Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Aromatic Bitters Chicken

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Summertime and the living is easy should be the metaphor for dining al fresco.  And summertime dining doesn’t have to be drudgery.  What it should be is casual and carefree.

The foods that you choose to grill and the drinks you choose to imbibe should all resonate with each other.  That’s why I like to pair cocktails with foods that include one or more of the same ingredients.   And summer is the best time to mix it up for your guests and stimulate their appetites at the same time.

Chicken is an inexpensive way to show your guests that your fancy culinary degree actually tastes good!  Most people try to hard in their summertime menus and lose track of how delicious simple foods like chicken can be in the right hands. 

You should know that the secret ingredient for the chicken and this cocktail is no other than Aromatic Bitters.  The very style of bitters that was originally invented to stave off the horrible tropical disease called dysentery is the exact ingredient that is essential in my chicken dish.  Another essential ingredient is ginger syrup.  In this case the ginger syrup is from Pickett’s in Brooklyn, NY.  I used the Hot n’ Spicy Jamaican style ginger beer syrup.  There is a less spicy version for the fearful, but really, have no fear- use the hot n’ spicy because it really rocks the boat.  You will also use a portion of the ginger beer syrup along with the Angostura Bitters in the chicken- but I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit. 

The genesis of Bitters and Ginger Syrup Chicken – along with the companion cocktail goes back to my early twenties.  I spent some time down in the British Virgin Islands on my family yacht.  She was a magnificent vessel, completely hand built for my mom and step-dad.  Weighing in at 65 tons, she more than made a statement in heavy winds and pounding waves.  Sometimes these heavy winds brought seasickness, you would know if you’ve ever been out at sea, a mere speck of life in an otherwise forlorn place.  For that pleasure there was always ginger simple syrup on board.  My stepdad knew that this was the miracle cure for the kind of seasickness that included the good, the bad and the very awful…  He knew from being an old salt that ginger (and Aromatic Bitters) healed just about everything known to his crew, including seasickness.  It mostly healed hangovers- but once the rum started flowing (at 7 in the morning, another lousy day in paradise) it didn’t stop until late at night.  Hence, there was the need for powerful restoratives/purgatives. 

Sailing is hard work and when it is your watch, there really is no excuse- like “I’m not feeling well, or I’m not hungry…”

Hopefully by enjoying these recipes they will stimulate your thirst along with your hunger!

Aromatic Bitters Chicken
(adapted from my third book, Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails.  Released: May, 2015.) 

1 chicken 3-4 pounds in weight cut into eighths
½ cup Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
¼ cup Pickett’s Hot n’ Spicy Ginger Syrup
Salt and Pepper to taste – although you won’t need much- the bitters have it all!

In a non-reactive bowl, place the chicken inside
Cover with Aromatic Bitters and the Pickett’s Syrup
Toss well
Cover and Refrigerate Overnight

Grill over charcoal off the stern of your Little Harbor Yacht- or in cast iron (in the oven at 400 degrees to start and reduce to 270 after ½ hour
Cook until juices run clear when pricked
Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes in a just warm oven before serving
Also makes an incredible chicken salad sandwich on Brioche with mayo and Dijon…

2 oz. Barrell Whiskey –you’ve got to find this stuff- amazing!!!  (Barrel Strength, 122.5 Proof)
1 oz. Pickett’s Ginger Beer  (Hot n’ Spicy is preferred)
6 oz. Seltzer Water (I used Saratoga)
Ice Spear
Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

To a tall glass, add a spear of ice and then add the Barrell Whiskey
Add the Pickett’s Ginger Beer Syrup
Add the Seltzer Water- and stir
Dot with the Bitter Truth Bitters

Fresh and refreshing, this drink has it all over you in a hurry. 
Garnish with a chunk of fresh lime pinched over the top of the glass! ! !

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog The Cocktail Whisperer and the author of nearly half a dozen books, including Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktail and Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails- his most recent book.

He's also written about cocktails for Saveur and Whole Foods/Dark Rye, Total Food Service, Eater, Serious Eats, Foodista, Distiller and Beverage Media among other outlets.  He’s taught the fine art of social media and food writing at the New School in New York and at the Institute for Culinary Education. Warren has also taught at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine.

Bobrow was a 2010 Ministry of Rum judge and was the only American food journalist asked to participate in Fête de la Gastronomie, a nationwide celebration of French cuisine in Burgundy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment