Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Ancient" Chinese Chicken with Green Beans and Caramelized Shallots



I use the term 'Ancient' loosely here.  It's not an authentic ancient Chinese recipe but the name given the recipe in an old cookbook of mine from 1986 called "Noteworthy - A Collection of Recipes from the Ravinia Festival"  It's still one of my all-time favorite cookbooks and I love pulling it off the bookshelf every now and then to see if there's anything I may have missed. My original copy was so worn that the pages were falling out but I was lucky enough to find an almost new copy at the local used book store. 

FYI, the Ravinia Festival in northern Illinois is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, with a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September. It has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936 and the cookbook was the project of the Women's Board of the Ravinia Festival Organization. 


I was in the mood for some Asian BBQ chicken, and found this recipe in my cookbook.  I thought I might have a hard time finding the currant jelly and plum jam but luckily, no problem thanks to the popular store brand. The original recipe calls for chicken legs and breasts but I substituted bone-in chicken thighs because they stay so tender and juicy, even after a long cooking time.

Since my husband and I are trying to watch our carb intake during the week, I served the chicken with some sauteed mushrooms (to which I added a little of the chicken spice mixture) and my favorite recipe for green beans with caramelized shallots which I'll also share.  It's a fool proof method for getting tender but not over-cooked green beans, just like you'd get in a restaurant.


Did you know that Chinese New Year is starting on February 19!  It will be the Year of the Goat!  Some interesting facts on the Chinese Zodiac


I also want to thank my friend, Maris, at In Good Taste Magazine and Wüsthof for the opportunity to win two beautiful Wüsthof knives in December.  Thank you, both very much!  I am thrilled with them and the boning knife is perfect for cutting up chicken parts.



"Ancient" Chinese Chicken with Green Beans and Caramelized Shallots

Printable Recipe

Serves 6

12 bone-in chicken thighs trimmed of excess skin (you may use other chicken parts if you prefer)
1/2 cup Canola oil
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons coarse salt (I like to use coarse sea salt)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Note: I ground the dry seasonings together in my spice grinder (which is a coffee grinder I use just for spices).  Save any leftover spice mixture to use on sauteed mushrooms or green beans.

For the Sauce:

1-1/3 cups ketchup
2/3 cup red currant jelly
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco (or Sriracha)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root (or 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger)
1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup plum jam (strained if it has large bits of plum)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Arrange the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub the chicken pieces with oil and then sprinkle the lemon juice, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper over chicken and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.

While the chicken is baking, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a heavy saucepan and whisk together. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

When the chicken is done, remove from oven, uncover, and drain the juices.

Increase the oven temperature to 400. Baste the chicken generously with the sauce and bake, uncovered for 30 minutes, or until browned. Serve with remaining sauce.

You may also grill the chicken on a medium heat grill, basting frequently with the sauce until browned for about 10 minutes, turning frequently.

Serve with sauteed mushrooms, and,

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots
Adapted from Epicurious

Serves 4

1 pounds slender green beans, stem ends trimmed
3-4 shallots
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves are even better)
Have a large bowl of ice water ready.

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil.  Add the green beans and return to a boil.  Cook until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer immediately to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in several layers of paper towels. Seal in plastic bag and chill.)

Trim ends and peel shallots. Cut lengthwise in half, then slice thickly. Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté until shallots are browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Shallots can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover loosely with foil and let stand at room temperature).

Add pre-cooked and drained green beans to the shallots in skillet and stir over medium-high heat until heated through, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
 

56 comments:

  1. One would not need carbs with this delicious looking "old" dish! There are actually two Ravinia cookbooks and I love both of them. We haven't been to Ravinia in a few years. The last time there, it was to be wonderfully entertained by Yo Yo Ma. Oh my!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. I have them both, Bonnie :) I think the first one is still the best!

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  3. I love dishes like this..and how great do they look on the pan..I remember being embarassed of some of my old pans..Now they are in vogue;)
    I will look for those 2 ings..wonder if Beach Plum jam would work?
    Like your green bean recipe too.I often make Asian Green Beans..:) LOL it's true!
    They look stickalicious your thighs Susan!


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    1. Thanks, M! I know - I wish hadn't thrown some of those pans out :) I'm not familiar with Beach Plum Jam but I would think any plum jam would work in the recipe. If it's too chunky, just heat it and strain it. The beans were a great combination with the chicken!

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  4. I absolutely LOVE that name --- it gives the dish such gravitas!

