It’s been a busier week than usual and I’m not up for doing anything complicated in the kitchen. Twice this week I relied on the magic of the Bumble and Bumble Dry Shampoo since I couldn’t find the time to do the necessary hair washing (TMI?). In my zeal to de-grease my hair though I got a little too aggressive and ended up looking like a member of the Whig party.
I’m taking it easy tonight, and I’m not even taking pictures — the picture above was taken when I was in England this summer, and made this dish for a large dinner party. The one below was taken later this summer when we had some friends over for an impromptu dinner. So the point is, I make this dish a lot, because it’s easy, tastes amazing, and looks pretty if you don’t take a picture in bad lighting with a purple lighter in the backdrop like I did. This tastes a thousand times better than my picture makes it look.
I first had it at my friend Patricia’s house. We all greedily mopped up the drippings with bread, and I kept trying to think of ways to get everyone else out of the room (“Fire!!!”) so that I could drink the sauce. I begged her for the recipe and couldn’t believe how easy it was — the ROI on this is very high indeed.
In fact, I’m thinking I may save the sauce next time to start my own master sauce. Anthony Myint, one of my food heros and a fellow high school alum, in his book Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant (you HAVE to read this book — it’s hilarious, inspiring and will change your life) writes that a master sauce is “…a fortified stock achieved by reusing the same sauce over and over. Some Western cooks find this gross, but to me, wasting perfectly good meaty broth is gross. The concentrated braising liquid results in a richer flavor, so if you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Well said, Anthony.
So this is how easy the recipe is: make a vinaigrette, essentially — olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and garlic; add in some rosemary and brown sugar, salt and pepper, and mix it all up. Place the chicken in the vinaigrette and let it marinate over night.
Stick it in the oven to bake, and be sure to serve with big crunchy slabs of bread to dip in the sauce.
ROSEMARY BALSAMIC CHICKEN (Patricia Lee)
- 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs or half-breast, fat trimmed off
- 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 olive oil
- 1/4 C brown sugar
- 3-4 T dijon mustard
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary— remove leaves and finely chop
- 1-2 tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Combine marinade ingredients and mix together in a 9×13 baking dish. Place chicken pieces in marinade for 4-24 hours (with 24 hours preferred). Ensure chicken is coated well w/ marinade. Place dish in oven at 400 degrees, 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven (watch the skin as it burn easily from the brown sugar). The marinade should create a nice, yummy sauce for bread dipping.
**Note if there’s too little marinade in dish, it will evaporate during baking. If there’s too much, the chicken will “steam” rather than “roast.”