Thursday, 31 May 2012

chicken maryland: a saint

infallible chicken maryland. served with mac & cheese.

whether you're low on cash or tight with time, there is one resounding answer to your meal-time woes: chicken maryland! passed over in the freezers at the supermarket for being too dull or a little unfashionable, maryland is like your gran's old toyota: a faithful friend but nothing you'd be queuing up to be snapped next to in the social pages. we get it. but we also believe this fantastic cut encompassing thigh and leg deserves a little more love and attention! it's inexpensive, versatile and easy to cook. what's not to like?

things you will need:

1 pack containing 2 chicken marylands (buy more if you can and freeze what you don't use)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)

2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or infused olive oil if you have some handy - i used a parmesan and rosemary oil)
freshly ground salt and pepper

what you will need to do:

exceptionally simple to prepare, just throw the marylands into a medium sized oven-proof dish (ensuring they have enough space between them and aren't touching otherwise they won't cook evenly) and pour over the olive oil. sprinkle the marylands with the salt and pepper and massage the oil/salt/pepper mix into the skin. scatter the garlic cloves around the chicken (if you like your garlic, then feel free to use more than the quantity ascribed above) then cut small knobs of butter and place them on and around the pieces of bird.

place uncovered into an oven preheated to 180C and set the timer for 40 minutes. remove from the oven and baste with the pan juices every 10 minutes (you don't want the skin to dry out!) then return to the oven to continue cooking. serve immediately with your choice of vegetables or salad and spoon the juices from the pan over your pieces of bird on the plate as a bit of gravy. impossible to get wrong and guaranteed to please!


if you're after something a bit different, prepare the chicken exactly as instructed in the first paragraph, excluding the butter. instead, baste the chicken generously with golden glaze, bake as advised above, removing from the oven every 10 minutes to baste with more glaze and pan juices. serve with golden risotto.

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