Baked Best Chicken
This chicken, you guys. Wow! The only negative thing about this chicken is that you do have to plan in advance a bit, to get the full bang of the marinade (12 - 24 hours). But that means it is the perfect thing to throw together on Sunday and then Monday's dinner is pretty much taken care of.
The ingredients of the marinade may seem kind of random, like I was rummaging around in the fridge, pulling out the jars from the waaaay back, but ... these flavors all come together in this pretty amazing combination. I've made this with both white and dark meat chicken pieces, with and without the bones. None of them were dry or chewy, just flavorful and really juicy. The chicken is as amazing warm, fresh from the oven as it is a room-temperature leftover on a salad.
Just try it. Just once. I think it will become one of your family favorites, too.
Baked Best Chicken
yield: 4 pounds of chicken
½ cup soy sauce ¼ cup orange juice juice of 2 lemons 2 tablespoon maple syrup 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (sweet or hot, your preference) 2 teaspoons ground cumin ½ cup olive oil 1 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 4 pounds chicken parts, skinned (breasts, legs, drumsticks, or thighs, bone-in or -out, your preference.
Place all ingredients into a large zip-top bag (make sure it is a new one, to minimize leaks), and squish around to blend well. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, press the air out, and put in a bowl or glass dish. Marinate for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator, turning every few hours. The longer the better, friends.
When ready to bake, remove the chicken from the marinade and arrange the pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven, for 45 - 55 minutes, or until nicely browned and cooked through. Serve hot, room temp, or cold.