Monday, December 29, 2008

"Momma's" sticky baked chicken

So this isn't my Momma's sticky chicken. This is my kids' Momma's sticky chicken. That actual might be called in other places as Chicken Marbella. I have used whole chicken cut up, only thighs, only breasts, bone in and bone out, wings, mixed and matched legs, breasts, thighs, skinless, skin on. Basically any way you want to get your chicken.

I always wash my chicken until the water gets clear and then stick it in a bowl of salty water. This is just what I was told to do. I always do this first and then move on to other things leaving the chicken there as short or as long as it takes for me to do whatever has to be done. I mentioned this to a friend asking her if this is "normal" and her response was ... duh, it is "kosherizing" it. Who knew I was kosherizing anything?

Marinade: You want me to measure? Aint gonna happen. I make more marinade than any recipe calls for. All my cook books and magazines have the skimpiest amounts of marinades. I like my chicken to soak in a bath of marinade. Mmmm'mmm

Real Recipe is below but sometimes my variations on the theme include:
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Bay leaves
Dried basil (rubbed)
Dried oregano (rubbed)
Smashed up garlic (peel paper and get the cloves mangled a bit)
Onion powder
Garlic powder if I feel my smashed garlic is weak

Mix. Taste. Needs to be "stronger" than you think to really get the chicken flavorful. So usually I need more something...

I've been known to add
lemon juice
dry mustard powder

Taste. Well, don't it taste like a strong Italian salad dressing? I guess I could have just used Newman's Italian Dressing. Okay - so I've been known to do that and "doctor it up" a bit with more herbs.

Shake off water from chicken and put in big zip lock bag and pour marinade.

Leave in frig over night. Or on counter for a few hours.

Dump it all out into a large glass lasgna style pan.

If I forget to add to the marinade, I add to the pan:
dried apricots
pitted green olives
capers ( a little of the yummy, salty caper juice)

Sprinkly brown sugar on top. Not alot. We aren't making sweet and sour for goodness sakes. This just gets some chicken some color (lovely brown) and the "sticky" that is essential for finger linkin' goodness.

Bake at 350 for a while.

Serve with rice.
Store excess in frig with sauce. Great for warming up the next day, slicing the chicken for sandwiches, picking at it with the door of the frig open - just to steal an apricot - to pick at a wing - dontcha know.

Real Recipe Sticky Baked Chicken Marbella
4 chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
4 chicken wings

6 to 8 to whole head of garlic peeled and smashed
1/4 cup dried oregano rubbed in the palms (Or less and add dried basil too)
1/8 cup dried onion powder
1/8 cup of dried mustard powder
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
6 bay leaves
(Sometimes I forget to put these in the marinade and they go in later)
1 cup dried apricots (or 1/2 apricot and 1/2 prunes or 1 cup prunes)
1/2 cup pitted green olives (with or without pimentos)
1/2 cup capers and some of the juice

Last touches:
1/2 brown sugar
optional cup of white wine

Rinse chicken.
Combine marinade and pour to cover chicken
Let marinate for at least 3 or so hours on counter or overnight in frig

Put chicken in single layer in a shallow baking pan (or two depending on your size pan). Pour marinade over. Tuck dried fruit and olives underneath chicken or deep in marinade to insure they don't burn.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and add wine if seems it needs more liquid.

Bake for an hour at 350. Basting every 15 minutes or so.

Store leftovers separate from sauce or combines. Good at room temperature the next day.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Staying home

I love staying home. I guess working full time, mothering full time, wife-ing full time - eventually just staying home and doing nothing is allowed. I realized today as I walked to the co-op up the street for some fixin's for a salad for dinner that I hadn't been out of the house in quite a while. And, well, that was fine with me.

Some people get "antsy" with a bit of cabin fever. What would be the opposite of that - just shy of diagnosable as a psychosis?

I just like being home. Futzying around with this and that and doing a whole lot of nothing. I guess I would eventually get bored. And I might have actually  gotten officially bored today. But I was happy being bored!

The difference I guess is that I COULD go out if I WANTED to go out but chose not to go out. If I could NOT go out, then I wonder if I would be one of those antsy people?