Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Curried and BBQ Baked Chicken

One of the best ways to pack flavor into foods is by layering.  There are a plethora of ingredients that are NOT SALT that can help build the taste of your recipes and push them to new heights.  There are tons of different spices and spice blends that lend depth to veggies and proteins if you don't shy away or be afraid to mix and match.
 Brining involves salt, but the excess is rinsed away and it is primarily used  to make the cells in the protein  dispel  the water and replace it with flavor!  This method makes chicken especially flavorful and I use this practice regularly with consistent success.  This technique coupled with bold and earthy spices like thyme, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, rosemary, tarragon, chervil, Asian and Indian curries and a host of other spices, bring your mediocre meal to magnificent.  I  boosted the flavor profile for this recipe with curry powder.
Curry varies from region to region, but the common ingredients are spices like cumin, turmeric, coriander and fenugreek.  Fenugreek is highly consumed especially in the Middle East and revered for it's medicinal properties in Persia, China and Ethiopia and other countries. It is used in three forms, seeds, dried ground leaves, and whole leaves.   Fenugreek has exhibited anti-diabetic effects, as well the ability to help new mothers produce milk, similar to the hormone in our bodies oxytocin and aiding in joint/arthritis related pain, the list goes on.  Different cultures have varying ingredient in their curries, but it is agreeable that the overall influence came from the Middle East.
I start by brining the chicken in a kosher salt and water solution for at least 30 minutes.  Then I rubbed the chicken with a curry /olive oil blend and let it marinate for a couple of hours.
When ready, I roasted the chicken at 400*F until the skin is crisp and and the juices clear, about 40 minutes for leg quarters.
Once cooked through, I painted the chicken with a sultry BBQ sauce.  The base is store bought and I add several ingredients like brown sugar, seasoned rice vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to round it out.
Baste the chicken for about 30 minutes in the oven at 350*F, covered with foil to retain moisture, for a very tender and flavorful main dish.  Uncover for last 5 minutes of baking to help sauce adhere even more to the chicken.  Works well with pork too!

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