The most finger-lickin´chicken EVER

On Monday I did my shopping at the Corte Inglés supermarket. I go there once in a while, to buy the heavy stuff I don´t want to drag up my own stairs. Beers, washing powder, that sort of thing.
Of course, once inside, it´s very hard not to succumb to other stuff, and so the trolley ends up piled high with filo pastry, blueberry jam, flour tortillas, dark chocolate chips and the like.
Another thing I find hard to resist is the portioned organic chicken. At the market, if I don´t want a sorry-looking bird, I have to buy an animal the size of a young condor. I´m not averse to leftover chicken, quite the opposite, but really, for two, it can last for ever. And it would be silly to try out a recipe with enormous amounts. What if I don´t like it?

This was the perfect occasion to try out the Barefoot Contessa´s Indonesian Ginger Chicken.
Now, of course, I wish I´d used a mammoth champion chicken, and could eat it again today. It was the best thing ever. Moreish, lip-smacking, and literally finger-licking good. Even if it had been bad you´d have to lick your fingers, because it is sticky. I don´t know if my oven pan will survive the experience, but it´s totally worth it.
I entreat you, do this chicken. It is the platonic ideal of all roast chickens; crisp, glazed a deep golden brown, charred in parts, juicy and eye-poppingly flavourful.
I think it would taste very good cold, but sadly, I don´t know, because it all went in one go.
And did I mention, it practically cooks itself?

Indonesian ginger chicken,
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa cookbook
( and the quantities are scaled down. The original calls for three whole chickens. What sort of ovens do people have in the States?)

1 kg. chicken pieces
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 chunk of ginger, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, smashed

Put everything in a freezer bag. Maybe it would be best to mix it in a bowl first, buy I just bunged everything in, and it was fine.
Marinade overnight.

Bake, skin down, in a 180ºC oven for thirty minutes. Turn the oven up to 230ºC, turn the chicken over, and leave it another half an hour.
Let it stand for 20 minutes or so, the better to tear it with your fingers. You really don´t want cutlery with this. And you might want to use one of those disposable trays, because the burnt honey and soy are a bit of a nightmare.

19 comentarios:

pisto dijo...


one of the biggest problems with portioned chicken is that it is awfully expensive when compared with the whole chicken. Just think how we pay between 7 and 9 euros per kilo of chicken breasts when the whole chicken costs 2,95 per kilo. Many times I've thought that you pay for the whole chicken and only get the breasts.

A possible solution to this is purchasing a whole chicken, use those parts that you prefer for your primary purpose, and make a chicken stock with some onions, celery and carrots. If you use the chicken breasts for the stock, you can also take them out of the boiling about 45 minutes after the first bubbling and slice them to make a nice sandwich.


Ellie dijo...

Sounds delicious! As for the burnt honey and soy...you say nightmare, I say challenge ;) I love the flavours in this seasoning, so I think I'd be sitting there licking the plate clean!

Well, except for the fact that my mother taught me better table manners than that. However, if she wasn't there...

Tanna dijo...

From her TV show, I'd say Ina has an oven that could easily handle 3 chickens.
I really enjoy roast chicken - might have to have a chicken before we leave on our trip.

lobstersquad dijo...

Hi Pisto: this was a special offer, 4.35 the kilo. no breasts, maybe that´s why it was so cheap.
I love that kind of stock, too.Can´t wait for summer to be over.
Ellie: no table manners, everything´s allowed where this chicken is concerned.
Tanna: never seen the show, sadly. Have the chicken!

gilly dijo...

Hi Ximena - that sounds fantastic! I know my little stove in does well to take one good sized bird - so I guess the 3 chicken recipe is out for me as well!

Julie dijo...

Oh, yes, yes!

That chicken sounds most delicious! And easy. You have to love that.

Carmen dijo...

Alucino con tu inglés. En cuanto Ferdi se vaya de viaje, hago el pollo. El odia el pollo, como casi todos los hombres. Te voy a mandar por mail mi receta de pollo al Oporto.

Guru dijo...

Oh! oh! I love ginger!!! Must include it in my shopping list ... (and the trays) I can´t wait to try this recipe!!!!

Sara dijo...

I'm going to make this on the weekend. It sounds wonderful.

christianne dijo...

