The Elegant Chicken

10:29 AM

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, which doesn’t leave much time to prepare a special meal.  I have to work.  I decided to make the family a nice dinner last night instead.  I can relax today (Sunday) before the work week begins.
I’ve been looking for a chicken recipe that was elegant.  All of this chicken breast stuff can be so boring and it’s really making me get sick of chicken.  I think this recipe has made me a chicken lover again.  How fitting, just in time for Heart Day.  Thank you Sunset.
If you want to follow this recipe to the T, I would shop at a store like Whole Foods or Fresh Market.  You’re guaranteed to find plenty of shiitake mushrooms and sake in the same place.  I took every shiitake mushrooms from Martin’s.  They only had one sake option.
What You Will Need:

4.5 lb whole chicken, giblets removed and rinse chicken
2 lbs shiitake mushrooms, rinse and remove stems
1 bundle scallions, rinsed and chopped
1 head of garlic, break up cloves
1 (6 oz) jar minced ginger (I know I should have used fresh, but this helps out in the prep)
1 C fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
¼ C sake
1 T hoisin
1 T Toasted Sesame Oil
What You Already Have at Home:
1 ¼ light soy sauce
3 Q water
¾ light brown sugar
¼ C apple cider vinegar
Large pot
Large bowl
11x15 roasting pan
1)      Prepare brine 4 hours before ready to roast chicken.  Chicken will take approx. 1 to 1 ½ hours.

2)      In large pot, combine water, brown sugar, 1 C soy sauce, 5 cloves of garlic, 2 heaping spoonfuls of ginger.
3)      Add chicken to brine.  Cover and chill for 4 hours or 12 hours if you have time.
4)      Pour out brine.  Rinse chicken and pat dry.
5)      Preheat oven to 425˚.
6)      Transfer chicken to roasting pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7)      Put 4 cloves of garlic and 2 spoonfuls of ginger in cavity.  Rub ginger underneath skin as well.
8)      Roast chicken for 30 minutes.
9)      While roasting, add ¼ C soy, hoisin, sesame oil, sake, 2 T ginger, vinegar, and chicken broth to large bowl.  Mix well.

10)   Set aside ½ C of scallions.  Mix mushrooms and remaining scallions into soy mixture.

11)   Add mushrooms and scallions around chicken and roast until chicken is cooked. 

12)   After 30 minutes, measure temperature.  If 170˚ to bone and 180˚in thickest part, transfer chicken to platter and let rest.
13)   Bring pan over stove and heat juices, adding soy mixture.  Reduce.
14)   Sprinkle remaining scallions as garnish.
15)   Serve chicken with mushrooms/scallions, salad and bread.

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