Food & Wine (July 2014)
We haven't been spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen these past few weeks.
It's been drop dead gorgeous in our nation's capital, and we've been trying to maximize time outdoors, running errands that don't really need to be run and walking far out of our way (sometimes very far) to get a cup of coffee.
Even though we've been in the kitchen less, we've still been eating most of our meals at home. It's weeks like these past few -- when we need food on the table but don't want to spend a lot of time preparing it -- that we often rely on Food & Wine and Bon Appétit. Both magazines have monthly sections featuring recipes that are, in Food & Wine's case, "Quick & Easy," and in Bon Appétit-speak, "Fast, Easy, Fresh." (Possible rejected names? "Expeditious & Elementary"? "Breakneck & Unchallenging"?)
We love these sections because they're reliable sources of dishes that don't take a lot of ingredients or time. We all need those sorts of recipes now and then.
We found this Honey-Ginger Chicken with Lime in Food & Wine's "Quick & Easy" section. It was just the thing we needed on a Monday night.
There's a lot that we like about this dish: the sweet but flavorful sauce; the 45 minute cook time; the tangy lime juice that's spritzed over the chicken just before you dig in. But selfishly, the thing we liked most about this dish is that we had nearly all the ingredients on hand and needed to only pick up some chicken, fresh ginger and limes in order to pull this dish together. For those of you who are not spice hoarders like we are, you'll likely need to pick up a few things at the store (garam masala, coriander, cumin).
Our only quibble is that our sauce did not caramelize during the allotted cook time in the same manner that you see in the magazine's photo (below). Still, that's a minor complaint. If we hadn't been so impatient to eat, we would have let the chicken roast longer, to achieve a deeper, darker lacquer.
Regardless, it was, as promised, Quick & Easy. You might even call it Fast & Fresh.
But you'll definitely call it tasty.
(this photo: Jonathan Lovekin for Food & Wine)
Total Time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
4 chicken legs, cut into drumsticks and thighs
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Lime wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, honey, ginger, jalapeño, garam masala, coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and 3 teaspoons of the lime zest. Prick the chicken with a fork, add it to the bowl and toss. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the remaining lime zest.
In a large ovenproof skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning, until golden, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the lime sugar and roast for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
Add the lime juice and the remaining butter to the skillet. Serve the chicken with the pan juices and lime wedges.