The Chicken or the Egg?Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In my house, the Chicken came first, Thursday night for dinner…but the Egg followed not long after for a delicious Saturday brunch!
I am all about making my life as easy as possible, and it truly gives me great joy when I can create a satisfying “take 2” meal using leftovers. This great chicken recipe uses a no-fuss marinade that becomes a gorgeous, thick syrup when it’s reduced. The acidity and saltiness from the balsamic and soy sauce is balanced by the caramel sweetness from the honey and brown sugar, and the garlic and rosemary in the background add a subtle aroma that rounds it all out.
To pack this dinner/brunch one-two punch yourself, simply fry up some eggs and reheat the leftover polenta in the morning. The marinade should be extra thick after being in the fridge, perfect drizzling consistency. BTW, I learned a nice trick for getting sunny side up eggs to the right level of doneness (runny but not scary raw) from A Dash of Stash, who “bastes” his eggs with the hot oil from the pan. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, try [No Recipes]’s technique for slow cooked eggs.
Enjoy! You can use all that extra time on the weekend to crawl back into bed
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumettes
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis), serves 4-6
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
5 sprigs of rosemary
5 garlic cloves, halved
10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a large bowl or zip lock. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves. Add the chicken drumsticks to the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.
Using a pastry brush (or spoon if you don’t have one), baste the chicken with some of the cooked marinade about 15 minutes into the cooking, and then again at the end.
Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Save the leftover reduced sauce for your eggs.
Polenta with Spinach and Cheese
(Serves 4 for dinner, with enough left over to make brunch for 2.)
4 cups water
4 cups milk (I use 2% reduced fat)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking polenta (good quality cornmeal)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
4 Tbsp butter
½ cup grated Gruyere (or your favorite melty cheese)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
Combine the water, milk, and salt in a heavy large saucepan (or pot). Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until polenta thickens, about 5 minutes.
Make sure you squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible. Add the spinach and garlic to the polenta. Continue to stir constantly to keep scalding bubbles from popping up.
Stir in the butter and cheese. Season the polenta, to taste, with salt and pepper.