Thursday, January 26, 2012

Soy Sauce Roast Chicken Breasts and Edamame with Meyer Lemon and Chilis

After a few nights of vegetarian meals, Alex and I are slowly working our way back to eating meat.  Not that I didn't enjoy my vegetarian meals earlier this week - I truly did, but there are only so many dishes I can cook before I want to add meat (or seafood) back into the mix.  All things in moderation, right?  So tonight we made chicken and maybe this weekend we will make some pork.  Actually, I really want to make some dumplings in honor of Chinese New Year so pork is a must.  Yes, I know that I am a bit behind the ball on Chinese New Year this but I can't help it.  I have been busy.  I'm still going to make seven meals worth of Chinese food, but our first Chinese meal (and maybe our second meal too) is going to come this weekend.  

Anyway, back to tonight's meal.  Alex gets the credit for coming up with this chicken recipe.  We were trying to decide what to do with the chicken breasts I had defrosted and I knew that I wanted to serve a knockoff of an edamame dish we had this past weekend with dinner.  So he decided to come up with some sort of Asian-marinade.  He proposed a soy sauce and mirin marinade and I warned him to be very careful that the chicken didn't burn because of all the sugar in the mirin.  You have to be careful when you marinate chicken (or any other meat) in a marinade with honey, sugar, barbeque sauce, or any other sauce with a decent amount of sugar in it because the sugar burns very easily.  One second you have a nicely browned skin and the next you have cinders.  Alex wanted to stick with the soy and mirin marinade so he modified our usual roast chicken breast recipe to sear it for a less time on the stove top.  And in the end, the chicken was quite tasty and very juicy.  The skin on his chicken breast got a little charred, but mine was perfect (although it would have charred in a matter seconds).  The mirin and sake gave the chicken a nice balanced sweetness and the soy sauce made it savory.  The edamame we tossed with sliced Fresno chilis, Meyer lemon zest and juice.  We had the "house edamame" at a restaurant called Imperia this past weekend where they tossed whole edamame with Fresno chilis, a ton of coarse salt, and what they called "lemon essence."  When the waitress put it down at the table I was totally skeptical, but it was really tasty.  Our version was slightly different than the restaurant version in that it was a lot spicier (the restaurant must have removed the seeds from the chilis) and a little less oily.  In the future I will remove the seeds of the chilis because the heat overpowered the more delicate flavors of the lemon.  One other difference was that we used frozen shelled edamame instead of whole edamame.  All things considered I thought our dinner was a pretty successful experiment. 

Recipe after the jump!

Soy Sauce Roast Chicken Breasts
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground black pepper
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
1 tbsp unsalted butter
orange rind from about 1/4 of an orange

Combine soy sauce, sake, mirin, garlic cloves and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.  Add chicken breasts.  Marinate at room temperature for an hour.

Remove chicken breasts from marinade and pat dry.  You want to dry thoroughly to remove all mirin still on the skin to prevent the sugars in the mirin from burning when you sear the skin.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Season the chicken breasts with s&p.  Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or other heavy, oven-safe skillet) over medium to medium-high heat.  Add peanut oil.  Once oil is hot, place chicken in the skillet skin-side down.  Brown for about 3 minutes, watching the chicken carefully to ensure that the skin doesn't burn.  Turn the chicken over and place skillet in oven.  Roast chicken for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, add butter and orange rind to the pan.  Swirl the butter around to melt.  Return the pan to the oven.  Roast 5 additional minutes (until chicken juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a sharp knife).

Remove the chicken from the oven.  Baste chicken with melted butter/pan juices.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Edamame with Meyer Lemon and Chilis
16 oz frozen shelled edamame
kosher salt
1 Fresno chili, seeded and cut into thin rings (we didn't take out the seeds, but I would recommend doing so because the heat can be a bit overpowering)
zest of two Meyer lemons
1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (or to taste)
1 tsp butter
1 tsp canola oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Cook edamame in boiling salted water according to package instructions.  Drain.

Toss warm edamame in a large mixing bowl with chili, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, canola oil, freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste.

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