Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The man knows chicken

Frank’s Other Favorite (Sweet ‘N Smoky Chicken)
365 Ways To Cook Chicken Copyright 1986

1 large onion, sliced
1 chicken (3 pounds), cut up
½ teaspoon hickory-smoked salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place onion slices in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Arrange chicken in a single layer, skin side up, on top of onion. Sprinkle with hickory salt and pepper.
2. In small bowl, combine ketchup, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard. Pour over chicken. I spooned it carefully over each piece. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes, until chicken is tender. I cooked it longer since I don't like bone-in chicken the least bit undercooked.

This was allegedly one of Frank Purdue's favorite chicken recipes at some point in time. How could you not be intrigued by that? There are two of his supposed favorite recipes in this book, hence the 'other' in the title.

I have to say that while this is nothing out of the ordinary, it was a very good variation on roast chicken with barbecue sauce. The sauce had the perfect blend of flavors, it adhered to the chicken perfectly and it didn't burn (that can be a problem with sweet sauces).

I'm glad it wasn't a disappointment because the hickory salt and real maple syrup I bought were not inexpensive. Hickory-smoked salt isn't easy to track down either. I had never seen it. I thought it might be one of those products you just can't get anymore but I found it in Wegman's, made by Spice Islands. I remembered that I had another recipe that called for it but I couldn't find it so I used some smoked paprika. I just looked up that recipe and it's practically the same recipe as this one! Hey, after 4 years I'm bound to repeat myself occasionally. Frankly (ha!) this recipe was much better. The extra oil and water in that recipe ruined it. In this recipe, the sauce is just enough a perfect coating over the chicken which is all it needs since any excess sauce would be useless since it would mix with the chicken fat.

I love that my grocery store usually has cut-up chickens for under $1.50/pound. I wasn't seeing that for a while but a lot of older recipes call for a whole chicken, cut-up. They even include the gizzards which I really should start saving (the necks at least) since soup season is just about here.

Question of the Day: Have you ever used hickory-smoked salt in your cooking? Are you at all familiar with it?


Annie Jones said...

I have some hickory-smoked salt in my cabinet right now, but I can't say I've used it more than a couple of times.

Randi said...

I bought the McCormick's smoked salt at Big Lots. If you have one near you, they have a lot of McCormick's and Spice Islands spices. I got a bottle of the pumpkin pie spice for 1.50.

I love Wegman's!!

Anonymous said...

I have hickory smoked salt here at home...I also found a great recipe for making it yourself


HotHeaded said...

I have never heard of it before. I don't think it would be something I would use. I do have salt and hickory liquid smoke so I wonder if you could mix those together and get the same results?

Anonymous said...

thanks for your blog post about this recipe. since our move I haven't been able to locate this cook book and really missed this particular recipe. I have also done this same sauce/onion mix with pork chops of varying thickness.
as for the hickory smoked salt: i put a dash or two in any home made barbecue sauce i make. not enough to add to the sodium load, but enough for the smoked flavor.