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This is a delicious recipe from Bon Appetit that uses one of my favourite ways to grill chicken — butterflying the bird. Removing the backbone and flattening the chicken allows it to cook more quickly and evenly. Another good technique in this recipe is chilling the chicken, uncovered, for at least eight hours. This dries out the skin so it becomes crispy on the grill. Coat air-chilled chicken in a garlic, pepper and rosemary mixture, grill and then drizzle with olives, lemon juice and herbs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the pepper to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used President’s Choice green olives stuffed with garlic. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Air chill the chicken for at least eight hours or overnight

Rub pepper, garlic and rosemary mixture all over chicken

Grill until chicken is cooked through

Let the chicken rest before carving

Ingredients:

1 3½ to 4-pound (1.6 to 1.8 kg) chicken, backbone removed

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

2 tbsp (30 ml) Aleppo-style pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped rosemary

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, divided

½ cup (125 ml) Castelvetrano or other green olives, pitted, torn

2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped oregano

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped parsley, plus leaves for serving

Preparation:

The night before you plan to grill the chicken, place it on a work surface, breast side up, and open it up against the surface as much as possible. Using your palms, press firmly on breastbone to flatten breast. You may hear a crack. This means you’re doing it right. Set chicken, breast side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season generously on both sides with salt and black pepper. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and set out on your counter. Combine garlic, Aleppo-style pepper, rosemary, and 2 tbsp oil in a small bowl. Rub chicken all over with mixture and let sit until room temperature, 1–2 hours.

Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Set chicken, skin side down, on grate over indirect heat. Cover grill, placing cover vent (if your grill has one) over chicken so it draws heat up and over them. Grill, rotating chicken as needed so that it colours evenly, until skins are lightly browned, 15–20 minutes.

Turn chicken and continue to cook, covered, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 160 F, (71 C) 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Mix olives, lemon juice, oregano, chopped parsley, remaining 2 tbsp oil, and any accumulated juices from chicken on the cutting board in a medium bowl. Season with salt.

To serve, arrange carved chicken on a platter and top with olive mixture and parsley leaves. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

This recipe from the latest issue of Food and Drink is a bit labour intensive, but it’s fun to make and tastes great. Marinate chicken thighs and grill them, slice, toss with a fresh salsa and cheese, pile on top of nacho chips, grill and then drizzle with a delicious cheese sauce. I did barbecue these on a soaked cedar plank but I think you would also have good results using a baking sheet, pizza stone or large cast-iron pan.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a microbrewery beer with no preservatives added and cheese with no colour added. Check the spices for colour and anti-caking agents. Look for nacho chips with no additives.

Marinate the chicken thighs

Soak the plank for at least two hours.

The cheese sauce contains beer, mustard, cayenne and cheddar.

Make the fresh salsa.

Grill and slice the chicken, then combine with the salsa and cheese.

Planked and ready for the grill.

Barbecued planked chicken nachos

Ingredients:

1 large cedar plank, at least

12 x 8 inches (30 x 20 cm)

Chili, beer & lime-marinated chicken

¾ lb (375 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, about 6 small

1 lime

1 cup (250 ml) Canadian beer

2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil

¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped coriander

2 tbsp (30 ml) minced jalapeño pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

Cheese and beer drizzle

1 tbsp (15 ml) butter

4 tsp (20 ml) all-purpose flour

Pinch each of cayenne pepper, dry mustard powder and salt

½ cup (125 ml) Canadian beer

¼ cup (60 ml) milk

1½ cups (375 ml) coarsely grated extra-old

Canadian cheddar, preferably orange

Nachos

1 cup (250 ml) seeded and diced plum tomatoes

2 to 3 cup (80 ml) coarsely chopped coriander

2 tbsp (30 ml) seeded and finely chopped jalapeño pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped sweet white onion

Kosher salt

1½ cups (375 ml) coarsely grated extra-old

Canadian cheddar, preferably orange

5 cups (1.25 L) large tortilla chips, about two-thirds of a 220-g bag

Hot sauce

Preparation:

Place plank in sink. Cover with water and soak at least 2 hours. For chicken, cut each thigh in half then place in a medium bowl. Finely grate lime peel over chicken, then squeeze out juice into same bowl. Add beer, oil, coriander, jalapeño and garlic to chicken in bowl. Stir well. Refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Just before barbecuing or up to a day in advance prepare cheese drizzle. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour, cayenne, mustard powder and salt. Whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in beer, then whisk in milk. Continue to whisk until mixture boils. Turn off heat and stir in cheese until melted. Set aside and keep warm if using right away. If preparing in advance, refrigerate until ready to use. Then reheat over low heat.

