A few weeks ago Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin’ posted about a new blogging event and asked who would be interested in participating in a blog love, blog hop, secret recipe club (thus the name of The Secret Recipe Club). The general idea is that we would sign up to participate in the blog exchange, be assigned another participant, make something inspired by their blog, link to them and the blog hop, and keep it all a secret until the posting date. So, the person whose blog I would be cooking or baking from wouldn’t know I had them and I haven’t the foggiest notion who was assigned to make something from my blog either. It is a very fun surprise feeling, while being a bit nerve wracking too!
It sounded like a fun idea that would get me out of my comfort zone at times and introduce me to other bloggers that I might not otherwise know or things I might not otherwise make. Little did I know that my first assignment would be to make some BBQ via Jason’s BBQ Adventures.
I actually adore BBQ. Adore may even be a mild word for how I feel about it. That said though the weather here in Utah has been thoroughly less than cooperative this year and Winter seems to be refusing to take a hike, which since I neither like the snow, nor ever have any reason (like skiing) to be happy about it, I am beyond over the indecisive seasons.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve barbecued in the snow before, but honestly, I like my comfort these days and just couldn’t get behind it (probably because I used to have a covered area and now my grill is on an open deck). I wasn’t going to fail in my assignment though, so I decided to take some flavor notes and marinating ideas from Jason’s blog, tweak them a bit for what we had in the house or could find in our store, and adapt a recipe for the oven. So, while technically this isn’t BBQ per se, you could certainly grill it up pretty easily. The tweaking got a bit out of hand once I got started, but the inspiration is all thanks to Jason since this is a marinade and glaze idea I never would have come up with otherwise.
Oh, and just in case you are wondering about what BBQ equipment I have and why it can be such a labor for me to use in Winter, it is because I love the flavor charcoal gives the food and only have a Weber Charcoal Kettle. Someday I hope to have a gas grill as well, but I don’t think I will ever give up my kettle either.
Back to the recipe, I noticed in my time on Jason’s blog that he likes a lot of the same flavors I do – yay for me! I wish I could have found the garlic chile sauce he uses in some of his recipes, but since I couldn’t I opted to use the sweet chile sauce I keep on hand. The chicken was marinated for a nice flavor boost before going in to the oven for it’s initial high heat round of roasting in a preheated cast iron skillet and being basted with the sauce. It was a little spicy, a little sweet and still moist and delicious. You could use any pieces of chicken for this as long as they are bone-in and with the skin on. If you wanted to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts the cooking method would be much different and since I haven’t tried that yet I couldn’t comment on the exact details, but who knows in the future! If you try it that way on the grill, please let me know!
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumsticks
6 large chicken drumsticks, skin on
For the marinade:
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup ponzu sauce
3 tablespoons sweet chile sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped roughly into 4-6 pieces
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped into smaller pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil for the cast iron pan
For the glaze:
1/4 cup sweet chile sauce
3 tablespoons Hoisin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the garnish:
2 scallions – dark and light green parts, thinly chopped
toasted sesame seeds
Place the chicken pieces in a large, plastic ziptop bag along with the garlic, ginger and scallions. Whisk the remaining marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and add to the bag, pushing as much air as possible out of the bag as you seal it. Move the chicken and marinade ingredients around a bit in the bag and then place the bag with the chicken tightly sealed inside into a bowl or pan large enough to hold it all and allow the chicken to stay mostly covered. Place the chicken in the fridge and allow it to marinate at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, place it in the marinade on your countertop to take a bit of the chill off while you place a large (10-inch at least) cast iron pan into the oven and allow it to preheat in the oven to 450 degrees F. Once the oven is ready, remove the pan carefully and set it on your cooktop and add the 1 tablespoon canola oil to the pan. Carefully remove each drumstick from the marinade in the bag, shaking the excess marinade from the chicken as you place it into the pan. If the pan is hot enough you should get a good sizzling sound from the chicken. Nestle all the chicken pieces into the pan using the same procedure and place the pan back into the oven. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Make the glaze while the chicken is roasting.
To make the glaze, whisk together the ingredients in a small pan and allow it to simmer over medium to low heat while you wait for the chicken to roast.
Remove the pan from the oven carefully and use tongs to turn the chicken pieces over. Use a heatproof brush to cover each drumstick with a generous amount of the glaze and return the pan to the oven to roast for another 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure by removing the pan from the oven, turning the chicken again and glazing the other side. Turn the chicken again to one of the sides of the drumstick that hasn’t been in direct contact with the cast iron if you want really crispy skin all the way around. Once the drumsticks have all been glazed again return the pan to the oven again and roast the chicken for another 10 minutes, glaze it again, turn, 10 more minutes (or 5 minutes then 5 minutes if you are searing those other sides of the drumstick – mine were fairly large and I didn’t bother to turn it to all sides, but if you like an all around crispy skin, then you should). Glaze the chicken one last time and remove the the pan from the oven and allow it to rest in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing the drumsticks to a serving platter and sprinkling it with the chopped scallions and sesame seeds and serving. Discard any remaining basting sauce (which is why it pays to glaze generously on all four times).