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  5. I love green beans and chicken,I'm on diet and carbs (for two weeks) are banned, this recipe sounds good for me! A warm hug

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  6. Really nice glaze on your chicken. We must try this. My husband is on a low carb regime and this is something different for him to eat.
    Sam

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    1. Thank you and I hope you try it, Sam. Great on the grill in warmer weather like yours :)

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  7. I was relieved to read that by "ancient chicken" you weren't referring to some crazy kimchi burial method of prep:@) No doubt I'd love this meal Susan and the color is beautiful!

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  8. Beautiful!! Time to celebrate Chinese New Year soon!

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  9. I've been so busy studying the Chinese zodiac that I almost forgot to comment! Susan, this looks like fabulous chicken! We are trying to avoid carbs to, but I'm not very good at it!

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    1. :) I've been known to do the same thing! Weekday dinners is when we try our best to go carb-free.

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  10. Beautiful looking chicken...almost like I could just pluck a piece from the monitor. The beans look delicious, too. Thanks for sharing the recipes, Susan.
    Hope you are having a great week.

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  11. This looks like a fabulous meal to me! We eat so much chicken I'm always looking for new ideas and I like the Chinese inspired marinade..looks healthy too, thanks for sharing a dish my husband will love :)

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  12. Fantastic, Susan! A BEAUTIFUL meal to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year!!! And those green beans...mmm...they look delightful :)

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  13. What a lovely meal! We are also trying to avoid carbs, but with a meal like this you'd never miss them. Love the glaze on the chicken, and your choice of chicken thighs- my favorite. :)

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  14. This is a beautiful meal. One that would disappear in a minute!! xo Catherine

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  15. Looks like everyone is watching their carb intake, Susan! I cook ahead for the blog when I'm going to have a few weeks of no carbs, They sure do add to the tummy!
    Love your chicken dish. I've been craving some BBQ as well and this recipe will hit the spot. (Love the shallots on your green beans! They are so good on roasted carrots too.)

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! I've never tried shallots on roasted carrots but I will soon :)

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  16. Oh my goodness, this chicken looks incredible!

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  17. Ancient or not, this sounds majorly tasty to me!! Love that glaze on it.

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  18. Great looking meal Susan and if that chicken tasted just half as good as it looked it was still outstanding.

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  19. This looks so flavoursome! I love that glaze and I bet it would be great with some shrimps or fish. A great recipe, Susan.

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  20. What a flavoursome and delicious chicken dish, it looks so good!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  21. hi Susan your recipe looks awesome and so is your sauce barbecue barbecue sauce it looks great too with beans delicious dinner n it's the it's going to fall in February 19 the year of the goat does that mean I'm a goat my birthday is going to be in a week.

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    1. Thank you, Rosa. I think the Chinese Zodiac depends more on the year you were born - so people born in 2015 will be 'goats'. The other 'goat' years are in the link I shared above ;)

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  22. Hi Susan, love the flavor of Herbes de Provence on chicken, also the sauce sounds like my kind of heaven, sticky and full of flavor.

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    1. It was an interesting and delicious combination, Cheri - thank you!

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  23. This really looks finger licking good! I bet it is moist and tender and packing a big flavor punch! Yum! Congratulations on winning those knives - awesome!

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    1. Indeed it was :) Thank you, Tricia. Love the knives!

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  24. Tried and true recipes that are passed down in recipe books are wonderful. Your meal sounds like it was delicious.

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  25. Your photo of this dish is making my mouth water! I bet it would pair beautifully with an Alsatian Riesling to offset the heat - YUM:) Love the idea about subbing mushrooms for carbs as well - thanks for sharing these delicious recipes ~ Cheers!

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  26. Susan! I love this recipe! look absolutely beautiful! Love the colour!
    xo

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  27. Funny, Hubby came home with a huge package of chicken thighs yesterday. Think I know what I am going to do with some of them. Love your knives Susan!

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  28. Susan, this is a great recipe to try! It looks delicious. The year of the goat, off to look at that.

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  29. This chicken look delicious Susan...I like the touch of spice and the color of this thighs are just very inviting...great paired with the green beans...
    Hope you are enjoying your week :)

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  30. Your Chicken looks delicious Sue! Love the glaze on it - I know the family will love this one! Thanks for the recipe. Have a great week.

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  31. What a beautiful recipe. Looks like you won some amazing knives too- beautiful!

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  32. Your chicken looks so delicious, Susan. Chicken thighs are my favorite for a flavorful dish like this one. Beautiful knives. I would love to have a boning knife like that.

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