a recipe that uses golden nectar.


4 chicken thighs, bone-in

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 Tbsp. fresh thyme (a few sprigs) or 1 tsp. dried thyme

1/3 cup honey

1 lb. string beans, trimmed

1 pt. cherry tomatoes

Zest of 1 lemon, juice of one-half lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet, and over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter.

Season thighs with salt and pepper. Add the thighs, skin-side down, and sear on both sides until chicken is golden brown. (3–5 minutes per side.)

Remove chicken thighs and set aside.

Drain excess fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Return skillet to medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the thyme, honey, lemon zest and juice, and stir. Bring sauce to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer.

Return the chicken to the pan. Coat each piece with the sauce. Turn off heat.

Move the chicken to one side of the pan. Add the string beans and the tomatoes to the pan.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes. (Give the string beans a stir after 15 minutes) or until chicken is cooked.

Partner honey chicken with the following rice dish.


2 cups long-grain white rice

½ tsp. salt

2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water

(Note: This recipe also works well with cold, cooked rice.)

1 cup fresh cilantro

Juice of 2 limes

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves

½ tsp. cumin

Zest from 1 lime

Cook rice in your usual method using the chicken stock, water and salt until rice is tender. Remove pot from heat. Remove lid, insert a dish towel over pot, replace lid, and allow to sit 5–10 minutes. The towel will absorb some of the rice moisture.

Sauce: In a blender or food processor, mix the cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic and cumin. Mix until just blended.

Stir the sauce and zest into the cooked rice.

Note: If using cold rice, mix in sauce and zest and heat in microwave.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

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