Thursday, November 02, 2006

Crispy Chicken Pieces

This is my all-time favorite way to prepare chicken for an easy family dinner. First of all, I like to start with my favorite chicken arrangement, the Whole Cut-Up Chicken. Yes, the frozen bag of breasts is wonderful in the freezer for elegant boneless dishes, and the whole chicken wins for cuteness and Sunday dinner, but for ease of fixing and a mix of light and dark, I go for the package of parts.

The marinade:

You can do this early in the day, or as late as half an hour ahead of time. I like to aim to have the chicken marinating all afternoon. And don't forget--your version will be as good as mine if you need to substitute something. I use:

juice of a lime and an orange (or two limes)
about 1/3 c. mirin or honey if I'm out of mirin
about 1/2 c. tamari (crucial)
3-5 crushed cloves of garlic.
Mix and pop it all in a gallon ziploc in the fridge.

To cook:

Heat oven to 425. Spread your chicken out spaciously, no touching. Make sure the skin side is up. I often need two pans for this--so be it. Do not cover. Stick in the oven and leave for 45 minutes or so. Fancier cooks will turn the chicken pieces over for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking--I often don't bother.

Oven technique is everything here. Don't be afraid of that high heat, and don't start thinking you need to drape some foil over the meat! Your chicken is going to go to a deep dark delicious mahogany brown, and it will be crispy on the outside and juicy and tender inside.

I use the pan juices straight or the fat separated off if I'm feeling virtuous, poured over rice, or even stirred into risotto at the end of cooking. Salty but so good!


Ann C. said...

Sounds dee-lish!
And I really appreciate the clear, encouraging commentary and serving suggestions that accompany your recipes. Love your blog.

Mrs. Bonnie said...

Yumm! What is mirin? I've not heard of it before.

Anna said...

Mirin is a syrupy Japanese cooking wine, and you can find it in the Asian ingredients aisle of any grocery store, by the soy sauce.

Susan said...

Oh this sounds yummy! thanks for sharing it!

Copper's Wife said...

Sounds yummy! I'll have to buy some Tamari (but I've several recipes, now, that call for it) Thanks for a wonderful sounding recipe and for your remarks about not fiddling with it in the oven!

Oh, and ditto that package of cut up chicken. Something for everyone in that package!

Anonymous said...

What is Tamari and where do you find it?


Gina said...

I'm off to do this right now (I remember you'd posted it and tonight am cooking chicken)--thanks!!

Carrie said...

I fixed this tonight....another winner (even if I did set the too-sensitive smoke alarm off twice in the beach condo we're renting this month). I haven't bought a pkg of parts in a long time.....stuck in the boneless, skinless rut... Everyone got what they liked, and even my toddler with the meat/poultry aversion loved this!! Thanks for another great recipe Anna!

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