In a medium bowl, stir tomato with coriander, jalapeño and onion until mixed.

Preheat barbecue to high and grease grill.

Remove chicken from marinade. For simpler grilling, skewer chicken. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked and nicely charred. Leave barbecue on. Remove chicken to a cutting board and slice into strips. Add to tomato mixture; stir. Add cheese and stir.

Preheat the plank for a couple of minutes (it may sizzle and begin to smoke a little). Place half the nachos on plank, leaving about 1½ inches (4 cm) as a border around the edges. Sprinkle with half the chicken mixture. Layer with remaining chips then chicken mixture. It will be quite high.

Cover and barbecue just until cheese is melted and bubbly (keep an eye on it), 5 to 8 minutes. Very carefully using 2 large spatulas, remove plank with the nachos from grill to a large flat platter (or the back of a baking sheet). Serve nachos on plank, drizzled with a little cheese sauce. Serve remaining cheese drizzle on the side along with hot sauce. Serves 4.

From Food and Drink

This is a great summer salad that is tasty and colourful. Boil green beans and peas until tender-crisp and then toss with radishes, avocado and an Asian-style dressing.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Soy sauce usually contains sodium benzoate, so use tamari, which has alcohol as a preservative. I use Eden toasted sesame oil, Marukan rice vinegar and PC Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard.

This salad has both colour and crunch

Green bean and radish salad

Ingredients:

5 cups (1.18 L) green beans, trimmed

1 cup (250 ml) shelled fresh or frozen peas

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sodium-reduced soy sauce

2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame oil

2 teaspoons (10 ml) seasoned rice vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon (7.5 ml) Dijon mustard

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) grated fresh ginger

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation:

In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook green beans until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes; add peas during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain green beans and peas. Place in bowl of ice water; chill for 10 minutes. Drain again and pat dry.

In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, mustard and ginger.

In serving bowl, combine green beans, peas, radishes and avocado. Drizzle with dressing, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

If you don’t have a barbecue (or if it’s raining, again) you can still enjoy a juicy steak, courtesy of this one-skillet meal from Bon Appetit. Whip up a tangy mustard sauce, sear the steak in a cast iron pan and, while it is resting, sauté the vegetables.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Dijon and wine vinegars often contain sulfites or sodium benzoate. I use PC Old-Fashioned Dijon and Eden Organic red wine vinegar. Check the cayenne pepper to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Make mustard sauce

Sear steak, let it rest and then slice just before serving

Saute garlic and scallions

Add peas

Add asparagus

One-skillet steak and spring vegetables with spicy mustard

Ingredients:

1 pound (454 g) boneless New York strip steak, patted dry

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

5 garlic cloves, 1 grated, 4 thinly sliced

⅓ cup (37.5 ml) Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) honey

1–2 pinches cayenne pepper

⅓ cup (37.5 ml) plus 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, divided

1 10-ounce (283 g) bag frozen peas

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces

Preparation:

Season steak all over with salt and pepper. Whisk grated garlic, mustard, vinegar, honey, cayenne, ⅓ cup (37.5 ml) oil, and 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water in a medium bowl to combine; season spicy mustard with salt and pepper.

Heat a dry medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Rub steak all over with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) oil and cook, turning every 2 minutes or so and making sure to get color on the fat cap, until medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the centre will register 120° F/49° C), about 10 minutes. Transfer steak to a plate to rest. Pour off oil from skillet, leaving crispy bits behind.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) oil in same skillet over low. Add sliced garlic and all but about 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) scallions (save those for serving) and cook, stirring often, until translucent and softened, about 3 minutes. Add peas and a splash of water and cook, stirring and mashing to break up slightly, until peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until asparagus is just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice steak and shingle over vegetables in skillet. Drizzle some mustard sauce over steak and top with reserved scallions. Serve with remaining mustard sauce alongside. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

