So, it’s Valentine’s Day today. That means one more recipe from the Valentine’s list.
Spicy Maple-Roasted Quail
This serves 4-8 people. You can half it to serve less, or plan on having leftovers.
And we’re not using quail. Chicken’s way cheaper. If you can afford to buy 8 quails, go ahead, but I’m assuming you’re not doing that.
One whole chicken (about 4.5-5 pounds) or 8-10 chicken breasts (these can be boneless if you prefer to do less preparation) or 2 Cornish game hens
¼ cup maple syrup (“maple flavor” will work. Just won’t taste good.)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chili-garlic paste (if you can find it, that’s sometimes hard—to make some yourself, mix 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp Tabasco, and 1 tsp garlic powder)
8 cloves garlic, chopped finely (a clove is not the whole thing. A clove is one of the little bits inside. One head of garlic will easily have 8 cloves. If you’re unsure, Google it.)
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
If you have a whole bird, remove the innards. Giblets (if there are any) will be in a bag you can just pull out. Pop out the kidneys—they are just at the opening in the back, and you should easily be able to just pop them out.
Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper.
Combine in a bowl the syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, paste, garlic, cinnamon, and pepper. Place the chicken in this mixture and coat it.
Marinate the chicken in the mixture for 4-8 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 475°.
Drain the chicken, but keep the extra marinade. Place the chicken in a casserole dish or roasting pan. Lacking either of those, you can form some aluminum foil into a makeshift one. You just want it to be in a large pan with deep sides.
Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 400°.
Roast for a little over an hour (65 minutes plus 10 minutes per every pound over 3.5), or until you cut into the chicken and the flesh is white. As it’s roasting, you’ll want to baste it twice—pour some of the extra marinade over the chicken.
Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Note: this could turn out really tender. When I made it, the bones literally just slid out of the meat. (very nice, as I hate eating meat off the bone.)
Your roasting time will vary based on what kind of meat you have. Best idea, Google it if you’re unsure.