Yes, I know it’s the same pic as yesterday – think of this as ‘Son of’ the Spicy Eggplant, just with the chicken in the starring role. Besides, the combined effort togther on the serving platter looks so much nicer than just a hunk o’ chicken on a plate.
And speaking of yesterday, you know that the eggplant recipe, as well as this one, were both made with stuff you probably have in your kitchen anyway – except, maybe, for the sweet chili sauce (which SHOULD be in your kitchen, if you ask me).
Still, the original eggplant recipe called for fresh ginger, and I was flat out. In a pinch, tho’, 1 tsp powdered ginger, while not as good, is an OK replacement – and tell me you don’t have powdered ginger going stale in the back of the spice cupboard. I didn’t have the Oyster Sauce called for, but ‘da Google’ told me I could use soy sauce and some sugar, so added a bit more of both and omitted the salt. So that leaves us with just ONE slightly exotic ingredient – the chili sauce – but how exotic can it be when you can pick it up at Jewel? Not to belittle Jewel’s assortment, but there are times it’s hard to find decent Belgian Endive or lamb chops (and don’t make me go on about the pine nuts) – so finding Thai Chili Sauce on the shelf everyday in the Asian Section must mean this condiment has gone mainstream – and about time, too! By the way – my chili sauce came from Trader Joe’s, just sayin’. On to the chicken…
Buttermilk is one of my main go-to marinades for chicken (and recently, pork!). It gives the meat a slight tang, and keeps it moist through grilling or roasting. Now, before you go on about ‘I don’t have any BUTTERMILK!!!’ – just remember this simple formula:
Put 1 tbsp of lemon juice in the bottom of a measuring cup. Add milk to make one cup and stir. Let sit for five minutes and proceed, you have buttermilk. I’ve used whole, 2% and skim milk – all with fine results; and you COULD use white vinegar in place of the lemon juice, but I think the lemon juice gives it that little sumpin’, sumpin’ extra.
Back to the chicken… I wanted something to go with my spicy eggplant, so here’s what I decided to do for two bone-in half breasts:
Whisk all together and marinate the chicken – turning occasionally – overnight, or at least for several hours. I added the chicken to the marinade in the morning and tossed it in the fridge. A couple of turns when I thought of it and they were good to go when I got home from downtown that evening. I put the chicken on the counter and set the oven to 375º while I got the veggies ready – my trusty rice cooker sat quietly at the side waiting for me to hit the ‘start’ button – so that part of supper was taken care of.
Eggplant prep done, I pulled the chicken out of the buttermilk and placed them in the oven in a foil-lined baking pan for about an hour – the skin will get black in parts – not to worry. About 20 minutes in, I pushed ‘start’ on the rice cooker and began cooking the eggplant.
With ten minutes to go on the hour, I added a drizzle of chili sauce on the chicken.
The rice was done, the eggplant finished, and the chicken beautiful and tempting – asking only for an additional drizzle the pan juice/chili sauce mix – now a nice little glaze. What’s not to love?