the whatever quotient

This chicken has a very high “whatever” quotient, which means it’s perfect for those nights when that cranky old aunt comes to visit. You know the one I mean.


apple juice
apricot brandy – or tequila. or grand marnier. or wine. or whatever.
tabasco sauce
balsamic vinegar

The marinade is a big part of the whatever quotient. Just pour in enough of the apple juice to almost cover the chicken. Then add the brandy or the tequila or whatever kind of alcohol you have on hand. Then toss in some salt and some pepper and a few dashes of tabasco sauce and balsamic vinegar. Bash up some onion and some garlic and some jalepeno peppers. Or whatever your favorite savories are. You can chop them up or crush them or leave them in big wedges or beat them with a meat mallet. Or, you know, whatever. Mix it all up and let it sit on the counter and get acquainted for a while. Then go sit down somewhere and relax.

Once everything has warmed up, snuggle the chicken down in there and leave it sit on the counter for as long as you’re comfortable leaving it out. You can use any kind of chicken you like, but dark meat is my favorite. It tolerates the oven much better. Anyhow, whenever you happen to wander past the dish, give it a turn. After about three episodes of Friends, stick the broiler pan in the oven and preheat to 350 until everything is good and hot.

Pull out the broiler pan – don’t touch it! it’s really hot – and stick that chicken on there. Space it out evenly so that the pieces aren’t touching. That way they’ll get all nice and browned instead of staying wet and kind of steaming each other. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up the veggies from the marinade and top the chicken with them. Then pop her in the oven, and let her go for about 30 minutes. If it’s not done yet, turn the oven up to 375 and turn the pieces over. Once the chicken is nearly done, turn it back over if necessary, brush it with a little butter of olive oil or whatever you like to use to brown things, switch the tray up to the rack near the broiler and finish it off!


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