December 27, 2013 1 Comment
Are your taste buds bored? Tired? Lethargic? Are they sick of blandness? Do they want change?
Then look no further than Sweet and Sour Strawberry Chicken. It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s salty, it has a nice unami punch, and hey, it’s a little bitter–so all of the sections of your tongue are taken care of. It’s really fun to eat, too, although you will need a large pile of napkins and wipes to clean yourself up afterwards. There’s no sugar added, either: the sweetness comes purely from strawberries, all-fruit jam, and a date or two. Best of all, this dish is super kid-friendly, so even your pickiest eaters will be able to enjoy it. What’s not to love?
Ready to make this super yummy chicken? Let’s get started.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend together 1/2 of a medium onion, 2 scallions, 1 large clove of garlic, a 1-inch piece of peeled ginger, 1/4 cup of coconut aminos, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon of red curry paste.
When the mixture is homogeneous and no chunks remain, pour it into a large bowl. Add in 2 pounds of chicken drumsticks (8 drumsticks for me), toss to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. If you’re feeding more people, feel free to increase the chicken up to 3 pounds; if you want to higher than that, double the marinade recipe.
45 minutes or so before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top and lightly grease it with coconut oil so the chicken doesn’t stick too much.
Take the drumsticks out of the fridge and place them on the wire rack.
Brush a little of the remaining marinade on top of each drumstick, then bake for 15 minutes. Flip over, brush the other side with some more marinade, and bake for another 15 minutes. Discard the marinade you don’t use.
Meanwhile, get to work on the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together 1 10-ounce bag of frozen strawberries (preferably organic), 1/4 cup of coconut aminos, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 1/4 cup of water.
As the strawberries defrost, smash them up with a stirring spoon to incorporate them into the liquid. Once the fruit is thoroughly smashed, stir in 1/4 cup of all-fruit strawberry jam, 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger, a pinch of garlic powder, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and transfer to a food processor.
Pulse the strawberry mixture until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. While the machine is going, pop a date into the feeding tube, quickly re-cover, and keep going until the date is fully incorporated. Taste for sweetness: it really makes you pucker, add another date, but if it’s too sweet, pour in a little more rice vinegar.
Once your adjustments have been made, pour the sauce back into the pan and let reduce for 5 minutes over low heat.
Don’t forget about that chicken! Once you take it out of the oven, heat up the broiler…
…and brush a little of the strawberry sauce on top of each drumstick. Broil until crisp, about 3-5 minutes, then repeat on the other side. Pour the remaining sauce into a large bowl.
Once crisped to your liking, add the chicken to the bowl with the sauce. Toss to coat, then add in 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Plate and serve immediately.
Not sure what to serve with this? I’d recommend making up some cauliflower rice and sauteing either baby bok choy or spinach with a little coconut aminos and a touch of orange juice.
What dish excites YOUR taste buds? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!