This week we’re adding a gorgeous corn and mushroom lasagna with mozzarella, our Epic Cheese Blend, and a corn-infused bechamel, served with blistered Jimmy Nardello peppers and a side salad to our café menu.
It pairs perfectly with our Garden Wedge, a glass of wine, and a piece of classic Tiramisu as you dine al fresco.
NAOMI’S HOISIN AND CHILI CRISP MARINATED CHICKEN RECIPEserves 2 – easily scales up!
The basic premise of this recipe is to quickly infuse flavor into your chicken before you throw it onto a grill (or into a pan, and then finishing in the oven), so you get a juicy, flavorful dish.
You should always brine chicken breasts prior to marinating if you want those flavors to penetrate more (YES.. you want that!). This recipe is awesome if you didn’t plan ahead and start brining your chicken a few days ago (that’s usually me). The idea is that you lock in a little initial seasoning with this quick brine, AND open up those pores to really (quickly) get the other seasonings into that meat!
This recipe is best if you can brine the chicken breasts for the full 30 min, and then leave in the marinade for an hour or so. Much more than that and it might get a little salty. Remember, this is a quick marinade! If you want to leave it with the hoisin-chili crisp longer (like overnight) you can eliminate the soy so it doesn’t “cure” and become overly salty.
2 chicken breasts (preferably skin-on)
for the brine
3 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar
2 cups very hot water
2 cups ice cold water
for the marinade
1 lime, sliced into 5-6 slices
1 tablespoons chili crisp (I like S&B)
2 tablespoon hoisin (I like Lee Kum Kee)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 hot peppers (jalapeño, serrano, or Thai – use what you’ve got!)
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
½ to 1 cup picked Thai basil leaves or cilantro
Heat 2 cups of water (or use tap if it comes out pretty hot), add salt and sugar and mix well to dissolve. Add the remaining 2 cups of ice-cold water, stirring until tepid. Add a few ice cubes if necessary.
Add the chicken breasts and let sit for 30 minutes. If they are very small, pull out closer to 20 minutes.
While brining, combine marinade ingredients in large a bowl, swirling and rubbing and squeezing the limes and tossing the squeezed slices back into the mix.
Remove breasts from brine and pat dry. Add to marinade.
Leave for about 1 hour. FOR THE GRILL:
Pull breasts out of marinade, and allow the chunky parts (lime, chilies and garlic) to fall off, but leaving all the hoisin and pasty stuff on. Place chicken on a hot (but not too hot) part of the grill. Watch carefully, as the sugars in the hoisin can burn easily. When skin is nice and golden, flip to the other side and pour a little of the marinade (including chili and lime) on top. Partially cover your grill. Cook the breasts until an instant-read thermometer reads 145-150 degrees in the thickest part. DO NOT go past this. Transfer chicken to a plate and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
TO PAN COOK:
Heat a carbon steel pan over medium heat. Add a generous amount of olive oil, and slip breasts into hot oil, cooing skin side down if using skin-on, until crisp. Hoisin can burn easily, so lower heat if necessary. When crisp, flip and slip pan into a 375 degree oven. Set a timer for 5 minutes if very small breasts, 7 for large. Take an instant-read of the thickest part, and continue cooking until it reads 145-150. Rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve with rice, noodles, salad, sauteed veggies, etc.