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Friday, August 12, 2016

Char Siu Chicken

     Today I am going to give you a quick peek into the strange inner workings of my family.  I hope it doesn't weird you out to much!  We went through a phase when I was a kid where we went to the chinese buffet semi-regularly for lunch.  I don't remember if it was a birthday thing or just a way to get us out of the house for a bit when we were all at home during the summer.  I guess it doesn't really matter.  One of the items on the buffet that always found its way onto everybody's plate was the red meat threaded on a skewer.  You know what I'm talking about.   None of us knew what it was really called, so we had a family nickname for it.  Are you ready?  Oh my.  No, really prepare yourself.  Ready now? Ok, we all called in monkey butt on a stick.  Who knows how it started, but it stuck.  We still call it that to this day.  I don't know what's wrong with us... please send help!



      So, when I was brainstorming ideas for something fun as our entry for The Big Poultry Grill-Off I knew I had a winner on my hands as soon as I thought of char siu chicken.  It would be perfect!  In the week leading up to the competition, everyone was getting really excited and couldn't help but give some clues as to what they were making.  I quietly nodded, very careful not to give anything away.  The day of the big contest, the grills circled and the fire was lit.  I waited until the last minute to bring out the bag of red chicken for Matt to grill.  My brother K.C. quickly came over to inspect what we had going on.  I asked him if he knew what it was.  He quickly answered "Chicken Butt!"  Ha!  Basically ;-)


     We have made this a few times now, with varying degrees of food coloring and a couple of different lengths of marination.  Though the food coloring really shouldn't affect the flavor much, it at least makes a mental difference.  We really like the really red chicken more than that slightly red chicken.  It's probably all in our heads, but it definitely makes more of an impact.  We also like the chicken better with a full 3 days in the marinade, though again the shorter times still had good flavor.  Just buy really fresh chicken with a long date on it and let them really soak it up.  Matt likes to grill over a wood fire, so that is how we've always cooked it.  However, I think it would be a lot easier to control the heat and finish on a gas grill.  Just use whatever grilling method you are most comfortable with.



     I am sure we will eventually make a version using pork and treading it on skewers for the full monkey butt on a stick experience.  But I will tell you a secret.  The chicken thighs are actually better!  They stay so juicy and there is plenty of flavor.  Of course I didn't get the best pictures during the competition.  There was a lot going on and I was too excited.  But I've had people clamoring for this recipe and that of the winning entry, K.C.'s Turkey Bacon Explosion.  I aim to please, so we decided to remake both and share them with you.  Now you are armed and dangerous if ever you enter into your own poultry grilling contest!
   


Char Siu Chicken
makes 6-8 pounds of chicken, but can easily be scaled down

Marinade:

6 T sugar
2 T salt
1 1/2 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp white pepper
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 T hoisin sauce
1 T molasses
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red food coloring

6-8 pounds of chicken

Basting Liquid:

3 T vegetable oil
3 T honey
3 T hoisin sauce
3 T soy sauce
any remaining marinade

  1. In a large zipper top bag, mix together all of the marinade ingredients.  Add the chicken pieces. (The thighs are our favorite, but drumsticks are good too.)  Place in refrigerator and let marinate for up to 3 days.  We have done anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 days and the longer chicken that marinated longer was our favorite.  Every so often adjust the chicken in the bag so that all of the chicken gets plenty of contact with the goodness. 
  2. The day of grilling, stir together the basting liquid.  Remove chicken from the marinade and add remaining marinade liquid to the basting liquid. 
  3. Preheat your grill.  You want a medium heat because there is a lot of sugar in the marinade the basting liquid and you don't want everything to turn black.  Cook chicken, basting frequently until a meat thermometer reads 165 F. Remember that the basting liquid has some raw chicken juice in it, so quit basting a minute or two before you plan to pull the chicken.





Shared at Meal Plan Monday


18 comments:

  1. That was so much fun. It made me think of the time Collin yelled across the restaurant to KC to "get some monkey butt for me too." I was as red as Matt's chicken.

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    1. It was a lot of fun to make and bring back the memories. It was even more fun to surprise KC with it!

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  2. Love that name! :) Char Siu anything is basically delicious, and I know exactly what you mean by that red coloring. My dad can get it pretty red without food coloring, but I usually only get slightly red. We're actually planning on having some Char Siu ribs tomorrow! :)

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    1. Ooh, yum! Char Siu ribs sound amazing to. I wonder where the red comes from if not the food coloring? What's your dad's secret?!

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  3. This sounds delicious!! Love your name for the meat on a skewer. What a hoot! I think this will be my contribution to our Labor Day cookout. Yum. Thanks.

    Linda

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    1. It would be interesting to figure out how that got started, but it definitely stuck. Who knows with us?! I hope you love it! Have a great weekend.

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  4. What a cool meat name!! You guys are so creative, not to mention tasty talented!!!! Happy weekend sweetness, I can smell that chicken from here!! ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Andrea! We certainly have fun making and tasting if nothing else. Have a great weekend. I know it'll be a bittersweet one for you.

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  5. You made me laugh out loud! Glad my husband isn't here right now, or he would be wondering how recipes could be so funny :)
    He'll find out anyway though because I am going to have him read this and try your recipe!

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    1. Hee! I debated letting everyone know our little name for it. It's funny how it's stuck around for probably 20 years. We wouldn't dare call it anything else now!

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  6. I will never look at those skewers on the buffet the same!! :D Hahaha! I've always wanted to make Char Siu ... and now I can!! :)

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    1. HA! Sorry if I ruined it for you ;-) It is so good and really easy. The hardest part is waiting for it to marinate for that long!

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  7. My family always called that stuff Barbecue Pork, and man, I LOVE it. I've been scouring all the stores in the area because in Oregon, they sold that stuff in the grocery store. No such luck here in Kentucky. This might be my next option for getting that fix! :-)

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    1. Really, they sold it in the grocery store? How cool! I hope you give it a try and love it!

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  8. Oh yum. What a neat recipe!

    Would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, and tips: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  9. What a funny story! Although I don't think I could eat it thinking of that monkey butt name! LOL Sounds delicious though!

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    1. Ha! Just forget I ever said anything about it ;-) Thanks!

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