Blue Ginger Soy Shallot Marinated Roast Chicken Thighs

It’s been a snowy two months  As of this week, I hope I’m seeing the last of the snow. So I wanted to do something for Thursday night dinner to ‘cheer things up’.  Flipping through Blue Ginger’s Ming Tsai’s book Simply Ming, I came across the Soy Shallot Marinated Chicken Breast With Melted Cabbage (p. 121).  The online recipe can be found here:

http://www.ming.com/food-and-wine/recipes/season-1/shallotsoy-marinated-chicken-breast-with-melted-cabbage.htm

I’m not a real fan of chicken breast, but I thought, why not swap in the chicken thigh (bone-in, skin-on) because of skin/meat ratio as well as  its ‘richness’? So first up, I needed to make the vinaigrette/marinade; The recipe for the vinaigrette can be found online here:

http://www.ming.com/food-and-wine/recipes/season-1/shallot-soy-vinaigrette.htm

Chef Ming Tsai has an online video about this vinaigrette (and using it) that can be found here:

http://www.ming.com/simply-ming/episodes/season-1/episode-119-shallot-soy-vinaigrette.htm
(and in particular watch time indices 5:32-9:55)

Since I didn’t want to make so much vinaigrette, I decided to microbatch the recipe to:

1/4 cup grainy mustard
1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup, weighed in abotu 1 1/8 oz)
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
1⁄4 cup naturally brewed rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon 4:1 salt/pepper mix

Ingredients of the microbatch marinade

Ingredients of the microbatch marinade

1/4 cup of minced shallots, weight-wise

1/4 cup of minced shallots, weight-wise

Adding the salt/pepper to the completed marinade

Adding the salt/pepper to the completed marinade

So I thought I’d let 1 2/3 lbs of  chicken thighs marinate overnight (yes, I know, Chef Tsai said NOT to marinate it for more than 4 hrs because the vinegars would partially ‘cook’ the chicken meat).  I also chose to omit the sugar from the marinade since I wanted the sharpness of the shallots to offset the richness of the chicken thigh meat (if I really were using something like chicken breast or swordfish, I’d probably include the sugar back into the vinaigrette/marinade).

...in the shallot soy marinade

…in the shallot soy marinade

To cook the chicken thighs, I went ahead and did the following:

* I preheated my countertop oven to 400 degrees
* wiped the marinade off the chicken; seasoned it with 4:1 salt/pepper mix and placed it on the cooking rack, skin side up
* popped the chicken into the oven to cook for about 30 minutes (since the chicken was on the bone)

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

For the ‘melted’ nappa cabbage –

* I made a chiffonade of about 8 oz of nappa cabbage
* I finely minced up 1/2 bunch of scallions

scallions and nappa ready for the sautee

scallions and nappa ready for the sautee

* I cooked the scallions at medium heat with some olive oil until soft (1-2 minutes)

flavouring the olive oil with the scallions

flavouring the olive oil with the scallions

* I then added the nappa chiffonade and cooked that down until soft with about  1/4 teaspoon of 4:1 salt/pepper mix for about 6 minutes
* While the original recipe called for lemon juice, I thought I would make it a bit more interesting by using 1 tablespoon of yuzu juice, stirred it into the cooked vegetables  and added 1/4 teaspoon  more of the 4:1 salt/pepper mix.

Once the cooking was all done, I mounded half of the cabbage onto a plate and then topped the dish with the marinated roasted chicken thighs.

Soy Shallot Marinated Roast Chicken Thighs With Melted Cabbage

Soy Shallot Marinated Roast Chicken Thighs With Melted Cabbage

Upon tasting the finished dish – I felt I was right about letting it marinate for as long as I did.  I think if I’d have to change anything would be to shorten the roasting time just a little bit – maybe 20 or 25 minutes instead of the 30.  The chicken thighs were perfectly cooked through, except that it was a little overdone around the edges.  The brightness of the yuzu’s acidity in the cabbage was just right and both my wife and I felt the overall flavors made for a very nice meal.

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