Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lacquered Chicken with Spicy Ginger Sauce

Both Jack and I love spicy food. He apparently has a higher heat-tolerance than I do because often I will make a recipe and find myself almost unable to eat it while he will wipe his face with his napkin, grin, and proclaim “this is nice and spicy!”.

Seriously, I’m not a weenie about spice. A friend once thinly sliced some of his home-grown Scotch bonnet peppers, and placed a sliver on a cheddar-topped cracker. It was hot, very hot, searingly hot, but the delicious flavor combination was irresistible. I ate several (and drank a lot of cold beer). Those, my husband deemed to be too spicy for his taste. Go figure.

I recently prepared a Cuisine at Home recipe which tested both of our spice limits. Lacquered Short Ribs with Spicy Ginger Glaze was altered and became Lacquered Chicken (because we do not eat beef). It was changed from a crockpot recipe to a non-crockpot recipe. And the spice level of the glaze was toned down dramatically (though, apparently, not quite enough!).

I knew that it would be trouble when I read that one of the ingredients for the glaze, to serve 4, was ¼ cup of Sriracha sauce. So I reduced it to 2 tablespoons and that really pushed my spice limit. But Jack said that it was perfect although maybe a little too spicy. In fact, be both were so impressed with the flavor of the glaze that I plan to make it in quantity, with less Sriracha—the stuff will be awesome on grilled chicken. And, in addition to serving it over steamed rice as I did, this would be excellent served as a sandwich on a hearty whole-grain roll.


This was a really quick recipe since I was using poached chicken breasts instead of cooking short ribs in the glaze in a crockpot. Any kind of precooked, shredded chicken can be used (such as rotisserie chicken bought at a grocery store). This is my version of the Cuisine at Home recipe:

Lacquered Chicken with Spicy Ginger Sauce

Serves 2

10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast

For the spicy ginger sauce-
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (or more, if you can handle it!)
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon reserved poaching liquid (or water)

Poach chicken in water to cover, adding some onion, celery, carrot, and peppercorns to flavor broth. When almost cooked, turn off heat and cover. Cool in pot for 15 minutes, remove lid and continue to cool for another 15 minutes. Remove chicken to a cutting board. Strain the poaching liquid into a container for later use.

Combine scallions, gingerroot, brown sugar, vinegar, Sriracha sauce, molasses, hoisin sauce, lime juice, and poaching liquid or water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer on very low for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, shred chicken.

When sauce is cooked down a bit and thickened, add the chicken shreds, mix well, and cook, covered, for 15-30 minutes occasionally (stir often and add additional broth/water if the sauce becomes too thick and starts to stick to the pan).

Serve over rice.