Friday, July 31, 2009

Hoisin Chicken

Just thinking about this chicken makes my mouth water. So flavorful and juicy, it rivals Kentucky Grilled Chicken as my favorite grilled chicken recipe. Depending on my mood, it might even be the winner. I served this at a mid-day Saturday cookout with friends. Everyone, even the kids (mine and theirs) loved it. If you only try one chicken recipe this grilling season, choose this!

Here's what you need to make this delicious chicken: hoisin sauce, 3 scallions, garlic, ginger or ginger paste, a jalapeno pepper, 2 limes, rice vinegar, Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and 2 pounds skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks.

I made this marinade in my food processor. The food processor can be a pain to clean, but I wasn't in the mood to chop for some reason. I added my scallions, garlic cloves, jalapeno pepper, and ginger to the bowl and pulsed until finely chopped. Apparently, I wasn't in the mood to take pictures either. Me and my moods. Geesh. This is the only picture I have of making the marinade, so let me just tell you what I did next. I squeezed the juice from two limes into the food processor, added the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper. Then I blended until it was all combined.

I cleaned and rinsed the drumsticks and thighs, patted dry, and then sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

The chicken went into a large, resealable plastic bag, then I poured in the marinade and put the bag in the fridge. Be sure to save about 1/3 cup of marinade for basting while the chicken grills. My chicken marinated for a little more than 24 hours. When I began this recipe, I didn't even know that we'd be sharing it with company. I put the chicken in the fridge to thaw on Thursday night and made the marinade on Friday morning. I was going to have my husband grill it on Friday night for our dinner. As it turns out, my husband ended up going out with clients on Friday night, so the girls and I got Chinese take out for dinner. While I was waiting up for my husband to arrive home, I was talking to my friend on the phone and suggested they come over for lunch the next day and help us eat all of this chicken. Thank goodness that they accepted. I'd made way too much chicken for a small family of 4. Consequently, the chicken marinated a little longer than recommended. This was not a mistake. The chicken was "da bomb!"

I found this Hoisin Chicken recipe in the Food Network magazine. They paired the chicken with a cucumber salad. Since I already had my food processor out, I thought, "Why not?" It was a good excuse to see the slicing blade in action. I sliced up a cucumber and 1/2 of a red onion and made the rice vinegar-sugar dressing on my stove top. I made this the day before too so the veggies had plenty of time to soak up the dressing. A quick review of this cucumber salad: it wasn't that great. Not enough sugar and I didn't love it with the rice vinegar. I so love my grandma's creamy cucumbers and onions that no other version of this summer favorite really does much for me. I did appreciate the crisp textures and acidity of this salad to compliment the chicken, though. So, if you have your own favorite cukes and onions recipe, please try it with this chicken.

With our company on the way late Saturday morning, I turned the chicken over to my husband for grilling. Didn't he do a beautiful job? It smelled so good cooking that our stomachs were all growling and I'm pretty sure the kids ate half a watermelon while they waited.

This was lunch. So good! I'm such a classy hostess. You want to know what I served with the chicken? We had a ton of leftover lo mein noodles from our take out Chinese the night before. I heated them in a saucepan with some broth and served them up with the chicken and cucumber salad. Shameless, I know. Hey, the Asian-style noodles paired up nicely and I moved some leftovers out of my fridge. What?!

Hoisin Chicken with Cucumber Salad
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine and adapted by me
Prep Time: 25 min Inactive Prep Time: hr min Cook Time: 25 min Level: Easy
Serves: 6-8


For the Chicken:
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 scallions, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced or a teaspoon of ginger paste
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and halved (remove seeds for less heat)
Zest and juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges for garnish
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4-5 pounds skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks (separate pieces)

For the Salad:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Prepare the marinade: Combine the hoisin sauce, scallions, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, lime zest and juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a mini food processor or blender; process until almost smooth. Reserve 1/3 cup of marinade for basting. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; toss with the hoisin mixture in a large resealable bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Make the salad: Bring the vinegar, sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring. Remove from the heat; stir in 1/4 cup ice cubes until melted. Toss the cucumber and red onion in a serving bowl with the vinegar mixture; place in the refrigerator.

Grill the chicken over direct heat until the skin is crisp, 5 minutes per side, basting with extra marinade. Transfer to the cooler side of the grill; cover and grill until cooked through. Serve with the cucumber salad and lime wedges.

Per serving: Calories 375; Fat 16 g (Saturated 4 g); Cholesterol 107 mg; Sodium 1,906 mg; Carbohydrate 30 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 32 g

For a printable copy of this recipe, click here!
Keep reading to see what we had for dessert!


theUngourmet said...

I really have to get that magazine. I keep hearing such great things.

I was just grocery shopping today and picked up a jar of Hoisin for another recipe and was wondering how I would use up the rest of it. Now I know!

Coleens Recipes said...

This looks fantastic!! Quite a recommendation you gave.

Donna-FFW said...

LOVE the sound of this marinade. The chicken looks grilled to perfection!

Katy ~ said...

Oh, my, this DOES sound very good! I can just see people licking their fingers over this one!

Rachel said...

I was a HUGE fan of your other chicken recipe, so I can't wait to try this one!!! It looks so good...especially for this time of year!!!

Heidi said...

I think this sounds so good! I'm kind of scared of the Hoisin sauce though. I used it in a recipe once and hated it. I'm thinking maybe it was just a bad recipe.

Heather S-G said...

This looks awesome...that color is gorgeous! I love hoisin sauce, but haven't thought about it in a while. Yummy.

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

This dish sounds incredible. I love hoisin with chicken, but ginger, garlic, lime, jalapeno, oh my!

I know what you mean about being in the "mood" to stop and take a picture. That's really why I don't have a lot of tutorials.

Anonymous said...

Krista, it looks fantastic. I'm printing this one. :-)

pigpigscorner said...

The marinade sounds so delicious! Hoisin sauce is one of my favourite sauces.

Palidor said...

Being Asian, I would definitely agree with you on choosing this over KFC. It looks so tasty!

I too love my food processor but hate to clean it!

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