Multiculturally Spiced Chicken

multi spiced chicken


In the long, long ago, I wrote a lot about food on this blog. I’ve been thinking about starting to do that again, but have worried about the tone. I’ve been cooking for company for more than a quarter century now, so my experiments usually turn out pretty well. And does the world really need another guy writing smug accounts of how good that sautéed shad roe tasted?

In the long run, of course, the answer is yes (and the shad roe was spectacular). But it seemed propitious to (re)start with tonight’s somewhat failed experiment: roasted chicken pieces with a bunch of spices and spice blends out of the cabinet. The basic recipe is Mark Bittman’s: turn up the oven to 450 Fahrenheit, put some olive oil and maybe butter into a roasting pan, put it in the oven till it’s hot, throw in some salted and peppered chicken pieces, skin side up, let them cook for 15 minutes, turn them over and cover them with some sort of herb or spice blend and cook for 10 minutes more, turn them over again and cover them again with that herb or spice blend, cook another 10 minutes and you’re done.

We usually make this with Herbes de Provence, and it’s good. This time the chicken had been soaking overnight in whey (what’s left over when you strain regular yogurt to make Greek-ish yogurt, which Mrs. By Justin Fox does most every week) with a bit of salt, and I thought a different sort of seasoning would be appropriate. I found a jar of a seasoning blend called Borsari, which has been sitting in our spice cabinet for a couple of years and getting no use at all. The particular variety we have is called “orange-ginger blend,” but it mainly tasted like salt. By Justin Fox Junior then suggested Indian seasonings, so I added garam masala and coriander. He also noticed a container of Old Bay, tried it with the Borsari, and liked it. So I shook a little of all four over the chicken as I turned it.

The result was … good but way too salty. I blame the Borsari, and myself for using way too much of it. Mixing Old Bay and garam masala, though, might not be a bad idea at all.