Friday, May 11, 2007

Sticky Chicken

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

Ingredients:
1 lb. chicken drumettes
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 T garlic, minced

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and pour over chicken in a shallow baking dish, making sure marinade covers all the pieces. Let chicken sit in refrigerator for two hours (or at least 30 minutes).

When ready to cook, place the chicken pieces with the marinade into a large skillet. Sprinkle ginger and garlic over the chicken and slowly bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for about 10 minutes, turning the pieces once. Remove cover and cook uncovered for another 10-15 minutes over medium heat.

Remove chicken and place in a dish and keep in a warm spot. Continue cooking the marinade to reduce it until it gets thick and slightly caramelized (about 25-35 minutes), stirring occasionally. When the sauce looks thick, put the chicken pieces back in to coat them, then immediately remove from the pan. You know your reduction came out right when you see hair-thin strings from the chicken as you remove it from the pan, just like it’s sticky. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions.

Makes four servings. Serve with jasmine rice, or sticky rice.

Pair with a glass of Gewurztraminer.

TIPS: Getting the reduction sauce to the right sticky consistency takes patience. You’ll be tempted to turn up the heat to get it cooking fast, but you’ll only end up burning the sauce before it gets thick. Keep it at the same steady temperature and stir occasionally. Every stove is different so adjust the heat if needed. Medium should work, but if it’s not bubbling on the edges, then it may need to be medium high—but never boiling. When the sauce slowly drips from the back of a wooden spoon, then it’s ready. Also, the more fatty the chicken, the more oil you’ll have in the reduction, which will keep it more liquid than sticky. So when buying your drumettes, avoid the ones with a lot of fatty skin or cut away excess skin before marinating.

IS A DRUMETTE REALLY FROM A CHICKEN? Chicken drumettes look like mini drumsticks, but they’re not from the leg of the chicken. It’s actually the meaty part of the wings. If you can’t find drumettes, you can use wings but it’ll just be harder to handle when eating.

19 comments:

Rene said...

This sounds really good and I happen to have a couple of pounds of drumettes in my freezer. I'll have to give this a try (though I'm not sure how much will end up with my mom!)

Chef Ben said...

Rene, you won't believe how simple and easy it is to make the chicken. The mastering part comes in having the patience to create the reduction, which when done just right gives it the name of Sticky Chicken. Let me know how it turns out for you!

Rene said...

Couldn't quite get it to the sticky stage but I think it's because there seemed to be a layer of oil (fatty chicken?) like you warned. But who cares, they still tasted yummy!

Chef Ben said...

Yep, getting the sticky part is hard. Just think of it as trying to make caramel candy. You might try skimming some of the oil off the top after you removed the chicken and before you start doing the reduction. How long did you cook the reduction before you gave up? Like I said in the recipe, typically 25 minutes works for me, but I've waited as long as 45 minutes sometimes if there's too much oil. Another trick might be to add more sugar to help create the thick caramelization, but then that might make it taste to sweet. It takes practice! (But if you can do, it's so cool to serve it right away to guests and then they pick one up and see this sticky string of caramel like cotton candy. People will think you're a magician!)

Rene said...

I cooked it almost 45 minutes. It did get thick. Trust me, I'll try this again! Of course there are so many of your other recipes to try.

Do you think this could be doubled? (two pounds of drumettes) or would that effect the sticky sauce?

Chef Ben said...

Hmm, then it does sound like it might be a case of too much fatty oil weighing down the stickiness. So try skimming some of the fat.

I've never tried doubling the recipe because the one tray of drummettes from Safeway perfectly fits my skillet. If you put more drummettes in, just make sure you have a large skillet so that you don't crowd the chicken, which will affect the cooking time. Good luck!

NotSoccer Mom said...

hey, just thought i'd let you know that i tried this with regular size drumsticks last night. it came out awesome! i ended up leaving the chicken in the skillet longer to cook the chicken. when the reduction started really thickening, i took the chicken out and microwaved it a couple minutes (since it wasn't quite done). by the time i put it back into the skillet, the sauce was quite sticky and just perfect! my 8yo loved it too. thanks for another great recipe.

Chef Ben said...

NSM, glad it worked out for you, even with a big ole drumstick! ;-)

Carroll said...

Late to the party here by a few months, but I finally got around to experimenting with this recipe (found, I can't remember quite how a week or so ago) tonight, and it turned out great! Next time I think I may tweak it a bit by trying a different type of vinegar -- somehow the finished product, when fully (and stickily!) reduced, was just a tad too "sharp" for my palate. For sure these will be a featured item on my menu the next time our grown son and his "Buffalo Wings loving" bride stop by.

We're in your neck of the woods, by the way -- Cupertino for us, and Fremont for the "kids" -- and I have a tree full of nearly ripe Fuyu persimmons in my yard at the moment.

Needless to say, your blog has been bookmarked!

Chef Ben said...

Hi Carroll, welcome to my blog! What kind of vinegar did you use? I find if you use apple cider vinegar, which is pretty common at grocery stores, it's too pickled tasting. So I always recommend the white distilled vinegar, which is less strong. You might also try champagne vinegar, which I always think is lighter in taste. But it's more expensive and I don't use mines for this dish since it calls for quite a bit of vinegar. Anyway, have fun experimenting! That's what cooking is all about!

Carroll said...

Woo -- a blogger who responds to comments even if they are on posts that are months' old! Impressive :-)

I used distilled white, and, in retrospect, since the whole thing disappeared with no complaints except my own very minor one, I might not do too much tweaking on this one after all.

Thanks for the warm welcome :-)

Chef Ben said...

You're welcome Carroll. I'm still like a small-town blog so I try to be neighborly! ;-)

julie k said...

If you reduce for 45 minutes, how do you keep the chicken warm enough?

Single Guy Ben said...

Hi Julie K, I place my dish of chicken in the microwave or oven. Yes, it does cool down, but when you add it back in to coat it in the hot reduced sauce, it does warm up again. So it's not totally cold. At worse, it just gets to room temperature. (Keep in mind I learned this recipe in Hawaii, where nothing really gets cold! Ha!)

julie k said...

Thanks, can't wait to try this!

vairon said...

I had a little problem ( teenager ) i can do basic cooking , Like scramble eggs , pancakes but i had never tried any type of meat so my mom helped me . and my stove is a little bit more powerful.
and i was cheeking the sauce every 5 minutes and sadly it burned but ill try again :( the chicken itself is good ( had to eat it like this)

Single Guy Ben said...

Vairon, I give you credit for trying. It's one of those dishes that you learn from trying again and again. Not only do you have to be patient with the sauce, you have to be careful not to burn. So if your stovetop is powerful, maybe next time turn down the heat some more.

Lara said...

I just wanted to let you know. I came across this a couple of years ago, and after making a few of your recipes I was inspired to become a better cook. I have become a total foodie now and I still come back to this recipe time and time again. My kids love it, it always impresses guest, and..it's simple! Thank you :)

Single Guy Ben said...

Thanks Lara, that's so nice to hear that my little recipes here can get someone in another part of the country interested in cooking. Like I said, this was one of the first things I learned to cook and realizing I could make something taste good is what keeps me wanting to cook more. So I can keep creating. hope you have fun creating too!