Marinating is quite possibly one of the first cooking skills I’ve learned, way before I even learned to fry an egg. It was really fun for me and my older brother to submerge pieces of meat into a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar and whatever else catches our fancy… like worshurshurshire (worcestershire) sauce. We were such weird kids that massaging meat was very entertaining for us. And yes, as fully grown adults, we are still entertained by saying worshurshurshire.
This is one of my accidental recipes, an ode to my skill in marinating (ha!), but really – it’s no rocket science. It’s really easy!
- A pack of chicken drumsticks, thighs or drumsticks attached on thighs – with the skin still on. Whichever parts you’d like to eat, and of course, whatever is on sale!
- Ginger, peeled then chopped finely – probably the size of your forefinger? If you put more, the more gingery it will be. Don’t worry, it wont be a strong flavor. Ginger renders a wonderful refreshing flavor to chicken.
- Soy Sauce, about half a cup (If you have saved those bags of Yamasa or Kikkoman packets from takeout, USE THEM! 8-10 packets should be good. I cant vouch for the nameless ones from Chinese restaurants as I refuse to touch them.)
- Ground pepper to taste, maybe a teaspoon or two
- Rock salt, a tablespoon or two for cleaning chicken
- Large bowl for washing chicken
- Gallon size Ziploc bags for marinating / freezing in marinade
- Baking dish / baking pan
- Submerge your raw chicken pieces in water for about 5 mins then rinse.
- In a bowl, put a tablespoon or two of rock salt on top of the chicken pieces. Give the chicken a good salt scrub, rinse again. This is how I learned raw chicken pieces are cleaned. I never skip this step.
- Give the chicken a ginger and pepper scrub. It’s good for the chicken skin.
- Put the chicken pieces in a ziploc bag, then add soy sauce. Massage chicken inside bag. Marinate for 2-4 hours or longer in refrigerator. Turning to make sure all parts get submerged in soy sauce. Marinate overnight, and roast the next day for best results!
- Roast in a baking dish at 350° for 35mins to an hour, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. The smaller they are, the faster they cook. For this thigh and leg cut, it took about 45-55 mins, but I start checking at the 30 min mark. Remember to sloooowly close the oven door, because you might extinguish the oven fire. My personal indicator would be the tip of the drumstick. If the end of the drumstick looks dried out and cooked, it’s ready.
- Let it rest for 15-20 mins before serving.
- You can make 2 batches of these. Make the first batch next day, freeze the other batch after marinating overnight. Yes, freeze in the marinade!
- Do not throw away the leftover drippings. Put them in a container and freeze – use it for stir frying vegetables or add to soups. Super pro Asian tip – use it to make fried rice!
Having a future of home made cooked goodness is all about project management. Marinating things ahead of time and freezing them ensures that there’s something to thaw in the fridge overnight and throw in the oven the next day for dinner. Your future self will thank you.
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