Barbecuing weather is here and this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated is a terrific way to kick off the season. Brine chicken drumsticks in salted water for 30 to 60 minutes, coat them in a spice rub and then grill them over indirect heat for about 55 minutes. Grilling over indirect heat keeps the meat tender, the fat renders and there are no flare-ups! To finish the chicken, crisp the drumsticks up over direct heat for about five minutes before serving.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check your spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Prepare spice rub and put it on a plate

Dip brined drumsticks in spice rub to evenly coat them

Grill over indirect heat for about 25 minutes

Rearrange drumsticks so the other side is closer to the heat and grill for another 20 to 30 minutes

Grilled spice-rubbed chicken drumsticks

Ingredients:

Brine

½ cup (125 ml) salt

5 pounds (2.26. kg) chicken drumsticks

Spice rub

3 tablespoons (45 ml) packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) paprika

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chili powder

2 teaspoons (10 ml) garlic powder

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) salt

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) pepper

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Dissolve salt in 2 quarts (1.89 L) cold water in large container. Submerge drumsticks in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Place spice rub on plate. Remove drumsticks from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Holding 1 drumstick by bone end, press lightly into rub on all sides. Pat gently to remove excess rub. Repeat with remaining drumsticks.

FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). Adjust primary burner or, if using three-burner grill, primary burner and second burner. as needed to maintain grill temperature between 325 and 350 degrees F (163 and 177 degrees C).

Clean and oil cooking grate. Place drumsticks, skin side down, on cooler side of grill. Cover and cook for 25 minutes. Rearrange pieces so that drumsticks that were closest to edge are now closer to heat source and vice versa. Cover and cook until drumsticks register 185 to 190 degrees F (85 to 87 degrees C), 20 to 30 minutes. For an accurate reading, insert a probe into the thickest part of the drumstick until it hits the bone and then pull back about ¼ inch (0.63 cm).

Move all drumsticks to hotter side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is nicely charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serves 6.

From Cook’s Illustrated

This salad from the latest issue of Food and Drink is a great accompaniment to grilled meats and would also be hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian entrée. Toasting the quinoa takes a few minutes but it imparts a nutty flavour. You can use broccoli instead of broccolini; grilled asparagus would also work well. The pesto is delicious — I used pecans instead of walnuts and tossed a few extra into the salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Dried fruit often contains sulfites so check the label on the dates; I use Parnoosh brand. The other ingredients to check for additives and preservatives are the feta, nuts, red wine vinegar and cumin. I use Krinos feta, Eden Organic vinegar and No-Name nuts and cumin.

Toasting the quinoa gives it a nutty flavour

Grill the broccolini on a barbecue or grill pan until tender and charred in places

Walnut dill pesto

Combine the dates, feta, green onions and broccolini before adding the quinoa

Toasted quinoa, broccolini and date salad

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) quinoa

2 cups (500 ml) water

1 bunch broccolini

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus extra for brushing

12 pitted dates, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

5 oz (150 g) crumbled sheep’s milk feta

2 cloves garlic

½ cup (125 ml) toasted walnut pieces

½ cup (125 ml) roughly chopped, loosely packed dill

¼ cup (60 ml) roughly chopped, loosely packed parsley

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

2 tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Pour dry quinoa into a medium pot and set over medium heat; leave undisturbed until quinoa begins to pop. Stir continuously from this point for about 5 minutes or until quinoa smells distinctly nutty and is noticeably darker. Carefully pour water over (water will sputter vigorously). Cover and boil for 12 to 14 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove lid and let stand until cooled to room temperature.

Meanwhile, heat barbecue or grill pan to high. Brush broccolini with a little olive oil and grill for 6 to 7 minutes or until tender and charred. Remove to a board and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large serving bowl along with the dates, green onion, feta and quinoa. Set aside.

Add ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, garlic, walnuts, dill, parsley, salt, vinegar and cumin to a food processor; pulse until mixture resembles a chunky pesto. Pour over salad and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with pepper, and adjust salt only if necessary. Serves 6.

From Food and Drink

This lovely salad from Canadian Living features grilled steak and grilled green beans and radishes tossed in an herb-infused honey-mustard dressing. Be careful grilling the radishes and green beans, as they can easily fall through the grate! I omitted the soft-boiled eggs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a mustard without preservatives; I use President’s Choice Dijon.

