Chinese lacquered chicken recipe

Actually it’s Grilled Chinese lacquered chicken. (although you wouldn’t have to grill them, you could sauté them.)  This isn’t all that difficult or complicated but there are a lot of ingredients and it takes a day to marinate. It’s all putsy but not complex. I like putsy. There are no real set amounts, you can substitute one thing for another and the cooking time is, well, whatever. Chicken thighs are very forgiving. The chickens themselves probably not so much. 

As I may have mentioned, I served these on a chinese salad. 

Recipe follows

Chinese lacquered chicken thighs

 8 chicken bnls sknls chicken thighs, cut in half

1/2 cup soy sauce (use low sodium)

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1/4 cup dry sherry or mirin

2 TB grated ginger

1 TB sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced, minced, crushed or whatever

1 tsp five spice powder

(You could also add, 

1/4 cup gochujang 

[this makes it hot plus it’s impossible to find, but hey]

 2 TB honey 

1/8 cup orange or pineapple juice

1/8 cup ketchup

 3 TBS brown sugar)

Mix all of the above except thighs

Remove 3/4 cup for glazing. 

Put the thighs and the rest of the marinade into a bag

or bowl or some damn thing, and marinate overnight. 

Add 1/4 cup of ketchup to the reserved marinade and

bring to boil, lower to simmer and reduce liquid to syrup, 1 minute. 

Just kidding. It takes like 10 minutes. 

Even though all recipes say it happens in 2. 

Get a good grill going (whatever that means to you,

I have a gas grill and I pre-heat for 15 minutes. )

Be sure to have room to move the thighs off direct flame.

Remove the thighs from the marinade and grill over direct heat until they’re browned.

Then move them away from the heat and baste with the sauce.

They should take about 40 minutes more to cook, baste every 10 minutes or so.

I let mine cool to room temperature and put them on a salad.

You could eat them hot off the grill but I’m sure you figured that out on your own.

Grilled chicken season, or, buy different chicken

The first essential step in successfully grilling chicken breast is having the chicken be a uniform thickness so that it all cooks at the same time. To achieve this you must either slice it uniformly or pound it flat. I prefer the pounding to the slicing which makes for a larger portion (Of course, I’d prefer that) but also if you’re slicing it you are probably not going to accomplish this as efficiently as you might imagine and you end up with thin and thick pieces anyway. 

On all cooking shows they tell you to pound the breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. I understand that you don’t want chicken flying all over but it seems wasteful when you can just as easily pound it flat in the paper in which it came. This assumes you are not buying chicken in those styrofoam trays, on little foamy plastic sheets wrapped in plastic. My chicken comes in brown paper and that paper works really well for pounding chicken flat and at the same time it isn’t pounding microscopic pieces of plastic into the chicken. Plastic is poisonous. 

I hate to lecture. But we have to stop buying that chicken. It is raised inhumanely and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. And it comes in all that unrecycleable plastic…yeesh.

The second second step is (salt, pepper and olive oil go without saying and I think I dusted with paprika and garlic powder but that’s not neccessary) is a really hot grill and about 8 minutes. Maybe 9. Five on one side and 3 on the other. Cover loosely and let rest for 3 or 4 minutes. 

It will be perfect.

Sorry about the lecture.

Garlic scapes

I see these mentioned occasionally and think they look interesting. I’m not the biggest fan of garlic, though I do like it. These are supposed to be a mild version of garlic but there aren’t a lot of recipes for them on the internet. Today I picked up the first load of food from my CSA. It was mostly onions and garlic related things.

I like the idea of the CSA but really, how much garlic and onions can you eat at one time while the food is still fresh (and not offend all your neighbors)?

What I saw of scape recipes was pretty dull. But there was one that suggested grilling them. I can do that. I threw in some peppers and onions. And grilled a chicken breast (I am on a diet after all). It was pretty good. I completely burned one scape. It tasted oddly like marshmallow. The others didn’t really have much in the way of taste. I was worried they’d be woody. But they weren’t, they were very tender. But green beans have more flavor. The chicken breast was perfectly grilled.

Grilled chicken

This turned out to be awesome. I like the grill pan thing because you don’t lose the smaller vegetables. I grilled the chicken skin side down (salt, pepper, garlic powder [love that stuff], oregano and something, maybe sage) right over the flames until the skin sorta charred then I put the grill plate on the grill, threw the vegetables (green and red bell peppers, onions and crimini mushrooms which I had tossed with olive oil and a dab of balsamic vinegar, onto the plate and put the chicken skin side up on top of all of it.

The grill pan, by the way, from Sur La Table is a million times better than the hideously expensive one I bought at Williams-Sonoma. The SLT pan came with 2 other sized pans for considerably less than the one single, overly-complicated (read: hard to clean), poorly shaped pan that warps over high heat that I got for much more money at WS.