This month's Secret Recipe Club dinner is from Karen's Kitchen Stories. Karen is a recruiter and HR lady who also teaches college classes part-time. Add in her grandchildren living nearby and I have no idea how Karen has any free time left over to share her recipes and photos in her blog, but I am sure glad she does!
When I first received my assigned blog almost a month ago, I was in the mood for a chicken dinner so I immediately dug into Karen's bird recipes. At first I almost ignored this particular one, because when I see "soy" in the title I assume it must involve tofu (I really have to stop judging a recipe by its name). Curiosity got the better of me, but then I was going to skip it after reading the directions. I don't care for braised chicken because the skin is usually mushy and icky ... and not in a good way. But luckily I read 'til the end because (TIP ALERT!) Karen's unique twist--to blast-roast the bird after the braise--brought the recipe front and center.
Now, I praise the braise!
Because I had a pack of parts instead of an intact bird, there was no need to let the bird rest after roasting, shaving off a bit of time. As a result, this orange-kissed dinner takes less than an hour start to finish, even with the double-cooking. You can enjoy this from-scratch meal on a weeknight. Assemble a salad during the braising. Then while the chicken is roasting, start up the side veggies and pop them into (or on top of) your favorite cooking appliance. While the sides nuke/steam/simmer, serve the salad. By the time the salad plates go into the sink, the veggies are tender and the chicken is a wonderful crusty brown.
Crispy Soy Chicken
Adapted from Karen's Kitchen Stories
1 cup rice wine or dry sherry (or a mixture of each)
3 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 packed cup brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp. five-spice powder
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (the shockingly easy way to peel ginger is in this video from the former Gourmet magazine)
2 1-inch strips of orange peel
3 1/2 pound roasting chicken, cut into quarters or eighths
canola oil for greasing
In a large dutch oven, heat, stir the wine, water, soy sauce and sugar together over medium-high heat until sugar completely dissolves.
|That icky skin will turn crispy--I promise!|
Stir in cinnamon, five-spice powder, garlic, ginger and orange peel. Bring to a boil. Place chicken pieces, skin side down, in a single layer and let liquid return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease roasting pan and rack with canola oil.
|See? Skin crispping up beautifully!|
Transfer braised chicken to prepared rack in roasting pan. Discard braising liquid. Roast chicken in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until skin crisps up and turns a wonderful dark brown (but not burned).