Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh, This Chicken

I have a (really fun) [but] (slightly annoying sometimes) habit of changing any recipe I come across to make it my own.
No, I'm no mad scientist (okay, maybe a little mad) or even a culinary, educated kook. So, sometimes, I follow a recipe to a tee and do not change/alter/edit/omit/add ANYTHING from it. But it's gotta be a pretty awesome recipe...pretty perfect...

Giada's Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumettes
This slightly sweet and tangy chicken is so delicious, I instantly liked the Giada. (Sure, I want to be jealous of her--sweet, beautiful, talented in the kitchen, Italian--but why? Wouldn't it be more fun to meet her for lunch instead? ...at her house, of course...where she does all of the cooking and I watch and learn.) This chicken is so delicious and, after making it 5+ times, I have yet to screw it up. (Victory!) I've added my comments in (parenthesis) if you like to break the rules a little.  ;-)

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumettes 
Giada's recipe
  • 3 pounds chicken drumettes (or drumsticks)
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice (or orange juice)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet Marsala wine (or whatever red is already open)
  • 1/4 packed cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (don't forget this...it makes the chicken! find it next to the olive oil at the store)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 3)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground arrowroot powder or 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or 1 TB flour)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


step one: In a gallon ziploc bag, combine juice, soy sauce, wine, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, chili powder, and red pepper flakes until the sugar is dissolved. (Do this by sealing the bag and gently mixing with hands.) Using tongs or hands, put the chicken drumettes in the bag. Remove as much air as you can from the bag, seal it, and stick it in the fridge for 2+ hours to marinade.

step two: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil (or parchment paper) and spray with non-stick spray.

step three: After 2 hours (or even overnight), take the chicken out of the fridge. Using tongs, place each piece on the baking sheet. Do NOT throw away the marinade! Season the chicken with sea salt and bake until the skin is brown and caramelized, between 25--35 minutes. (Keep an eye on it.)
Marinated chicken, ready to cook
Right out of the oven...don't let the "burnt look" alarm you...it's tasty!

step four: While the chicken is baking, pour the marinade into a saucepan. Whisk in the arrowroot or cornstarch and bring to a boil over medium heat (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, arrange on a platter or in a large serving bowl. Take a pastry brush and brush the marinade onto the chicken, and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.

Eat. Be merry. One of these days I'll try one of her pasta dishes...
but for now, this one's my favorite.

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