"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Monday, January 7, 2013

Roasted Chicken with Fresh Ginger, Garlic, Cilantro, and Sweet Balsamic Vinegar

(Roasted Chicken - Marinated for 24 hours)

If you are a parent (especially a working parent), I imagine that one of the standard items usually found in your shopping cart at Safeway or Costco is a whole roasted chicken. It's convenient, easy, versatile, and, most importantly, it's something the kiddos will eat without starting World War III in your house. But, sometimes, the store bought roasted chicken can get a little boring for the "grown-ups".

Many of us have tried to roast the whole chicken in our own ovens. Most of the time, it comes out perfectly crispy, golden brown, and tasty. Other times, not so much. Maybe it's the color - that brown color that the store bought chicken always seems to have. Maybe it's the flavors or seasonings. Maybe it's the moisture in the chicken (or lack of it).  Whatever the reasons, I've got another option for you to make and enjoy a deliciously oven-roasted chicken that is packed with bold flavors and makes your mouth water the minute you pull it out of the oven. And, the best part is: You can do all the preparation the night before, keep it in the refrigerator overnight, and put it in the oven to roast until you get perfectly dark brown chicken pieces - the kinds that look like they just came off your grill on a hot summer day. Here is the recipe: 

1 whole chicken (I like organic chicken, but you can use whatever chicken you would like. Ask your Butcher to cut it up in 8 pieces, without the guts.) 

For the Marinade:
1/4 cup of fresh ginger (finely chopped or grated, if you prefer)
2 cloves of fresh garlic (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon of fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 Tablespoons of honey
Juice from 1/2 a large orange (Navel Oranges have a lot of juice)
2 Tablespoons of sweet balsamic vinegar (if you only have regular balsamic, use about 1 Tablespoon and add a little more honey)
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce (low sodium)
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin (if you have it)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Basting Liquid:
1 Tablespoon of honey
1/2 Tablespoon of sweet balsamic vinegar (or regular vinegar)
1/2 Tablespoon of soy sauce
About 1 Tablespoon of the fresh orange juice (if basting liquid is too thick)
[Stir everything together to mix well.]

Rinse the chicken pieces under cool water, and pat dry. Lay the pieces on a clean baking sheet. Season the chicken generously with kosher salt and pepper (inside and out).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, cilantro, honey, orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, mustard, cinnamon, and cumin.  Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and a couple of turns of fresh ground black pepper to the mixture. Stir to mix well. Add the chicken pieces to the mixture in the bowl, and mix well with your clean hands to ensure that all the pieces are covered with some of the mixture.

Add the chicken pieces, with all the mixture and juices, to a large Ziploc bag. Move the chicken pieces around the bag to make sure everything is well coated. Take any extra air out of the bag. Seal the bag tight, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees when you are ready to roast the chicken. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a metal rack (if you have one) over the baking dish, and arrange the chicken pieces on the rack in a single layer (skin sides up). Scoop some of the mixture and juices on top of the chicken, and discard the rest. [DO NOT REUSE THE MARINADE.] If you don't have a roasting rack, just roast the chicken directly on the aluminum foil.  [I use foil for easy clean-up.]

Roast the chicken in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, turn down the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes (or until the chicken pieces are dark brown and cooked through - no pinks). Baste the chicken a couple of times with the Basting Liquid if they skins are getting dry. Do not turn the chicken over so the skin can get a nice dark brown color and get crispy. The aromas from your kitchen are amazing!

Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy with steamed Jasmine or wild rice. Don't forget a nice glass of a perfectly chilled Chardonnay. Two great options are Chateau St. Jean (http://www.chateaustjean.com/) and Markham http://markhamvineyards.com/joomla/latest-news?view=featured). Both have great Chardonnays and beautiful vineyard settings.

Who says you can't have that mouth-watering, delicious, beautifully dark brown chicken on a cold winter night - without touching your grill? Not me! I hope you try this recipe and make sure to let me know how you enjoy it.

Until next time . . . Cheers!


1 comment:

  1. My daughter, who had the chicken tonight for dinner, asked me to post this for her (in her own handwriting):

    "I love Mommy's chicken! It has teriyaki, one of my favorite sauces! It's really yummy and tastes like . . . well, teriyaki chicken!

    Love from,
    -Your daughter"

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