Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bottom of the Jar Gooey Baked Chicken

Baked chicken gets a jazzy sauce from those bottom of the jar jams, jellies and preserves lurking in the back of your fridge.
Baked chicken gets a jazzy sauce from those bottom of the jar jams, jellies and preserves lurking in the back of your fridge.

Bottom of the Jar Gooey Baked Chicken

Ever had a jar of preserves or jam that seems to just keep getting shoved aside in the fridge and ignored? Use it up to create a nice sauce to jazz up some plain ole chicken! Rachael Ray is the one who introduced me to the "bottom of the jar" theory, and I use it often since it's a great way to create a super-easy sauce, and add a punch of flavor to an otherwise plain baked or grilled chicken, and other meats.

Just add enough bottled Italian dressing to the jar and shake it up - so simple! You can also use orange juice as the acidic element of your marinade instead, or apple juice with a bit of apple cider vinegar works well if you're doing pork chops. Just fill the jar up with whatever you're using and shake. Pull out some of those other condiments lurking in the door of your fridge and get creative!

I like the combination of spicy/sweet, so for this I added in a bit of Tiger Sauce, a sweet pepper sauce that is a staple in our house, but any good regular hot pepper sauce would be fine or you can eliminate it altogether, or use another condiment, if you prefer.

Here's how to make it.

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Recipe: Bottom of the Jar Gooey Baked Chicken

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Marinade time: 1 hour |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • Bottom of the jar jam or preserves (apricot, mango and peach are good choices)
  • 1 tablespoon of Tiger Sauce or other hot sauce, or to taste
  • Bottled Italian dressing, enough to fill jar
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up, or several pounds of bone-in chicken breasts, or thighs and drumsticks

Add the hot sauce to the jar of preserves/jam and whisk with a fork to blend. Add the Italian dressing, screw on the lid and give it a good shake, setting aside several tablespoons in the refrigerator for basting, if desired. Put the chicken into a large zippered storage bag and pour the jar mixture over the chicken. Squish the chicken around in the bag and place into the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours, turning occasionally if possible.

Remove chicken and discard the marinade. May be baked or grilled. Bake at 350 degrees F - time will be dependent on the type and size of chicken, but will range between approximately 15 to 20 minutes for boneless, skinless breasts; 30 to 50 minutes for mixed pieces, or until juices run clear and an instant read thermometer insert into the thickest part of a thigh registers at about 175 degrees F; 165 degrees F for breasts.

Periodically baste the chicken during the cooking process with the reserved marinade.

Cook's Notes: Skin on, bone in chicken works best, in my opinion, though you may substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts also. They will not color up like the skin-on pieces however and remember to adjust down your time since those cook a lot faster. Depending on the thickness and size, generally 15 to 20 minutes is all you need. Don't overcook! Great for pork chops too.


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Posted by on July 29, 2010

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