Remember our friend the Cowboy? He’s the one who brought me dirt for my birthday and picked up the bales of straw to mulch my garden. He came over for dinner recently and surprised me by asking for a decidedly non-cowboy-ish entree: Spicy Red Chicken.
This is a family favorite, because it’s easy to adjust the heat level. Jackjack doesn’t like spicy food, so nowadays I tone it down. (The recipe below is the full-strength version.)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon blackening spice (Emeril’s Original Essence is a great shortcut, or make your own–see below)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces achiote paste (I get this at a Latin market, or you can buy on Amazon)
1 tablespoon pureed garlic
Combine all ingredients in a large measuring cup (I use a stick blender to ensure everything is blended smooth) and plop the chicken in to marinade while you get the rest of the meal ready.
Since the flavors are so strong, it only needs to steep in the marinade for a little while. For the same reason, I choose simple side dishes for this meal, like garlic pasta (shown above) or homemade rice-a-roni.
Grill or bake until cooked through, and serve. This would be great with pork or shrimp, and it would also make the ol’ Thanksgiving turkey super-tasty…if your family can get over the shock.
Want to make your own blackening spice? I know you do.
Blackening spice ingredients:
2 tablespoons paprika (use hot paprika for added spice)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more for added spice)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil (you are growing and drying your own herbs, right?)
Mix everything together and store in a recycled jar. Use it in Spicy Red Chicken or mix it with bread crumbs to make homemade Shake-N-Bake. Yum!