Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Citrus Sriracha Chicken

My younger brother Jeremy made some very good buffalo chicken the other day. This inspired me to put a twist on a favorite of ours. What better way to change it up than by using some delicious Thai sriracha hot sauce? I did a Google search to see if sriracha wings had been done before, and yes, they have. Food & Wine magazine has what looks to be a very interesting recipe here. However, I decided that I would change it up a bit, and throw in some flavors that I really enjoy. The result was better than I could have hoped for.

Citrus Sriracha Chicken
For 4 lbs of chicken (I used drumsticks), you will need:
For the marinade
1/8 cup olive oil
A splash of sesame oil (optional)
1/8 cup madras curry powder
About a tablespoon of paprika

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a container (I used a ziplock freezer bag) and let the chicken marinate overnight. When you're ready to cook it up, set your oven to 375 degrees and bake the chicken for one hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. While the chicken cooks, prepare your sauce by whisking together the following in a large bowl:

1/2 cup of your favorite sriracha-style hot sauce
1/4 cup of your favorite orange juice (I used some extra-pulpy Florida's Natural)
4 tablespoons of butter or margarine (Less, if you'd like more heat)

Once the chicken is cooked through (if you're unsure, check that the juices unclear), toss it in the bowl of sauce until it is covered well. I plated mine up with some baked sweet potato fries, but I'm sure that it could be served with just about anything - a bed of jasmine rice, a nice chopped salad with a simple lime vinaigrette, or steamed or roasted veggies.

I found that the orange juice really helped to mellow out the sriracha beautifully. I was surprised to find that I didn't need anything to accompany the meal and balance out the heat. Not so much as a runny nose. My lips are just comfortably warm, rather than burning. The orange juice flavor was subtle, really blending well with the sriracha's garlicky, chili pepper-infused taste.

If you're looking for a break from typical buffalo wings, I would definitely recommend trying out this simple solution. It's also very easily modified. If you're not a curry fan, swap out the curry powder for some warm spices of your own choosing. Please share any ideas, comments or questions! I'd love to see what you think of the recipe.

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