Yes, that's where I was. Date night. I have date night with my hubby's tonight. Both of them. It's always one of my favorite nights of the week. Sometimes we have a surprise guest (I do have to approve of all of Marco's conquests, er- dates, after all) but tonight it's just the three of us, which is my favorite way to do it (bad reader, no gutter). My very favorite threesome (okay, I guess I'm asking for it now. Even this parenthetical is dirty. You really can't say threesome without it sounding dirty.) Haha.... wow, this is gonna be one of THOSE blogs I think. You're welcome.
When I stopped eating meat (6 months ago!) I promised the boys that I would still cook it for them as if nothing had changed, so that's the plan for tonight. I was perusing Smitten Kitchen for a new idea on how to prepare the 35 pounds of green beans that we got in our CSA box this week, when I came across a chicken recipe that made me start to drool a little. I mean, a lot. So, I decided that while I might think green beans and wheat berries make a lovely date night dinner, maybe my husbands would prefer some melt in your mouth meat (Marco!). So I decided to make this dry rubbed, slow roasted chicken. I know- they are crazy lucky. I also dance (twirl) like a boss.
this chicken is delicious.
4 cups water
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup white or brown sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
Up to 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
5 pounds chicken legs. That's a lot of freaking chicken. Clearly, if you are not feeding an army, cut this recipe in half!
A generous squeeze of honey
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Brine the chicken: In a large plastic container, mix water, salt, sugar and vinegar. Add chicken parts and cover with a lid or plastic wrap in the fridge, for at least 1 hour and up to 6. I did it for 3 hours.
Make the rub: Mix the ingredients and mix them well. Like, so well. (I need to get a life.)
Prepare chicken: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Remove chicken parts from brine and pat dry. Place pieces of chicken on two very large pieces of foil, large enough to fold over chicken and form packets. Pat chicken pieces generously on all sides with rub; do not be shy about using more than seems… seemly. Turn the chicken pieces so their meatier sides are down, and tightly fold the foil around them to make two large packets.
these legs look like they are hugging.....
Place two cooling racks (which will act as baking racks) on two baking sheets (one on each). Place a chicken packet on each and place one sheet on an upper oven rack and one on a lower. I ruined my baking sheets in a small oven fire back on July 4th (ugh) so I just put the foil packet directly on the baking rack and put foil below it. My house didn't burn down, so I guess my way works, too. Bake chicken for 1 hour, then rotate baking sheets. Bake for another 30 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the thickest part of each chicken reads 155 degrees. (Chicken is done at 160. This leaves you a little heat window for the next step, without leading to overcooking. If you’d like to skip this, just cook the chicken in foil until it reaches 160.)
this is the ugliest photo I have ever taken.
Finish the chicken: Heat broiler. Carefully open each packet of chicken and pour accumulated juices into a saucepan. Arrange chicken pieces on open foil packets and run each tray under the broiler until lightly crisped at edges and cooked through. Place on serving platter.
Make a sauce from the juices: Boil your accumulated juices in the saucepan over high heat for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, until it makes a syrupy sauce that coats a spoon. I like to add a squeeze of honey for flavor while it reduces. Once syrupy, add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Serve with chicken.
I am serving this with gazpacho (because I am obsessed) and a green bean and wheat berry salad that you are gonna read all about tomorrow. Enjoy!