Sunday, September 12, 2010
I'm not sure whether I've mentioned this before, but I'm not a huge fan of chicken. I'll eat it IN other dishes, cut up in soups or salads and I do love a good chicken parm, but grilled/roasted/pan fried chicken breasts with some seasoning or sauce...meh. I just find it so bland most of the time. I'm more of a red meat girl. Same thing with roast chickens. I've always had this underlying feeling that a really good roast chicken recipe will transform the dish and make me have a "where have you been all my life" revelation*. The problem is that no matter how good the recipe seems to be, it's still well...chicken. Bo-ring. Unfortunately Adam doesn't feel the same way. He could eat happily eat it every night of the week and tends to get cranky when I go on my carb, beef or pork-induced cooking binges. So occasionally I'll try out a new recipe searching for that "aha!" moment.
I'm not saying that this recipe is "the one", but it's the first time in a pretty long time that I've actually finished a whole chicken thigh. I know, not a huge accomplishment but for me that's a big deal so this recipe is getting a thumbs up.
I'll admit that it wasn't exactly perfect...I may have slightly burned the chicken. I had my suspicions about it, as in my experience ten minutes on medium-high heat equal charred chicken. But so many recipes said to leave the chicken on the stove for up to 25 minutes that I figured there must be something I didn't know. So I tried it...and my chicken did not look like the photos. But even so it was really really good! The seasonings were perfect and added just the right amount of flavour to make it interesting, and the meat was perfectly cooked (yeah yeah, aside from the char). I did read in the reviews that some used the remaining marinade to make a sauce which I might try next time, but we were perfectly happy without it.
*Similar to the one that Adam had with Pocky this week...I believe the exact quote was: "We have to get more of these. Why have you been keeping them from me for the last nine years??"
Note: It was really really hard to find pictures here that didn't look completely unedible. I SWEAR this chicken is good, just try to ignore the burnt bits...Adam's comment on the photo above was "it kind of looks like a picture of an oil spill where the birds are struggling to get out"
Crispy Chicken Under a Brick
1 whole (3 pound) chicken
3/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
2 springs fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Remove the backbone and split the chicken in half.
2. Mix together 1/2-cup olive oil, lemon juice and zest, cumin, curry, brown sugar, and garlic. Pour mixture into a freezer bag with chicken inside. Throw in the rosemary springs and marinate the chicken in the mixture for at least 1 hour (I actually left it for a day because we ended up making this the next night instead)
3. Place an ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Put the remaining 1/4-cup olive oil into the hot skillet (or just enough to cover the skillet) and wait 1 minute for it to heat up. Reduce heat to medium (I did not do this, but I would next time to avoid the blackened chicken)
4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season all over with salt and pepper. Place the chicken halves in the skillet, skin side down. Wrap 2 bricks in aluminum foil and set them on top of the chicken, or if you don't have bricks cover the bottom of a dutch oven, add a few cans and cover with the lid for added weight.
5. Cook on the stovetop for 10 minutes. Now you might want to check your chicken before this, but if you're cooking on medium heat than you might be okay. Either way I'll probably check my chicken sooner next time. Once the chicken is nicely browned and crispy, remove the bricks/dutch oven, carefully flip over and transfer the skillet to a preheated 450 degree F oven. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from pan and enjoy!