I know my last post was about eating meat-free, but sometimes a crispy little fall day makes me crave pure animal fat gluttony, so I have to share this one with you. It ticks off all the boxes of sticky, juicy, sweet, slightly spicy, and all around comfort on a plate, and I’m all about that right now.
I’ve been traveling like mad over the last few months and I finally have an entire month off from seeing the inside of a plane, so I’m rejoicing in all things domestic and routine, which is honestly my happy place anyway (creature of habit, I am… and why yes, I chose the wrong business). My favourite way to spend a quiet early morning, before the inevitable fight with my four year old to get him dressed for school begins, is to pour over my collection of cookbooks and plan what we’re having for dinner that night. My collection is getting kinda vast, and some of my old favourites get lost in the shuffle, which just isn’t fair to the likes of cooking goddess Nigella Lawson. You know her, right? Tall, luscious long dark hair, gorgeous and elegant and even a bit naughty, especially when she gets going about food, like the time she described a perfect creme brulee as “needing a texture like the quivering of a French courtesan’s inner thigh”? Yeah, I love me some Nigella. One of my most used cookbooks of hers is “Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food”, which is an awesome go-to for all things comforting and still classy, and I think I’ve cooked everything in it at least three times at this point. You should probably buy it. But to save you some time for right now, just in case you need your own fall comfort food dinner, I’ll give you my adaptation of her Sake Drumsticks….. which, in my version, do not contain sake OR drumsticks, but hey. All the more reason for you to buy her book.
This version uses mirin in place of the sake, which sweetens the recipe slightly but I counter it with more heat. I also have a real thing for bone-in chicken thighs and almost always have some in my freezer, so that’s what’s used here. I like to serve this with fluffy white rice to sop up the extra sauce, as well as a little bit of a dark leafy green, such as bok choy, on the side. I’ve included a quick miso dressing for the greens at the bottom of this post, which is really versatile and keeps in the fridge for up to a week. Use it drizzled on cod or halibut, or tossed in hot soba noodles, like I’m ’bout to do tonight. Stay tuned!
2 lbs bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha or your favourite hot sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
the juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
salt and pepper
In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, mirin, fish sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, vegetable oil, and the lime juice. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and coat in the marinade. Let it sit for 40 minutes in the fridge if you can.
Heat the oven to 425F. Line an oven pan or baking sheet with parchment paper so your pan doesn’t get totally ruined, and take the thighs out of the marinade and place skin side up on the baking sheet. Reserve the marinade in a pot on the stove. Cook the chicken for about 25 minutes. Add the honey to the reserved marinade in its pot, then bring it to a boil. Lower to medium heat and let it simmer until it thickens into a syrupy sauce, about 7 minutes. Baste the chicken with the sauce and cook the chicken for an additional 15 minutes until the skin is nice and golden brown.
Season the chicken with a pinch of salt as soon as it comes to of the oven and a little pepper. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Serve the chicken over rice and drizzle it all with the remaining insanely delicious sauce.
*BONUS* Miso Dressing
(adapted from Perfectly Imperfect by Kimberly Snyder)
1/4 cup yellow miso paste
3 tbsp dijon
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp water
Mix well to create a thick dressing. Add more water if it needs thinning out. Store in the fridge for a week.