2008-12-17

Friday meal

I made this chicken dish tonight, along with arugula wilted on top of bacon bits and onion. They don't really go together, but so what? Note the festive seasonal-themed bowl.


The chicken recipe came from Recipezarr.com but you can find it in several other places on the web. If I didn't need to log in on recipezaar to rate this recipe I'd give it 3.5 out of 5, and with a few tweaks I could have it up to a regular 4 in my kitchen.

The origins on recipezaar are said to be from a Japanese exchange student's mother, but balsamic vinegar doesn't seem to be a very authentic Japanese ingredient. I figured that with the balsamic vinegar I wouldn't need sugar and I was right: I used about half a teaspoon of sugar and I could have done without entirely. I also bowed to a recently rebellious stomach and didn't add a hot pepper. If I had, perhaps a little sugar would have tasted better, but I still think I could have done without any sugar. Finally, I added four or five cloves of garlic and didn't discard after cooking - they tasted delicious!

I'm not sure why the recipe doesn't have you brown the chicken beforehand. Plain, boiled, chicken skin doesn't have an appealing texture to me. I did a little browning, but I might do away with the skin if I make this again. Dark meat chicken can handle some extended cooking, so thighs or legs work fine in this recipe.


Ingredients

* 8 chicken drumsticks, skin on (the skin is important for flavour, and is so tasty to eat!)
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/3 cup soy sauce
* 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 garlic clove, peeled and bruised
* 1 small hot chili pepper, slit open, seeds removed

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over a high heat.
2. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
3. Remove any scum that rises to the surface.
4. Increase the heat, turning the drumsticks frequently in the sauce, and cook until the liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze.
5. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter, remove the garlic clove and chili from the liquid, and spoon the glaze over.
NOTE It's a glaze rather than a sauce, so there's not a whole lot of it.