Friday, January 14, 2011

Brown sugar & chili marinated chicken

TGIF!  Though, dare I say this is almost a surprise Friday?  This week has been so busy that I hardly know what day it is.  A few things to share with you going into this three day weekend.  I present to you the Friday Five:

1. I miss my Thursday night (or any other night, for that matter) television shows.  Doesn't it seem like they should be back with new episodes?  The only new thing on TV is the current season of The Bachelor... eeee, and I'm ashamed to say I've already seen the first two episodes.  I've honestly never watched more than a few minutes of any previous season, but this was getting so much hype and seemed so dramatic that I somehow justified checking it out.  Ugh.  Trashy TV - 2, Katy - 0.

2. Award season officially kicks off on Sunday.  I'm making slow but steady progress on my quest to see all of the Best Picture nominees.  On tap for this weekend?  Toy Story 3 and Social Network.  If you've seen a few of the movies, what's your pick?

3. I need to do some major catching up on the home front.  I haven't printed any pictures from Thanksgiving and beyond.  I have emails that I've neglected for days, ironing that hasn't been done for weeks and a shower that hasn't been cleaned since before Christmas.  Yikes!  It's like I've used the holiday/engagement glow as an excuse to just flit throughout my days and not buckle down to do any work at all.  Don't judge me too harshly :)

4. Cakes!  Two birthday parties are in my sights and I need to sit down and come up with a game plan for the confections that will take center stage.  One will most likely be a standard yellow cake but the other, well, you'll see soon, I hope.

5. Whipped up this super tasty and fast chicken dinner last night and had to share.  The combination of brown sugar and chili powder and cumin make for a spicy-sweet one two punch.  Heat-weak foodies out there, don't worry.  It's not spicy hot, simply a spicy and smokey depth of flavor.  I planned to use it on salmon but the selection at the store late Sunday didn't look so fresh, so I went with chicken for an equally delicious meal.  There are two ways to use it -- as a rub or a marinade.  Both are easy, too!  (The following picture is of Ellie's salmon take on this just to give you the general idea.)

Sweet & Spicy Marinade/Rub
(adapted from Ellie Krieger)

-makes enough to coat 2.5 pounds of chicken/salmon/beef/tofu/whatever

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil

If you're making a few hours ahead (up to a day before) and want to marinate the meat...
Combine oil and spices in a large resealable container or plastic bag.  Add meat, seal container, and toss to coat.  Refrigerate until using.


If you're cooking this immediately...
Brush oil on fillets/breasts/legs/steaks and rub 1/2 Tablespoon of spice mixture onto each.

To cook:  Heat a nonstick skillet or grill pan over medium heat.  Cook meat on each side until spices and sugar have caramelized, about 5 to 6 minutes.  Flip and cook another 5 minutes or so.  Serve warm and eat immediately!

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