Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spicy Ginger and Lemon Chicken

IMG_10126 by you.

1 tsp olive oil
1 chicken leg (8-10 oz.) with skin, back bones, and tips of drumsticks removed (about 6 oz, trimmed weight)
Dash salt
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cumin
Dash dried thyme
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 strip lemon peel, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 strip orange peel, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger (washed, but not peeled)
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 c. sweet apple cider
1/4 c. water

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan until it is hot by not smoking. Add the chicken leg and brown it over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 10-12 minutes.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook gently for 15 minutes. Serve with the natural cooking juices.

I doubled this and all the other recipes so that there would be enough for both Troy and I. More on other changes below.

Cheats & Changes:
Again, I used my microplane to zest the orange and lemon rather than peel big hunks off. I also used a tablespoon of garlic ginger paste (I keep a jar handy in my fridge at all times; you can find it at most Indian grocery stores) in lieu of the fresh chopped ginger. I suppose I could have left out the garlic cloves, but in my book you can never have too much garlic.

Also, I'd like to mention that the directions on the chicken are a bit vague. In the accompanying photo, there's a chicken leg quarter, not just the leg, and it has the skin on it. I decided to split the difference and I used a quarter, but took the skin off. T actually prefers white meat, so when I saw they had split fryers at the store, I opted to buy that so we'd have the best of both worlds. I cut the chicken into two pieces, removed the skin and backbone, as instructed, and I left the wing on the breast, but removed the wingtip. Frankly, we're both rather big eaters, so there's no way that one measly chicken leg would have cut it. But because I used a bone-in chicken breast, it took a little bit longer to cook, I'd say closer to 20 or 25 minutes.

The verdict:
Love, love LOVED it! The flavor was really well balanced - hints of ginger, citrus, spice, and a little bit of sweetness from the juice, but not overtly apple-y. This dish was super easy to prep and make and will probably go into my regular repertoire. T loved the flavor as well and devoured his portion. I was concerned that the breast might dry out, but it stayed super tender and juicy.

And have I mentioned the sauce? This dish made its own sauce (the aforementioned "natural juice") which was simply heavenly. There was a ton of it, which I spooned very generously over everything on my plate: the chicken, the rice and even the broccoli. I think it made everything better.

Portion size was perfect for the one meal, but in the future I'll likely make a lot more since we like leftovers. Oh, and even though it's dark meat, with the skin removed and very little cooking oil needed to sear it off,
this is a pretty diet-friendly meal too. Extra bonus!

Oh and here's a picture of Troy's chicken breast, in case you're curious. I removed the skin from the breast, but left it on the wing.

IMG_10128 by you.

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