I’ve just spent half the day cleaning out my closet and drawers. It’s not what I had planned for today but I’m so glad for the head start on Spring cleaning. I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated by the sad state of my closets and cabinets–they certainly started out clean and organized. I don’t know what has happened in the last year but I feel like my home needs a major cleanup. For me, starting a big project like this is always the difficult part and I’m relieved to be past this hurdle for I’ve got two lawn bags full of clothes and a dozen pairs of shoes that hopefully others will be able to put to good use. Now if I could just continue with the pantry and the kitchen cabinets.
Speaking of cleaning out the kitchen, I think this recipe contains just about everything in my spice drawer. I go through periods of buying spices I think I’ll use only to find myself favoring some others so the rest don’t get as much love in the kitchen. This chicken dish was a tasty way of speeding up the turnover of these delicious but neglected spices and if you can wait three or four days to let the flavors develop, you will not be disappointed.
You can see the ingredients below but I want to point out that the rich yellow color of the chicken comes from turmeric. It not only adds vibrant color to food but it also lends a nice, subtle, curry note. I also added sumac for a little citrus essence. The base of the marinade is made out of vinegar, soy sauce and a little olive oil and along with the spices, the meat is tenderized (vinegar) and is packed with flavor (soy sauce).
And no, it hasn’t escaped my notice that I’m sharing with you an all-meat dish in all its crispy-skinned goodness after going on and on about enjoying light-on-the-meat meals. Oops! I’ve had a lot of soup lately (and next post might just be that again) and I wanted a break. This was a nice way to take stock of my spice inventory and now my old favorites have recaptured my attention again.
Marinated Roast Chicken
* Unfortunately, I didn’t measure the ingedients but I’ll list everything I used here and the approximate amounts. There’s really no wrong way to make this; remove what you don’t like and add your own favorites but the vinegar and soy sauce are highly recommended. I used proportionally less salt since the soy sauce will add enough sodium to this marinade.
** I also roasted some new potatoes in the same marinade.
- Plain white vinegar
- Soy Sauce (regular or low-sodium)
- Olive oil
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- kosher salt (one pinch or two)
- Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute (no-salt seasoning; one of my staples; about 1 tablespoon)
- Another variety no-salt seasoning (It doesn’t matter what brand you use, 1 or more tablespoons)
- Paprika (1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- Cayenne Pepper (optional; a few dashes)
- Ground turmeric (1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons, mainly for color and slight curry flavor)
- Sumac (2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon; if not available you can substitute 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
- ground ginger (optional, 1 teaspoon)
- Granulated Garlic (NOT garlic salt; 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons)
- Chicken pieces
Begin by combining the spices (and garlic) in a bowl. Add vinegar; you can start with 1/3 – 1/2 cup. Add a few tablespoons of soy sauce and taste. You want to find a balance between the vinegar and soy sauce that you like, not too tart and not too salty. Add the rest of the ingredients. What you want to avoid is for the vinegar to be too overpowering. The mixture will be a little looser than a paste but not too runny. Add a bit of olive oil to finish. Transfer the marinade to a large plastic storage bag and add the chicken. Make sure the marinade is evenly distributed among the chicken pieces. Refrigerate for 2-4 days. I roasted mine on the 4th day. I think I roasted the chicken at 375º until the chicken pieces were cooked and the skin was crisp, about 25-30 minutes.