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Trini-Chinese Chicken recipe deliciousness

EM23 Apr 12, 2013 04:35 PM

Linguafood posted a link to a Sam Sifton recipe for Trini-Chinese Chicken on a What’s for Dinner thread recently. I made it for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. The recipe calls for frying chicken thighs, legs and wings, but I couldn’t be bothered with the mess tonight, so I pan roasted them (them being a bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts) stovetop for 4 minutes and then put them into the oven (preheated to 450) for about 17 minutes. They came out tender, juicy and really flavorful. A great recipe. We had coleslaw as a side and the slight sweetness was great with the spicy chicken. I could not find a Scotch-bonnet hot pepper sauce so I just used Sriracha. The recipe is here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/mag...

  1. f
    foodieX2 Apr 12, 2013 04:49 PM

    thanks for your posting, especially since you roasted/baked it as I loved the recipe but I am guilty of seeing "frying" and moving on as I can not stand how my whole house smells after I fry anything. My window of frying is pretty small- late spring and early fall when I can leave the windows open over night and all the next day.

    My kitchen rehab is on hold (grrrrr!) but one thing I am really looking forward to is a good ventilation system!

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodieX2
      Ruthie789 May 17, 2013 03:47 AM

      Also dislike heavy frying smells in my kitchen. In the summer I use my cast iron pan on the barbeque works well.
      In the house if I do fry I heat the pan up well and lower the temperature during the process, it does help to reduce odours. As for the recipe looks delicious am going to try it.

    2. linguafood Apr 12, 2013 04:50 PM

      Yay! Another convert :-)

      I am totally frying this next time: outside on my gas grill in a cast iron pan.

      It is fab grilled, too.

      7 Replies
      1. re: linguafood
        EM23 Apr 12, 2013 05:30 PM

        Yep;) It was great just pan-roasted so I doubt that I would bother with the frying mess. Next time, weather permitting, I will grill on the bbq - bet it would be slamming with some grilled summer corn. Thanks again for spreading the yum!

        1. re: EM23
          linguafood Apr 12, 2013 11:04 PM

          I don't generally follow recipes, so to find one that is *that* simple AND delicious.... well, to quote the Loser per se, Mr. Charlie Sheen: winning!!!


        2. re: linguafood
          c oliver May 16, 2013 06:07 PM

          Alan taught me a trick for frying. Use a DO. With the high sides relative to the amount of oil, no or almost no splatter.

          1. re: c oliver
            linguafood May 16, 2013 10:40 PM

            That's a good hint, but we have really crappy ventilation in the house so we'd be likely either using the deep-fryer outside or try the frying pan on the gas grill...

            But so far, we've been happy with the grill results.

            1. re: linguafood
              c oliver May 17, 2013 08:09 AM

              I'm really looking forward to doing these...ANYWHERE!

            2. re: c oliver
              lagatta Jul 5, 2013 07:24 AM

              A wok is even better for that purpose, and one uses far less oil. Though I never fry chicken: only spring rolls, frites, perhaps small fish like smelt. And very rarely, but that is for health reasons.

              1. re: lagatta
                c oliver Jul 5, 2013 07:31 AM

                Actually this recipe only calls for about a quarter inch plus of oil. I use my largest diameter skillet. I don't care at all about splatters cause I cook on induction :)

          2. c
            cjohansen Apr 13, 2013 03:34 PM

            Tried this recipe today, and I have to say: thank you! What an awesome dish, will definitely be doing this again very soon.

            I served it with rice and steamed broccoli. I didn't have any scotch bonnet hot sauce on hand, so I used home-made habanero hot sauce. The mix of habanero, oyster sauce and lime juice was very interesting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cjohansen
              EM23 Apr 13, 2013 04:56 PM

              Glad that you enjoyed it, but all thanks go to Linguafood for her post on a WFD thread. I just wanted to spread the tastiness. So many great recipe posts on WFD that never make it to their own thread:(
              And I guess Sam Sifton deserves props as well!

            2. i
              ItalianNana Apr 13, 2013 08:20 PM

              EM23 and linguafood,

              Thank you for this interesting dish. I captured it but have not yet tried it. The NYT article was terrific and really makes you want to taste the island history.

