“Marinated Chicken” was all the only name by which we knew our favorite dish growing up. We being my two brothers (watch Ben compete in the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions this Friday!) and myself, and the dish we are referring to was actually, according to the NY Times cookbook from whence it came, “Oven Baked Honey Chicken Wings.” I like our name for it better. Ironically enough, the chicken isn’t even really marinated before cooking. Ahhh, well, such are the etymolygies of family recipe names, right?
Marinated chicken night at the Bishop house hold meant mountains of wing bones, people spooning every last drop of sauce over rice, not to miss out on any morsel of tastiness. Napkins, ripped and sticky from futile attempts to shovel food in neatly, were present by the dozen. It was an all out feast on Marinated chicken night.
B and I had recently bought a few chickens at Costco, broken them down and frozen the various parts for later eating as a way to always have a quick dish on hand. As I scanned the kitchen for what to do with the chicken bits I started to feel dispareged. I actually have a slight fear of roasting this chicken, for no particular reason other than that the pieces are all different sizes and I’m worried about cooking time (see chicken neck story, below). But of course, as it always does, inspiration did strike before it was too late. I grab a few chicken pieces and start defrosting them. Then it dawns on me. I will make marinated chicken. You need little more than you’ll find in an average kitchen and it is way easier than you’d even imagine. Mix ingredients, bake one hour. Because the recipe is written for wings and I had many unidentifiable parts, I decided to keep adapting and put down a bed of chopped onions and bok choi before adding the chicken. The vegetables made a delicious addition to an otherwise colorless dish.
Most of the wing pieces turned out perfectly, as they should since the recipe was made for them. Meanwhile, the other pieces were also good, except for one piece that tasted different, almost gamey… Full of bones, what am I eating? It went terribly with the sweetness of the sauce… And that piece was, of course, the neck of my poor chicken. I’d love to try that again in a better preparation! And now, without further ado, the much loved “Marinated Chicken” Recipe
Adapted from the New York Times Cookbook, by Craig Claiborne
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup honey
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 large white Onion, chopped
1 Head Bok choi, chopped
Chicken! (I used about half a chicken, chopped up, but a bag of wings would do just as well)
Grease a baking pan large enough to hold all the chicken with the olive oil and dump in the chopped vegetables. Salt and pepper the chicken then add it to the pan. Mix the remaining ingredients. Dump all the sauce over it all and try to get it all pretty well coated. Bake for an hour at 375 degrees. It looks like a lot but the veggies shrink pretty well and you’re left with a good meal for about four people. Serve over rice if you wish.