Chicken is a good alternative to meat, but it can easily become boring and run-of-the-mill. This simple glaze requires only four ingredients, but the result will have your taste buds singing. It’s sweet, but not overly so, slightly spicy, and tangy for a nice change of pace.
I buy leg quarters, and cut them apart myself. They are usually less than 50 cents a pound, often on sale for much less. In fact, I purchased 10 pounds last week at 29 cents a pound. What a bargain! My leg quarters were huge, so your cooking time may be a little less than mine. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to test the thickest part, not touching the bone. It should reach 165 F.
Of course, if you are pressed for time, spend the money and buy the drumsticks and thighs pre-cut.
You can use this method just as easily with chicken breasts. However, you will probably need to reduce the cooking time by a third (or even by half) depending on the size of the pieces. Breast meat becomes dry and chewy when overcooked, so watch them carefully.
Sweet Spicy Glazed Chicken Recipe
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s, but any variety of Thai sweet chili sauce will do)
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Chopped parsley for garnish, optional
Cut the whole legs into separate drumsticks and thighs.
Combine poultry seasoning, Hungarian sweet paprika, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Season both sides of the drumsticks and thighs.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a roasting pan with non-stick foil.
Place a heavy, hard-anodized or cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Brown the chicken in two batches until nicely-browned. Do not crowd the pan. Place the browned chicken in the prepared roasting pan, skin-side up. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the sweet chili sauce, white balsamic vinegar, butter, and Worcestershire sauce.
After 30 minutes, remove chicken and the foil cover. Carefully pour off any accumulated liquid (see Notes). Baste each piece on both sides with the chili sauce glaze, leaving them skin side up. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Return to the oven, uncovered, and roast an additional 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with Orzo Rice Pilaf or your favorite side dish.
Recipe is easily doubled.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
• To be honest, I don’t really measure out the seasoning spices for the chicken. I just sprinkle lightly from each of the bottles. You may need to adjust these amounts to suit your personal tastes.
• Most chicken sold in the grocery stores these days is enhanced, meaning it has been injected with a briny water as a preservative and tenderizer. This liquid will leave a big puddle in the bottom of the pan as the meat cooks. You need to pour it off, or the chicken will boil in the liquid rather than roast. If you use organic chicken or one fresh from the farm, you probably won’t need to go through this step.
Picture perfect sweet spicy glazed chicken right out of the oven.