Friday, July 15, 2011

Spicy Chicken

This is a fun recipe to keep in your pocket for a weekday meal. The chicken only has to cook for 30 minutes, and your prep time can be as short as 10 minutes. It uses ordinary ingredients and requires only simple cleanup. Plus, it's dang tasty.

I used chicken legs here because that's what we had in our freezer, but any chicken part would work. Just be sure to adjust your cooking time appropriately for breasts or wings.

I also used smoked paprika, for some added flavor. If you don't have smoked, regular would be perfectly fine.

Your first step will be to grab a small sauce pot. Cut off a knob of butter and add the paprika.

Turn the burner on medium so the butter can get melting while you add the rest of the ingredients.

Drizzle in some honey, for some sweetness.

Lemon juice will add some freshness. The acidity will also help tenderize the meat.

Garlic powder will add--well, a garlic flavor. I'm using powder today because fresh garlic would burn, and nobody likes burned garlic.

Dried thyme and cayenne pepper add their own flavor profiles to what you already have.

While your butter and spices are getting familiar, whip out a cookie sheet and a cooling rack. My cooling racks are slightly wider than my cookie sheets, so aren't 100% secure, but as long as I'm not flailing wildly around the kitchen, they're safe enough for me.

The cooling rack will keep the chicken off the flat surface of the cookie sheet, allowing all sides of the chicken to cook evenly.

I sprayed the cooling rack with PAM. Nothing worse than having your food stick!

Oh, and be sure your cooling racks are all metal, and don't have plastic coverings, or you'll end up with a smelly kitchen and an unedible dinner.

At this point, your spicy sauce should be coming together.

So you can take out your chicken and rinse it and then pat it dry.

When your butter-and-spice mixture has melted together, you can take it off the heat.

Use a basting brush to cover the chicken with the spice mixture. If you don't have a basting brush, you could pour the spice mixture into a tall drinking glass and dunk the chicken pieces into it that way.

Be sure to use up all the butter and spice mixture--you won't be able to use it for anything else, since you were double-dipping with the chicken brush.

Bake them at 400F for 30 minutes, or until cooked completely through.

These will please even the pickiest of eaters, and is so quick you'll have time to have dessert too!

Recipe: Spicy Chicken

4 tbsp. (half a stick) of butter
1 tbsp. paprika (smoked ifyou've got it!)
1 tbsp. honey
juice from half a lemon
1 tsp. garlic powder
several pinches cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
2 lbs. chicken parts

In a small sauce pot, combine all ingredients except chicken. Melt butter and spices over medium heat until butter is completely melted. Brush or dip chicken so it is thoroughly covered with the butter and spice mixture.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

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