A low-and-slow, followed by a high-and-fast blast in the oven is my favorite way to cook chicken pieces, similar to another recipe I blogged about in the past. In this version the proportion of honey is quite a bit higher, forming a glaze that acquires a fantastic mahogany hue in the final roasting time. The meat underneath will be the way we love it: juicy and tender.  The inspiration for this recipe came from the latest issue of Food and Wine magazine.

(adapted from Food and Wine, May 2011)

1/4 cup + 1 tsp honey
2 Tbs + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 chicken legs (or 8 chicken thighs)

Make the glaze by mixing all the honey, lemon juice, and soy sauce.  Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt and pepper, then use a brush to cover them with the glaze.  Place the chicken legs on a baking sheet, skin-side down, cover with aluminum foil, and slow roast at 325F for about 40 minutes.   Flip the pieces to have the skin side up, brush some more of the glaze over, cover with aluminum foil again, and continue cooking for  another 40-45 minutes.  (If you want to finish the recipe later, place it in the fridge).

Increase the oven temperature to 425F, remove the aluminum foil and roast until the skin is dark brown, 10 to 15  minutes (a little longer if roasting from the fridge).


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  Lots of recipes will have you roast poultry at a high temperature, but in my opinion, nothing compares to the “low and slow” approach.  Not only the meat retains moisture, but it makes no mess in the oven,  a huge bonus for neat-freaks such as myself.  😉

I like to prepare this type of recipe in two stages: the slow roasting on a lazy weekend afternoon, or a quiet evening.  After that, the meat can go to the fridge for a day or two.  When it’s time to enjoy it, just do the final, higher temperature roasting for 20 minutes.  White rice, pasta, couscous, or just a salad and a piece of bread, and you are set for a wonderful dinner!

ONE YEAR AGO:  French-Style Rolls

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Weekends are busy, but it is often possible to indulge in preparing meals that demand a little extra time, especially if it means hands-off cooking. This recipe by Jamie Oliver is perfect for Summer evenings, when there is absolutely no shortage of wonderful grape tomatoes and basil. He suggests variations such as adding cannellini beans or potatoes to turn it into a one-dish meal. I haven’t tried those yet, but this basic  recipe already showed up at our table a few times, served over pasta on the first day, and incorporated in sandwiches, quesadillas or salads later.

I’ve tried many methods to roast chicken parts, but in my experience, nothing beats a low oven, eventually running the dish under the broiler to crisp up the skin before serving. The meat gets tender and juicy, the herbs and spices come through nicely, as they have more time to infuse the dish with their flavors.

(receita em portugues na pagina seguinte)


(adapted from Jamie Oliver)

4 chicken legs, preferably organic, free-range
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large bunch basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes (yellow, red) or plum tomatoes quartered
a few cloves of garlic, no need to peel
Olive oil
drizzle of lemon juice

Heat the oven to 350F.

Season your chicken pieces all over and put them into a snug-fitting pan in one layer (see my photo after the jump). Scatter the basil leaves and stalks all over, then add the tomatoes and the garlic cloves. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice. Push some of the tomatoes in, allowing them to go under the chicken.

Place in the oven for one and a half hours (uncovered), moving the tomatoes around halfway through, until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat falls off the bone. If the skin is not as crisp as you like, run the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes, watching it carefully. Guests can squeeze the garlic out of their skins, or you can do it before serving.

Bom apetite!

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