Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Cooking with too hot tamales" - Cinnamon Chicken

Date I made this recipe: June 9, 2010

Cooking with too hot tamales by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger
Published by: William Morrow and Company
ISBN: 0-688-15121-3
Recipe: Cinnamon Chicken – p. 96

I bought this book a few months back from Barnes and Noble Used Bookstore (located within the store at the Har Mar mall) and remember thinking “Oh, right. The ‘too hot tamales” – I’ve heard of them.”

So I brought the book home, listed it in my “inventory,” stuck it on the shelf and didn’t think too much of it.

But then Top Chef Masters (Bravo TV) started up again and one of my favorite contestants was Susan Feniger. She was just freakin’ adorable and held her own against the men and that’s something to be admired. But the name still didn’t ring a bell.

And then about two weeks after she was eliminated from the competition, her business partner, Mary Sue Milliken, judged a contest on the Food Network. And I still didn’t make the connection.

And then just like a boomerang, Susan Feniger was back on TV, this time judging a portion of the Food Network show, Chefs vs. City, where two Food Network chefs face off against two other chefs in various cities in contests that have them driving all over (hell’s half acre) to make and/or eat food—oftentimes disgusting food…but I digress.

And duh. I recognized Susan from Top Chef Masters and then decided to read her biography and double duh, turns out she and Mary Sue are the famous “too hot tamales” and wait a minute…ding, ding, ding—didn’t I just buy their book?

People, I did! And so I made a recipe from it. And it was tasty.

There were many fun recipes in this cook book that I would have liked to have tried but this one in particular intrigued me. I have a feeling that the marinade didn’t quite thicken up like it was supposed to but the flavor components were there.

The ladies suggested mashed potatoes as an accompaniment and I decided to try adding some green chilies and sour cream to your basic mashed potato recipe and it lordy, lordy, was boring! (I bet if I added some shredded cheese, though, it would have been outstanding.) And this is why those two are participants on Bravo TV and The Food Network and I am not!

Cinnamon Chicken – serves 4
1 ½ cups dry sherry
½ cup honey
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 (2 ½- to 3-pound) frying, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 8 serving pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, mix the dry sherry, honey, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off the excess, and set aside on a plate. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until it is reduced to about 1 cup and beginning to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken until golden on all sides. Pour the reduced marinade over the chicken and place in the oven. Bake about 20 minutes, until cooked through. Serve.

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