Revisiting an old family grilled marinated chicken recipe

…long long ago, in another lifetime far far away…

As I was growing my family, my uncle and aunt would periodically go up to Bear Mountain/Harriman State Park for an outing and we would do a BBQ at a picnic  site (Kanawauke?) where the parking lot led straight up to the site with a creek/brook running along side it.   One of the BBQ memories was a marinated chicken that my folks used to prepare before heading up to that park.

Many years later, during my upperclassman years at university, I asked my folks for the recipe. I used to make this marinated chicken in my university apartment on weekends every so often and did so again when I was a graduate student.   I recently recovered a lost copy of the recipe and decided to retry it.  The microbatch version of the marinade went something like this:

1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c orange juice (for acidity and sweetness)
1/4 c sake
4 large cloves of garlic (back then, mashed; now, grated)
1 t sesame oil

Interestingly the microbatch recipe seemed to be a close analogue of Iron Chef Morimoto’s teriyaki or garlic soy jus.

…after 4 days, marinating n the refridgerator

One thing that I remember for all those years ago was that I left the chicken in the marinade for 4 days.  Little did I know then that that was the correct thing to do, given Matsuhisa-sama’s comment about leaving his fish in marinade for at least 3 days.  So I made a batch with three chicken legs on a Monday for dinner on Thursday night.

So prior to cooking, I got out my grill pan, heated it up high and then reduced it to medium heat.  At that point, I lightly

Preparing the grill pan so the chicken won’t stick

brushed the pan with grapeseed oil.  Once the pan was mildly smoking, I got the chicken into the pan, skin side down.

…onto the grill; the marinade also reducing in the neighboring sauce pot

I let the chicken cook there, untouched for about 15 minutes.  In the meantime, I reduced the marinade for about 10 minutes, bringing it up to a hard boil and the reducing the heat to medium. After the 15 minutes, I flipped the chicken over and cooked covered for another 15 minutes.  When all was said and done, I took it off the heat to let it rest for 5

…at the end of cooking

minutes.  In the meantime, my wife volunteered to make a side of broccolini and carrots.  So to the dinner table

…time for dinner…

went a family style serving dish of the chicken and a large bowl for the broccolini and carrots.  The reduced marinade “jus” went into serving cups for dipping.   My wife was a little skeptical at first about the chicken because of the orange juice in the marinade; but her eyes lit up when she took her first bites.  Obviously, she was very pleased with the entree and commented that the jus went well with the vegetables as well (thank you to my copy of the The Flavor Bible).  I guess I’m going to be seeing requests for that on the weekly menu planning…..


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