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Monday, April 18, 2011

Chinese Maple Chicken & Grilled Marinated Bok Choy

No fake maple syrup please.  Did you know that artificial maple flavor is derived from fenugreek seeds which are a dietary supplement commonly used by nursing mothers to boost milk supply?  Makes you wonder why Mrs. Butterworth is so curvy.  I'd personally substitute molasses for maple syrup here if no real maple syrup is to be had.

This marinade lends itself well to chicken in a variety of formats.  I had planned to spatchcock mine and freeze it in the marinade, but life throws curveballs and I wound up roasting the whole bird with only a brief marinating period.  I think it would be especially scrummy on grilled chicken parts, too. 

And the maple syrup concoction did double duty as a browning agent/dressing for grilled bok choy.  Love grilled lettuces! 

Chinese Maple Marinade
Makes enough for 1 whole chicken

2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp ginger (fresh grated or dry)
1 chicken, whole, spatchcocked or bone-in pieces

Mix first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and pour over and inside chicken.  Let marinate at least 1 hour, overnight or freeze for future cooking.

To cook, thaw chicken and drain marinade.  Roast a whole chicken for 18-20 minutes per pound at 375F, a spatchcocked chicken for 45-60 minutes at 375F or grill bone-in chicken pieces.

Grilled Bok Choy
Makes 6 servings

2 large heads bok choy, halved or quartered lengthwise
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp soy sauce

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat (or heat your grill to medium-hot).  Leave the stems on the bok choy to hold the quarters together. 

Whisk together maple syrup, sherry and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Brush bok choy with mixture and grill about 5 minutes, turning several times.  The bok choy should have char marks but still be crunchy.

Remove to a cutting board to cool slightly.  Cut off stem ends and discard.  Slice bok choy into bite-size pieces.  Toss in a serving bowl with remaining maple syrup mixture to serve.

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