              1. g
                gembellina May 16, 2013 05:12 PM

                I made this last night and while the chicken was delicious, the sauce was... unusual! The oyster sauce that I bought was unlike the oyster sauce I have bought in the UK. At home, it's reasonably pale and has a very savoury but somewhat delicate flavour. The one I got here in Toronto (Golden Dragon brand) was a massive punch of sugar and salt, and was dark brown and gloopy and quite revolting. Obviously the sauce didn't stand a chance. What brands have other people used?

                Anyway I would happily dip the chicken in straight scotch bonnet sauce so all is not lost!

                1 Reply
                1. re: gembellina
                  JungMann May 17, 2013 08:56 AM

                  Oyster sauce is typically a dark brown and thick condiment that is at once sweet and savory. I've never seen one that I would describe as pale. Certainly it should be darker than fish sauce.

                  Lee Kum Kee, which invented the condiment, is usually a reliable brand for their premium oyster sauce. For my take on Trini-Chinese chicken, I used Maekrua, which is a sweeter Thai oyster sauce I prefer for my stir fries.

                2. c oliver May 16, 2013 05:24 PM

                  This sounds great and I've saved. Thanks for posting this here rather than WFD. I just can't deal with the 100s of posts there. When there's a real keeper, I hope others will post about it like this. And thanks, linguafood.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver
                    EM23 May 16, 2013 07:04 PM

                    I admit to scanning the WFD threads for the recipes and cooking tips. I have learned so much from the advice on those threads, and I wish they would post some of the WFD inside info on the HC board.
                    Glad Lingua's valley has turned happy again:))

                    1. re: EM23
                      c oliver May 16, 2013 07:10 PM

                      I suggested that a LONG time ago but to no avail. A lot of really good cooks are cooking a lot of really good food that a lot of other good cooks are never 'hearing' about.

                      1. re: EM23
                        linguafood May 16, 2013 10:33 PM

                        I feel kinda awkward for getting all the praise when all I did was follow a recipe (for once!) and share it here.

                        1. re: linguafood
                          c oliver May 17, 2013 08:10 AM

                          As a die-hard recipe follower, about all I can do is 'share.' So much good food, so little time.

                          1. re: linguafood
                            juliejulez May 17, 2013 08:42 AM

                            Ye who shares the recipe gets the credit. Just like roxlet and her halal cart chicken :) I never would have heard of the trinichinese chicken or that halal cart chicken if I hadn't read about it on WFD!

                            1. re: juliejulez
                              c oliver May 17, 2013 09:22 AM

                              Totally agree, j! Will Owen's pork shoulder and Zuni roast chicken come to mind. But that's a different thread :)

                      2. herby May 16, 2013 05:49 PM

                        Thank you for the recipe - sounds delicious, not too time and suitable for grilling. It is in my pepperplate for the time I take those legs and wings out of the freezer that I put in today without a clear idea of their destiny. They are now destined to become a Trini :)

                        1. c oliver Jun 3, 2013 09:21 AM

                          I made this last night and it deserves all the love it's getting! I used wings, legs and thighs and I fried it in a regular skillet on the stovetop. I didn't have that hot sauce but will get some. I loved this so much that I ate a leg and I DON'T EAT CHICKEN LEGS!!!!!!! Although a Southerner I don't fry chicken so that was a little nerve wracking but it came out perfectly. I cooked in two batches and let the first drain on a paper grocery bag in a warm oven. I'm sure other methods are good but I thought the frying really made the dish.

                          We have several pieces left. Any thoughts as to reheating? Maybe in a foil pack and then blast under the broiler at the end? I don't usually like reheated chicken. Maybe Chinese chicken salad?

                          Again, thanks, kids!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: c oliver
                            linguafood Jun 3, 2013 09:27 AM

                            I just threw them in the oven at 250 or so, then under the broiler for a couple minutes to get the skin all crispy.

                            PS: When you say "I don't have that hot sauce", did you use a different one or none at all?

                            1. re: linguafood
                              c oliver Jun 3, 2013 09:42 AM

                              Thanks for the reheating advice. I turned the sauce over to Bob and he said he followed the recipe but subbed a different hot sauce. We have a fair number and he makes these things a lot so he doesn't remember.