Mix ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl

Preheat the grill and toss the vegetables with oil

Grill the steak until it is medium-rare

Grill the beans and radishes carefully so they don't fall through the grate

French bistro steak salad

Ingredients:

Dressing

1 tablespoon (15 ml) grainy Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cider vinegar

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped fresh tarragon or basil

1 ½ teaspoon (7.5 ml) chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon (5 ml) liquid honey

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) each salt and pepper

3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Salad

1 lb (450 g) beef flank marinating steak

1 teaspoon (5 ml) pepper

½ (2.5 ml) teaspoon salt

12 oz (350 g) green beans, trimmed

20 radishes, trimmed and halved

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

2 soft-cooked eggs, halved

Preparation:

Dressing: In large bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, garlic, tarragon, thyme, honey, salt and pepper; slowly drizzle in oil, whisking until blended. Set aside.

Salad: Rub steak all over with pepper and salt. Toss green beans and radishes with oil. Place steak on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until desired doneness, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer steak to cutting board; let stand for 5 minutes before thinly slicing across grain.

Eggs: For perfect slightly soft–cooked eggs, using slotted spoon, gently place eggs in saucepan of boiling water. Boil for 6 minutes. Drain; transfer eggs to bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Peel and cut in half.

While steak rests, place vegetables on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Place in bowl with dressing; toss to coat.

Divide vegetables and steak among 4 plates; top each with egg half. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

This Lucy Waverman recipe from Food and Drink features zhug – a Middle Eastern hot sauce that originates from the Yemeni region. It has great heat and flavour; I used it on both the vegetable kebabs and on grilled fish. Delicious!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Always use freshly squeezed lime juice. I use Marukan rice vinegar.

Zhug is a hot sauce that originates in the Yemeni region

Toss the vegetables with some of the zhug and then thread onto skewers

Grill until tender and charred in some spots

Middle Eastern vegetable kebabs

Ingredients:

¼ cup (60 ml) zhug (recipe follows)

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) rice vinegar

8 cups (2 L) mixed vegetables, cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces, if necessary

Zhug

⅓ cup (80 ml) seeded, stemmed and quartered green jalapeño peppers, about 2 peppers

½ cup (125 ml) chopped parsley

½ cup (125 ml) chopped cilantro

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped garlic

2 tsp (10 ml) lime juice

½ tsp (2 ml) ground cumin

½ tsp (2 ml) ground coriander

½ tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon

¼ tsp (1 ml) ground cardamom

⅓ cup (80 ml) olive oil

Preparation:

Zhug

Place peppers, parsley, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cardamom in food processor. Pulse until slightly chunky. Stir in olive oil.

Kebabs

Mix together zhug, oil and rice vinegar. Toss with vegetables.

Thread the vegetables onto skewers, either making skewers of single vegetables or making mixed skewers. Grill about 5 minutes a side (about 10 minutes total) or until vegetables are browned but still a little crunchy. Grilling time will depend on which vegetables you are using.

Serve with extra zhug as a dip. Serves 4.

From Food and Drink

Stir-fries are a great way to get dinner on the table in a hurry. This chicken stir-fry from Bonnie Stern’s Simply HeartSmart Cooking is not only quick and tasty, it contains only 278 calories per serving. This is a very adaptable recipe – you could use pork or seafood instead of chicken and any vegetables you have on hand. I omitted the carrot and used sliced red onions instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use tamari instead of soy sauce because it uses alcohol as a preservative instead of MSG, sulfites or sodium benzoate. I use Imagine organic chicken stock, Spectrum sesame oil and original flavour Tabasco sauce (instead of the hot chili paste). A recipe for homemade hoisin sauce is below.

