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:
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:
Chef Ming Tsai has an online video about this vinaigrette (and using it) that can be found here:
(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
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).
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)
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
* I cooked the scallions at medium heat with some olive oil until soft (1-2 minutes)
* 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.
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.