Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

In a previous post elegantly entitled "Haallpppp!" I mentioned an upcoming potluck to which people were bringing interesting side dishes, and I needed to find a neutral but not boring main dish to serve alongside the Arabian cabbage rolls and tabbouleh. I decided to make The Barefoot Contessa's Indonesian Ginger Chicken. A combination of soy, honey, and spices adds a delectable flavor to plain chicken, which is served plain, with no sauce. It comes from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, and the only things I changed were to use skinless dark meat (legs and thighs) rather than a whole chicken, and to marinate for only about 5 hours. The overnight marinade was a bit strong for my taste.

So, without further ado, here's the scoop:

1 cup honey
¾ cup soy sauce (she doesn't specify a type; I used a dark Chinese one purchased at our local Eastern foods market)
¼ cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
½ cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
2 chickens (3½ pounds each), quartered, with backs removed

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Arrange the chicken in a large, shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator (shorter times work OK too). (Picture at right is of uncooked chicken.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for ½ hour. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees. Continue baking for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh and the sauce is a rich dark brown.

I made the garnish by cutting some ginger slices into tulip shapes (or at least as best I could!). The flower stems and leaves are made from scallion greens, sliced lengthwise very thinly and immersed in ice water. The cold water makes them curl up nicely!

NOTE 9/1/06
In the past day, my hit counter has exploded with people searching for the recipe for Indonesian Ginger Chicken. If you came here looking for that recipe, will you leave me a note and tell me what's sparking the sudden interest? Was it featured on TV recently?


mll said...

WHAT!!!! You picked Indonesian ginger chicken over 3 bean salad??? Jeeeeeeeperrsssss

Kalyn said...

It does look yummy. I've seen the recipe in one of those "Best Recipe" collections type cookbooks.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I saw this recipe on the Contessa's site on FN. Reminded me that I needed a chicken recipe to feed a crowd (40+) for a party that we have every year BUT...the site doesn't have the recipe..just the name. So I googled it and there you were. Thanks!
Susie in Friendswood, TX

Anonymous said...

I saw the Food TV Barefoot Contessa episode on 8/31 and tried to access the recipe thru their web site and it already expired so I did a search and found you!

Anonymous said...

I had a craving for this recipe, couldn't find my Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, found that the recipe had just expired, and went for Google. Don't you just love the internet. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

I also was looking for the recipe at the Food Network's website, but it had expired. (I viewed FN's Barefoot Contessa's episode on 8/31.) Anyway, thank you very much for posting it!

Mary said...

I love the Contessa's recipes and am having some friends over this week for chicken. So...this looks like a great possibility. What would you suggest I serve with this? I thought I'd have a fruit salad and rice? Some sort of potato? Any suggestions would be helpful.

PatL said...

Mary, definitely some rice is in order. I served it recently with green beans (check my blog for a few recipe ideas) and rice. I might not do the fruit salad, just because the chicken itself is on the sweet side. You could add some interesting bread or a second vegetable if you want a little more for dinner. And then, of course, a yummy dessert!

Mary said...

Pat, thanks for the suggestions.
Last night I made the dish. We also had rice, a green salad with some mandarin oranges in it, and an interesting Japanese style ice cream for dessert. I liked the marinade a lot, but found it pretty fatty. I noticed that you remove the skin and use dark meat. Could I do the same with white meat, too, or does it get too dried out?
Thanks for your help!

PatL said...

Mary, your dinner sounds wonderful! I'm curious about the Japanese ice cream; was it green tea? The Huz loves that! Yes, you can use skinless white meat as well. I've done it using chicken tenders and it was very well received; I blogged about it briefly here. It is a bit dryer than dark meat, but it's much less fatty and still delicious, especially if you use enough marinade that the meat is mostly submerged during cooking. Give it a try! This is such a good recipe, it's worth experimenting with it to see how you like it.

Anonymous said...

This recipe also works well for chicken wings as an appetizer. Strain out some of the ginger and garlic and slather the wings with it before you bake them.

Anonymous said...

We've made this several times and, being away from home, we needed to get the recipe again. Your blog entry came up at the top of the list on Google.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I just happened to have some ginger which has been rare at my place lately. There was chicken in the freezer that we couldn't decide what to do with. So I looked up ginger, and chicken, and oila. Here this is.

Anonymous said...

I had this dish a few years ago at a friend's dinner party and called her yesterday to get the recipe. She didn't have it so I thought I would try to find it on line and lucked out! I am thinking of making it for a girl's night this week.

Amy S. said...

I am making this for a Hanukah potluck at my house and didn't get a chance to marinate the meat last night. Since I marinated it this morning, I just wanted to see if anyone had comments about marinating the chicken for less time than overnight. And you did! I kind of thought it would be fine.