Maple Marinated Chicken

04aMapleChickenbfLOThe original version of this recipe, from Nigella Lawson, called for using a dozen each bone-in chicken thighs and pork spare ribs (you’re gonna wanna cut the ribs into individual pieces), a couple of gallon sized zipper bags for marinating, and…

star anise.

Which was almost a deal breaker for me, because I am not a fan of the flavor; but I happened to have a jar of Shichimi Togarashi – Japanese Seven Spice – in my

10JapaneseSevenSpiceNicebfLOspice rack which I find packs a lot of flavor (and none of it anise); so, I happily subbed one teaspoon of the Shichimi Togarashi for the two star anise called for, and then, because I could, and because there were only gonna be the two of us for dinner, I ditched the ribs and switched the chicken thighs to drumsticks.

01aChickenSeasoningsbfLOStrangely enough, for only using half the meat called for, I think the full amount of marinade was just about perfect, so, if you plan on trying this with the chicken and the ribs (and even, heaven forbid, the star anise), I would plan on doubling the amount of marinade.

•12 chicken drumsticks or bone in thighs
•1 cup apple juice
•1/4 cup maple syrup
•2 tbsp veggie oil
•2 tbsp soy sauce
•1 tsp Shichimi Togarashi
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 cinnamon stick (halved)
•1 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion
•6 cloves garlic (unpeeled), lightly crushed

Place the chicken in a gallon sized zipper bag, then add the remaining ingredients, close the bag, give it a good toss and squeeze for a minute or two to blend the marinade and spread it evenly around the chicken pieces. Arrange the bag on a rimmed platter 02bChickOvenbfLOor plate (to catch any possible leaks) and pop in the fridge, at least overnight, but for as long as two days; flipping the bag a couple of times when you think to do it.

When ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the fridge to rest while you heat your oven to 400º.

03aMapleChickenbfLOOnce the oven is hot, turn the chicken and the marinade out into a large baking pan (I would strongly suggest a nice anodized roaster, or lining your pan with foil – the maple syrup in a marinade is gonna get sticky while the chicken is cooking).

Note: if you had used thighs as Nigella originally suggested, be sure that they are arranged skin side up in the baking pan; as I was using the drumsticks, I just arranged ’em in a single layer and turned them half way through.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and, as you can see, oh! so nicely browned.

We had ours with cider braised green beans and thought ourselves well and truly fed.

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