We do love a good chicken dinner in my house. We love it grilled, slow-cooked, soupified, saladified, and stuffed into taco potatoes. We loved it stacked, sandwiched and skewered. It’s on our menu at least once a week (usually Wednesdays, for mysterious reasons), and because of that I am always, always, always looking for a new way to mix it up, chicken-wise. And when I ran into this fabulous recipe that calls for cooking up some chicken with malt vinegar, I knew I was on to a good one.
I actually happened to have a bottle of malt vinegar in my very pantry, left over from the happy day when I made salt and malt vinegar roasted potatoes. And yes, you do need actual malt vinegar for this recipe….I found mine in the international section of my supermarket (in the British section, which meant I also was obligated to buy a fruit and nut Cadbury chocolate bar to keep it company), but if you have any trouble tracking it down you, click here.
The rest of the ingredients are pretty straightforward, so once you have your mitts on the malt vinegar you are ready to roll. Now, the actual making of this recipe doesn’t take that long, but you do need to build in time to marinate the chicken in the vinegar mixture. Four hours is long enough, but if you can, let it sit overnight for even more malt vinegar wonderfulness.
Once your chicken is nice and marinated, you’re going to make a lovely, spicy and sweet glaze that is going to send your chicken over the edge from nice baked chicken to Oh My Goodness baked chicken. You start by searing the chicken on the stovetop to get it nice and brined, then transfer it to a foil-lined baking sheet. Don’t skip the foil-lined part…you will be so thankful when it comes to clean-up time. (Or if you live in my house, the Southern husband will be so thankful when it comes to clean-up time.)
Now it’s just a matter of brushing on your gorgeous glaze and roasting your chicken until it is tender and perfect. And if there is any left over (believe me, it’s worth it to make extra so there IS some left over) you have a heavenly cold-chicken lunch in your future as well.
Malt vinegar chicken. Do it!
- ¾ cup malt vinegar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- ½ bay leaf
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- ¼ cup malt vinegar
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 pounds chicken breast with bone-in, cut into quarters
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Combine all ingredients in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until glaze is thickened and reduced to ⅓ cup, 12–15 minutes. Strain into a small bowl.
- Stir sugar, ⅓ cup salt, vinegar, thyme, and 1 cup water in a large pot over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add 6 cups of cold water. Add chicken, making sure it is fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- When you are ready to bake the chicken, preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
- Drain chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until it is golden brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. You may have to do this in batches. As you take the chicken out the pan place it on the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the chicken for 15 minutes and then baste with glaze. Continue to roast, basting again after 5 minutes. Bake the chicken for another 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Place a piece of foil lightly over the top and let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes, then serve.
Recipe from the always-wonderful Bon Appetit