I love that recipe! I've made it several times, and I don't even bother to measure anymore. I made it for a 10-person dinner party several months ago and it was a hit. Its even good at room temperature.

If you want a little extra kick, I sometimes add a little red pepper flake as well.

e dijo...

hello! i'm brand new to your blog and what a delicious way to start! i can't wait to try this -- with a disposable tray, thanks for the pointer! i am single so i never buy whole chicken becaus i just couldn't do it all, but i often buy chicken legs and thigh fillets (better flavour than breasts) and enough for a couple of meals. my new fave roast chicken is with oil, lemon wedges and juice, white wine, rosemary and garlic -- just sloosh it all together and roast. it's easy and delicious. i'm from australia so chicken is pretty reasonably priced. can't wait to explore more of your blog :-)

lindy dijo...

My mother made this chicken recipe, nearly exactly the same way, when I was growing up. I always thought she made it up by using a marinade in a recipe she had for flank steak, on chicken. I guess it's been around for awhile,in some form or other, and it is wonderful. I often make it.
If you really want a sticky fingers goo-fest, and are somewhere, like here, where you can get big packets of them, try making a baking pan full of all wings. A disposable pan is really called for with the wings, though.

kickpleat dijo...

that sounds so incredibly delicious! i do love a sticky sauce so i'll definitely try this out soon....and possibly buy some tin foil to line my pans with!

Luisa dijo...

I have always wanted to try this - it sounds so easy and so exotic at the same time...

hag dijo...

The Barefoot Contessa really knows her chicken, and this sounds so good, I am sure it is fantastic.
I am new to your blog, and I think it is great...I love your illustrations...such a nice change.

Lisa dijo...

Hey! I've got that cookbook and have been meaning to try this recipe. As I just bought chicken from the farmers' market this morning, and you've reminded me of the recipe, I'm going to go for it this week. Thanks!

I also love Ina's recipe for Grilled Lemon Chicken: marinate chicken in equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Then grill. Wow, is that good. We've had that a bunch of times this summer. I also love the ease of throwing the marinade stuff into a Big Ziploc Bag, whooshing it around, then adding the chicken. No muss, no fuss.

Judith in Umbria dijo...

I just had a disaster with this! I copy lots of recipes from blogs, but almost never make them. Your description sounded so good I decided to try it.
I think I can analyze part of the problem. My pieces were probably not big enough. Even though I had 1 kilo, I think the pieces were from the smaller and less fatty chickens that come to the Italian market this time of year. I think that they were leaner than yours.
At the end of the 30 minutes at 180° they looked done, but the skin of course hadn't been crusted, so I turned them over. After 10 minutes smoke was definitely coming from the oven vents. I removed them a good 20 minutes befoe the recipe said to, and they were completely dried and blackened and bitter. The only parts that were edible were the interiors of dark meat pieces. The rest I peeled the charcoal off and shredded for the cats, because if it is protein and they can catch and chew it, they'll eat it!
If I'd been using my head I would have known I was setting out to cook chicken parts longer than I ever do. And that with a sugary glaze on them. The result would then have been more predictable. But I checked my brain and just followed directions.
In the end, I would say that if a chicken is a small one, one should use halves or even a spatchcocked whole chicken and that some people will need to reduce heat and/or time. I judge that 15-20 minutes would have done for both parts of the cooking in my case. Since I cook for money, I do check my oven thermostat regularly, so it wasn't that.
But compliemnts anyway for the delicious description. You do it well. And the watercolors are pure delight.

fiftyfinally dijo...

i make this often, It always tastes better cold the next day. I love leftovers, I always make sure I make extra of everything. What's the point of making dinner if there are no left overs.
leftovers in my fridge from last two days.
*deboned part of roasted chicken
*potato salad
*spagetti with chicken sauce (my fav)
*beef barley soup (it was superb last night when I finished making it around 9pm)I made soooo much that I froze three small containers of this just to test if will be any good next week
*pizza bun mix
*cabbage rolls (previously frozen defrosting for lunch today)

Julie dijo...

Thanks for this recipe! I adore roast chicken, and I know the Barefoot Contessa is a chicken roasting champion. I am going to try this, and I will buy a mammoth chicken, per your recommendation!