Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mojo Marinated Chicken & The Teenager

Six months old! CrabbyCook is six months old!

I've come to believe that six months of blog time is equivalent to about 12 years human time. So look for Crabby to become an intriguing, infuriating, inspiring, insolent teenager in the very near future.

The biggest surprise of these first 6 months has been the number of fish recipes I've posted. We normally eat more seafood in the summer but I never expected to have it outpace chicken by 4:1.

Then again, some fish eat crustaceans, so these recipes are my way of getting back at those sons-of-fishes. Remember what I said, I hate fish, that's why I eat them.

Some of you have pointed out two problems with my fish recipes. First, not everyone has access to fresh fish. Well, while I don't like using frozen fish, it truly beats not eating any at all. So suck it up, find a Costco or Sam's Club and make do. Chances are, after trying their stuff, you'll want to move to one of the coasts so you can get the real thing.

The second issue is cost. With demand increasing, fish stocks falling and the cost of sending diesel guzzling boats out to sea, the price of anything from the briny deep has skyrocketed. Remember, fish has little waste and 1/3 pound per person is a big serving. Find a good fishmonger and work with him to try different types of seafood; of course those of you who insist on shopping at Whole Paycheck, sorry Whole Foods, can always find some sort of on-sale, flavorless, farmed something to inflict on your taste buds.

So in an effort to restore the recipe balance and save Crab Nation a few doubloons, today's recipe is grilled chicken breasts. Chicken is a bit of a conundrum. It's convenient, unoffensive and can stand a lot of manipulating to zip up the flavor. In other words, chicken is great if you can start the night before.

Well, here's a recipe you can start as late as noon on the day you cook it (assuming a 7PM seating). Or if you're ambitious, you can work on it the night before and have quiet time until the grilling starts. Time to give chicken the spotlight, time for chicken to get its mojo back.

Mojo Marinated Chicken

inspired by Weber's Real Grilling


1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/2 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Sriracha)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

4 chicken breast halves (I prefer skin-on boneless, though bone-in, skin-on works fine)

Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Place chicken pieces in a large resealable bag and pour in marinade. Press out as much air as possible and tightly seal the bag. Massage the chicken to evenly distribute the marinade. Place bag in a bowl, refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill over medium heat. Take a large piece of aluminum foil and fold in half making a tray large enough to hold the chicken pieces.

Remove the chicken from the bag and transfer the marinade to a small sauce pan. Bring the marinade to a boil over high heat, and boil continuously for at least 1 minute (this will kill any bacteria present in the marinade).

With the grill at medium heat, place the chicken, skin side up onto the aluminum tray and grill for 30 - 40 minutes, until juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink. Baste with boiled marinade every 10 minutes.

For crispy skin, turn the chicken, skin side down onto the tray for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve. Pass the remaining boiled marinade in a small bowl.

There you go. A little advance prep goes a long way with chicken. I haven't given up on the seafood recipes, but for now, we'll take a little break. OK crablings, repeat after me, you can do it, you can cook.


Anonymous said...

Nice use of parallel construction IN the second paragraph, Crabby. And nice use of ingredients in the chicken marinade. Thanks for giving the heave-ho to fish recipes, at least for a while.

Anonymous said...

How about more venison recipes? The deer are eating all my plants and shrubs and I want my revenge, sweet and tasty.

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Regarding the cost issue of seafood, if your readers have access to an Asian supermarket, fish prices are going to be way, way, way cheaper than fish at Whole Foods. The cut may be a little different (for example: salmon would be most often be cut into steaks, rather than fillets), but the seafood is going to be very fresh.

Interesting parallel: before we started the blog, we ate a LOT of chicken. But after the blog, it seems that our chicken consumption has decreased dramatically.

JillyB said...

Roll on our summer as my barbeque would look good wearing that chicken! said...

Thanks for the good words Crablings!

The fish recipes are very popular, generating a lot of hits. SSSal thinks that a lot of people are intimidated (another IN word) by cooking fish, so they're INtrigued by the recipes.

Chicken needs a lot of marinating time to impart flavor (which takes time); on the other hand it takes bbq sauce very well (which takes no time to buy and open). I think that's why it's a no-brainer for a lot of people.

Venison! Well we are approaching that time of year aren't we?!

Thinking About Food said...

This sounds like the kind of dish I would actually be inclined to cook over summer, I gotta say, summer cooking sucks! Such irony too as all those lovely fresh ingredients make it so exciting:)

Jeanine - The Baking Beauties said...

That chicken looks fantastic! Love anything with grill marks...mmm...

Anonymous said...

Happy Crabby Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Arnold is the Terminator and Crabby is the Marintor.
When matching wine to food, chicken is neutral but marinades are where the greatest concentration of flavors lie. So match the wine to the marinade and the cooking method. Grilling obviously imparts a smokey flavor and due to the high heat, caramalizes any sugars on the marinade so avoid bone dry wines with this method. Old, reliabel South Afican Chenin Blanc, or a French Vouvray and for some fun, an Italian Prosecco would be tasty with this dish.


WineWizardBob said...

Technology rules! (As long as a teenager can help you.) I now have an official blooger account.
That and $4.95 gets you a cup of coffee! said...

WineWizardBob has his own blogger account!!! Hurray. I bet it didn't hurt one bit, well except for the morning after for that guy in the photo.