There are tons of recipes out there for sweet and spicy chicken, all derivative of Asian fare, with their use of some type of chili pepper, sugar or honey, and spices like ginger or cloves. I personally have my own “teriyaki” sauce I make (fully acknowledging it’s not really teriyaki, but it’s easier to call it that) that consists of red pepper flakes, honey, brown sugar, garlic, soy sauce, and ginger. That sauce is great for chicken, and is pretty much a standard in my “easy meal prep” rotation.
So when I came across Mary Price’s home recipe for Chicken Sweet and Hot, I found some similar elements to my own methods, and I really wanted to give it a shot. After all, no matter how much you love a recipe, if you have it too often, it gets a little, well, old hat.
Mary’s recipe calls for Worcestershire sauce instead of soy, and the sugar in the sauce comes from red currant jelly instead of honey or brown sugar. The jelly no doubt gives the sauce more of a fruity flavor, as does the addition of freshly squeezed orange juice. (Note: if you have trouble finding red currant jelly, red plum jelly is a good substitute.) The “hot” part here is Tabasco, which Mary only calls for three dashes of – but if you’re anything like me, you’ll need to add a lot more to get that level of heat and zest up. Overall, though, this sauce is incredibly aromatic and does pack a lot of savory flavor.
If you’re looking for some new way to prepare chicken that is also fabulously easy, give this one a try. The only drawback is that the chicken needs to marinate in the sauce for two to three hours, so it’s not exactly ideal for quick weeknight prep. Although, I suppose you could prepare it beforehand and let it marinate overnight.
Let’s see what Vincent has to say about Mary’s Chicken Sweet and Hot:
Ingredients: butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, red currant jelly, Dijon mustard, oranges, powdered ginger, Tabasco, chicken, farfel pilaf
CHICKEN SWEET AND HOT, serves 4
This is one of Mary’s specialties, something that she tosses together while tiling a wall or framing a few paintings. (That three-hour marinating break is just great for cooks with several other projects going!) It has marvelous flavor, aroma, and color and couldn’t be better if Mary stood over a hot stove all day to prepare it.
- In saucepan combine: 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 large clove garlic, minced, 1/2 cup red currant jelly, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon powdered ginger, and 3 dashes Tabasco. Heat, stirring, until jelly is melted and sauce is smooth. Cool
- Put 1 chicken, quartered, into a baking dish. Pour sauce over and let marinate for 2 or 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to moderate (350° F.).
- Cover chicken and cook in the moderate over for 1 hour. Uncover, increase oven temperature to hot (400° F.), and baste frequently until chicken is an even dark brown.
- Serve with farfel cooked as a pilaf.
(Elbee’s Note: Farfel, otherwise known as egg barley, is a small pellet-like pasta used in Jewish cuisine. Unfortunately farfel isn’t very available in south Texas, so I opted for a simple side of rice pilaf instead.)
Come back next time to see what horror Elbee cooks up from one of Mary and Vincent Price’s favorite recipes. And be sure to catch Elbee and Andrew on Vincent Price’s Laugh right here on OME!