Use the vegetables you have on hand

Stir-fry the chicken until lightly browned

Stir-fry the chicken and vegetables until cooked through and tender

Serve over steamed rice

Ingredients:

Chicken

1 lb (500 g) skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce

1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch

Sauce

2/3 cup (150 ml) chicken stock or water

2 tbsp (30 ml) hoisin sauce (see recipe below)

2 tsp (10 ml) sesame oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) rice wine or sake

1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch

Hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon (15 ml) tahini

1 teaspoon (5 ml) five-spice powder

2 tablespoons (30 ml) light soy sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar

½ cup (125 ml) miso paste

¼ cup (60 ml) water

1/3 cup (75 ml) honey

1 clove garlic, microplaned

Vegetables and seasoning

1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped ginger root

3 green onions, chopped

1 tsp hot chili paste or Tabasco sauce

1 sweet red pepper, cut in strips

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 bunch broccoli, cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh cilantro

Steamed rice for serving

Preparation:

Hoisin

Add all hoisin ingredients to a small pot. Whisk together and heat over medium low, stirring often, until thickened (approximately 5 to 10 minutes). Bubbles will gently start to rise to the surface and the colour of the mixture will start to darken slightly.

Set aside to cool.

For stir-fry

Cut chicken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks. In large bowl, combine 1 tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce with1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch. Add chicken and toss to coat well.

For sauce, combine stock, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rice wine and 1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch. Set aside.

To cook, heat vegetable oil in wok or large non-stick skillet. Add garlic, ginger, green onions and hot chile paste or hot sauce. Cook for 30 seconds

Add chicken to skillet and cook until lightly browned. Add red pepper, carrot, broccoli and ¼ cup (50 ml) water. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through and broccoli is bright green.

Stir sauce well and add to the chicken and vegetable mixture. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve over steamed rice and sprinkle with cilantro. Serves 4.

From Bonnie Stern’s Simply HeartSmart Cooking

I recently attended a class at the PC Cooking school given by one of my favourite cookbook authors, Chef Daphna Rabinovitch. The theme was chicken and this five-spice chicken recipe was among the best of the night. Coat chicken pieces with an aromatic rub, roast and top with a sweet glaze. Delicious!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking ingredients. Use tamari instead of soy sauce. Recipes for homemade five-spice powder and hoisin sauce are below.

Coat chicken pieces with spice rub and marinate for 2-8 hours

Five-spice chicken with sweet hoisin glaze

Ingredients:

2 tbsp (30 ml) packed light brown sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) sweet paprika

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp (10 ml) five-spice powder (see recipe below)

1 tsp (5 ml) fennel seed, crushed

1 tsp (5 ml) dry mustard

¼ tsp (1 ml) each salt and pepper

3 lb (1.36 k) bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces

Glaze

¼ cup (60 ml) hoisin sauce (see recipe below)

2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup

2 tbsp (30 ml) honey

1 tbsp (15 ml) minced fresh ginger

1 tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce

Five-spice Mix

2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole fennel seeds

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Timut or Sichuan peppercorns

2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole cloves

2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole star anise

2 tablespoons (30 ml) cinnamon powder

Hoisin

1 tablespoon (15 ml) tahini

1 teaspoon (5 ml) five-spice powder

2 tablespoons (30 ml) light soy sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar

½ cup (125 ml) miso paste

¼ cup (60 ml) water

1/3 cup (75 ml) honey

1 clove garlic, microplaned

Preparation:

Five-spice powder

Toast the fennel seeds and Timut or Sichuan peppercorns together in a frying pan over medium-low heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and mix with cloves and star anise.

Grind the mix into a powder using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Stir in the cinnamon.

There will be more mix than needed to make this recipe. Save the extra for later use in an air-tight jar on the spice shelf.

Hoisin

Add all hoisin ingredients to a small pot. Whisk together and heat over medium low, stirring often, until thickened (approximately 5 to 10 minutes). Bubbles will gently start to rise to the surface and the colour of the mixture will start to darken slightly.

Set aside to cool.

Glaze

Stir together hoisin sauce, maple syrup, honey, fresh ginger and soy sauce; set aside.

Chicken

In small bowl, mix together brown sugar, paprika, garlic, five-spice power, fennel seeds, mustard, salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces in baking dish or resealable plastic bag. Coat with spice rub, coating well and evenly. Cover dish with plastic wrap or seal bag and marinate in refrigerated for 2-8 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Bring chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to large aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with half of glaze. Roast in centre of preheated oven, brushing once halfway through with remaining glaze, for 35-45 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Serves 4-6.

From Daphna Rabinovitch

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