Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lemon Ginger Chicken

If you like lemon and you like ginger, this recipe allowed both flavors to shine individually while at the same time you have that combination of both melded with the brown sugar that produces a near candy-like taste in your mouth.

I cut this recipe out of the Parade magazine that comes with your Sunday paper.  Is this magazine still stuffed inside the Sunday paper along with all of the coupons and flyers?  It's been so long since I've actually bought a Sunday paper I couldn't tell you.

Here's what we'll start with:  chicken, lemon, fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice, garlic, lemon extract, flour, ground ginger, paprika, salt, black pepper, chicken broth, light-brown sugar and corn oil.  My oil might look a little questionable to you, with writing on the label and all.  I recently used that oil to fry up a boat load of okra.  I save my oil in the refrigerator and re-use it until I cook something like fish or shrimp.  I also save bacon drippings in a jar in the refrigerator.  I'm frugal that way.

The first order of business is to cut up your chicken into 8 pieces, rinse and pat dry.  I saved the back and gizzard and made a couple of cups of stock for another time.

Combine all the ingredients for your marinade, which is the fresh lemon juice, garlic, fresh ginger and the lemon extract.  Pour this over your chicken in a large bowl and toss (good time to be wearing your kitchen gloves!).  Cover the bowl with Saran wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

While your chicken is marinating, pour the oil into the sauté pan.  Mix the flour, ground ginger, paprika, salt and pepper in a paper bag, and measure out your chicken broth and brown sugar.

See the circle of what, at first glance, looks like foam?  That's actually a little cornmeal used in frying the okra that escaped through the strainer.  This oil is cold and the cornmeal almost immediately formed this halo.  Alton Brown, please explain this phenomenon to me.  I know there must be an explanation and I know you'd have the answer.

Okay, now you can heat up your oil.

Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and pat dry (save the marinade!!).  Place several pieces at a time in the paper bag and shake to coat in the flour mixture.  Fry chicken in batches

until it's golden and crispy.

Place browned chicken in a roasting pan and pour the broth and the reserved marinade in the bottom of the roasting pan.  Pat the brown sugar on top of the chicken pieces then top with your finely sliced lemon slices.

I love Meyer lemons so I used those for my thinly sliced lemons to top the chicken.

Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered, in a 350°F oven.  Baste once after 20 minutes.

This is a great chicken dish hot from the oven so serve immediately.  The original recipe suggests it is just as good the day after, at room temperature.  We did have it as leftovers (heated), but I might suggest before storing overnight, I would remove the lemon slices; they tend to turn bitter.

One other thing about this recipe...make sure you have the 2 hours for marinating this recipe.  You don't want to marinate the chicken in it over night because it will partially cook your chicken.  You will notice a little bit of a change in the chicken just in that 2 hours.

Also, the recipe says it serves 2.  ????.  Maybe if you're really, really hungry.  I think it can easily serve more when you serve with a salad and a side dish.  But hey, it's up to you in the end.

Lemon Ginger Chicken
Serves 2

1 chicken (2 pounds), cut into 8 serving pieces
1 cup fresh lemon juice - about 3 large lemons
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
4 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 cups corn oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
4 Tbsp. light-brown sugar
2 lemons, slice paper-thin (I used Meyer lemons)

Mise en Place:
  • Cut, rinse and pat dry the chicken
  • squeeze lemons for fresh juice
  • mince garlic
  • peel and finely chop the fresh ginger
  • combine your flour ground ginger, paprika, salt, and pepper in a paper bag (or large baggie)
  • measure out your corn oil and pour in sauté pan
  • measure out chicken broth
  • measure the brown sugar
  • slice the 2 lemons paper thin (I used a mandoline)
Wash chicken pieces well and pat dry.  Place in bowl.

In a small bowl combine lemon juice, garlic, fresh ginger and lemon extract; pour over chicken, toss well and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Remove chicken from marinade.  Pat dry.  Reserve marinade.  Fill a paper bag with flour, ground ginger, paprika, salt & pepper.  Place chicken pieces in bag, two at a time, and shake to coat.

Heat corn oil in a 10-inch sauté pan until very hot.  Fry the chicken until golden and crisp - 5 to 7 minutes.  When all chicken has been fried, discard oil. (whatever)

Place chicken, skin-side up, in a roasting pan.  Pour chicken broth and reserved marinade into bottom of pan.

Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over chicken pieces.  Pat slightly.  Arrange lemon slices evenly over the chicken.

Bake uncovered 45 minutes, basting once after 20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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