Friday, November 6, 2009

Oven-Crisped Chicken with Maple Vinegar Sauce

Get the flash player here:

All right! Given that I am unemployed, I am 1. Cooking more at home & 2. Have tons of time so you can expect lots of future excitement! And can any of you tell me why custards are baked in an oven but custard sauces are cooked on a stovetop? I need answers people, not excuses!

This recipe is from The Elements of Taste by Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky. It's an interesting book which has a unique view on food and taste. In it, the authors dissect taste into 14 distinct profiles. For instance, "Tastes that Push" contains 3 subdivisions: Salty, Picante and Sweet and each one of these subdivisions has a few recipes which demonstrate the characteristics of the subdivision. It's an intellectual approach to flavor which is quite different from other cookbooks. Additionally, there are "Taste Notes" on how each recipe tastes. Here's the "Taste Note" from this chicken recipe:
First a tangy vinegar aroma and, right along with it, nuttiness from the almonds and butter. The crunchiness from the chicken skin and intense saltiness follow. There's a smooth overall sweetness from the maple syrup, cut by the bitter cranberry and the nuts. The cranberry also has tang, which works with the vinegar to pull out more meaty taste. The flesh of the chicken gives texture and punctuation, plus a full meaty aroma. The end notes are sweet, meaty, and salty.
Neat, right? I really like the perspective this book provides but, at the end of the day, would not recommend it to beginning cooks. The recipes are a little bit complicated and it lacks the kind of clear instruction beginners need. Furthermore, the food might be a bit too adventurous for middle-America. Although today's recipe seems fairly benign, this book contains recipes such as "Poached and Crisped Turkey Leg Provencale with Lemon Pickle and "Okra-Bell Pepper Ratatouille with Mung Bean Curry Crepe." Not the kind of food most people crave on a busy weeknight.

And we're off!

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup

1. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until they are soft and transluscent.
3. Add the pepper and nutmeg.
4. Add the vinegar, bring to a boil, then add the maple syrup.
5. Return the sauce to a boil and reduce by half. Set aside.

1 3-4 pound spatchcocked chicken
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable Oil

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Make an incision in each of the chicken's thighs, then tuck in the legs. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Heat oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet. Place the chicken, skin side down in the hot pan and transfer pan to oven.
4. After 10 minutes, flip the chicken. Continue to roast until the thigh juices run clear. This will take somewhere around 30 minutes.
5. Remove chicken from pan and allow it to rest.
6. Pour fat from the roasting pan. See all those little brown bits crusted to the bottom of the pan? Those taste good so we're going to deglaze the pan with the pre-made sauce. Pour the sauce into the hot pan. You should be able to scrape up the brown bits. Set the sauce aside.

3/4 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup leeks, sliced and THEN measured
1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper

1. Combine almonds and butter in a skillet. Heat and cook the almonds until they turn golden brown.
2. Add the cranberries and leeks. Cook for another minute.
3. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and season with salt and pepper.

Cut the chicken into serving size parts. Arrange the chicken on a plate, spoon the sauce over the chicken, then the topping and serve.


Cost- I forget. I made this a while ago. Serves 4 hungry adults.
Time- Mebbe 45 minutes? It doesn't take long.


George said...

Wow! who cut those shallots?

Mike Czyzewski said...

Some egomaniac I know

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!