Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pesto Chicken 青酱烤鸡

The only reason for taking extra effort to de-bone chicken drumsticks is to "save and keep" the bones for making stock. Part of the week's menu-plan requires the use of some chicken stock, so instead of buying chicken backbones separately, bone-in chicken drumsticks work fine as an alternative - the chicken bones, and meat can both be used.

In our family, we don't shy away from chicken "dark" meat, meaning parts of the chicken e.g. chicken thigh or leg, that comes with fats/skin. For that, Trader Joes organic chicken drumsticks ($1.99/lb, $3+ for five organic chicken drumsticks) is one of the best-value organic chicken around. Bone-in chicken are very flavorful when making chicken curry, chicken soup and roast chicken, for example.

It may not be a lot of bones (and flavor) from de-boning five or even two chicken drumsticks, but it is better than water as liquid base, and very useful when cooking a small-serving pot of rice or congee/porridge.

De-boning aside, this is an easy organic chicken recipe that makes use of homemade pesto as the marinade. You can also cook a bigger batch by roasting more boneless chicken using this recipe, and then shred the chicken leftovers which could be reheated later to make pesto-chicken sandwich, for example.

There are many ways to use pesto such as Potato with Pesto-Yogurt Dressing, Pesto Pizza, Pesto Cucumber Bites, or Pesto Pita Bites.

Pesto Chicken
2-3tbsp homemade pesto
3-4 tbsp plain organic yogurt
3-4 bone-in organic chicken drumsticks (about 1lb), de-boned (save/freeze the "bones" for use later); alternatively get some boneless thigh meat

Directions: Mix pesto and yogurt as marinade. Marinate the chicken, and set aside for at least 30mins (or more). When ready to cook, lay them on a baking dish or pan, skin-side up. Preheat oven 375F and roast for 30 mins or more till cooked. For the last 5 minutes, crank up the oven to 400F to brown and crisp the chicken skin.


Note: Oven-roasting time for boneless chicken thigh or leg meat is easily reduced by about one-third compared to bone-in chicken. For example, roasting small-medium boneless chicken thigh pieces at 375F-400F will take about 30minutes, compared small- or medium-sized bone-in chicken drumsticks at the same temperature but about 45-50mins.

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