When my children were very young, and I spent a lot of time experimenting and playing in the kitchen, this was one of my favorite dishes: roasted chicken thighs with soy sauce, garlic and ginger, served with roasted sweet potatos and fluffy white rice to mop up the flavorful juices. The sweet potatoes were very easy to make by placing them in a pan next to the one with the chicken, cut in half and covered with small chunks of butter. Wonderful!
When I find a recipe I love, I try as many variations of it as I can think of. I sometimes used to marinate the chicken overnight -but one or two hours are enough-, and if there were guests coming I just doubled or tripled the recipe. Sometimes I added orange juice for an extra layer of flavor, and a teaspoon of butter at the end of cooking added brightness to the sauce.
For more body, I transferred the cooking juices to a small saucepan, added 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch or potato starch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water, and stirred continuously over medium heat, until slightly thick and very silky (about 4 minutes). If I didn’t want to bake the chicken, I simmered it in a saucepan over low heat until tender (about 45 minutes).
Today I made yet another version of this succulent chicken dish. I’m in Nicaragua visiting my parents, and my mother is on a healthy, low-carb diet, so I substituted the brown sugar I usually used with honey, and instead of Pisco or Brandy I used lime juice for the sauce. I also left out the sweet potatoes, and served this dish with stir-fried veggies with aji amarillo paste, and I think the result was lighter, and very attractive both to the eyes and the nose. The enjoyment started way before the food touched our mouths.
But despite all these variations, there is one key ingredient I never stop using: Kikkoman Soy Sauce. Peruvians use huge amounts of soy sauce in many dishes because we are very fond of Chinese flavors. I remember one of my cooking instructors, Pierre Marchand, taught me that Kikkoman was one of the best soy sauces in the market, and from then on I always have bought this brand and the results are delicious every time. Easy and delicious make a great pair, don’t you think?
When you realize how easy it actually is to make this irresistible entree, the fact that the result is so spectacular will be even more satisfying. Make sure you don’t get rid of the fabulous leftovers, because you can use them later to make arroz chaufa, a sandwich, or any other creation you come up with.
- 8 chicken thighs
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced or grated
- 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- ½ cup Kikkoman soy sauce
- ½ cup honey
- Place the chicken in a pyrex. I use the skin because it protects the flesh in the oven, but you can use skinned chicken.
- Season with garlic, lime zest, lime juice, and ginger.
- In a small bowl combine Kikkoman soy sauce and honey, and season the chicken with this mixture. Cover and marinate overnight or at least for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Uncover the chicken, add water and bake for one hour, basting every 20 minutes with the juices. The chicken should have a beautiful brown color.
*This post has been written in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kikkoman, but all opinions and recipes are our own.