                              BTW, I marinated for about six hours, mixing occasionally. That had to have helped. And my fingers still smell good.

                              To show HOW much I like this, I'm planning on fixing it when the family comes later in the summer. I strive for super good and super easy and this raises the bar. More time to play with grandbabies :)

                              1. re: c oliver
                                linguafood Jun 3, 2013 10:03 AM

                                I've yet to fry it. I love it so much grilled that I haven't felt compelled to do it any other way.

                                That dipping sauce is like crack with the chicken :-)

                                1. re: linguafood
                                  c oliver Jun 3, 2013 10:16 AM

                                  So it gets really crispy on the grill. I assumed it was more like bbq. Will have to (maybe!) try it. It wasn't a huge mess frying cause it's only about a 1/4" of oil and not screaming, smoking hot. Plus I have an induction cooktop so messes don't bother me like they used to.

                                  We have extra sauce. Will do something with that. Hmm, maybe I could just freeze it for the next time.

                                  1. re: c oliver
                                    linguafood Jun 3, 2013 10:25 AM

                                    I doubt it gets as crispy as it does fried, but it works for me.

                                    I'm mostly shying away from the frying b/c of the smell. Our fan is useless.

                          2. c oliver Jul 2, 2013 05:19 PM

                            I made this for the second time last evening and, if possible, it was even better! One thing I like about frying it is that the oil is a combo of canola and sesame and you really get that sesame oil flavor. Also had the "proper" sauce which is quite punchy :) Had enough leftover for a little chicken salad for lunch. A bunch of family will be coming in in a few weeks. This is definitely on the menu. Thanks again.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: c oliver
                              EM23 Jul 2, 2013 06:24 PM

                              So the chicken and the kunefe…
                              Dear C Oliver,
                              I am your long lost Turkish-Trini-Chinese niece. It seems my invite to the family reunion has been lost in the mail. Please send directions:)

                              1. re: EM23
                                c oliver Jul 2, 2013 06:39 PM

                                Done :)

                                What's hilarious is that with my new cheapie subscription to Saveur, I just got the May issue. Guess what? It has a recipe for an Israeli version of kunefe. Totally weird.

                            2. e
                              escondido123 Jul 2, 2013 05:58 PM

                              Is the chicken good without the sauce--the marinade sounds really good.

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: escondido123
                                c oliver Jul 2, 2013 06:08 PM

                                It's outstanding without the sauce. My grandbabies are just ayear and half old and I'll be serving it to them :)

                                1. re: escondido123
                                  linguafood Jul 3, 2013 08:51 AM

                                  What's the problem with the sauce?

                                  While the marinade is great, it's a bit on the sweet side b/c of the 5 spice powder. The dipping sauce is complementary by being pungently sour, salty & spicy.

                                  It wouldn't be the same without it.

                                  1. re: linguafood
                                    c oliver Jul 3, 2013 08:59 AM

                                    Five spice, ginger and lime juice, IMO, make it great. If esco thinks it's too spicy he could cut downin the sauce. We think it's perfect

                                    1. re: c oliver
                                      linguafood Jul 3, 2013 09:10 AM

                                      It's perfect with the sauce. And yes, the level of heat in the dipping sauce is pretty easy to adjust to own's personal pref.

                                      1. re: linguafood
                                        c oliver Jul 3, 2013 09:39 AM

                                        Since you cook on the grill rather than frying, do you add some sesame oil to the sauce?

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          linguafood Jul 3, 2013 09:45 AM

                                          I add a few drops to the marinade instead.

                                          1. re: linguafood
                                            c oliver Jul 3, 2013 10:06 AM

                                            Ah, that makes sense. I love sesame oil.

                                            1. re: linguafood
                                              c oliver Jul 3, 2013 02:24 PM

                                              I've decided to do a pork tenderloin on the grill this way tonight. Bob's eyes lit up when I told him :)

                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                linguafood Jul 3, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                Should work well given how mildly flavored pork tenderloin is.

                                                Let's hear how it turns out.

                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                  c oliver Jul 3, 2013 03:30 PM

                                                  I've been trying to remember to keep a couple in the freezer. And now it's really hot here so the grill becomes an every day use. For just the two of us, one tenderloin gives us a few leftovers.

                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                    c oliver Jul 4, 2013 11:29 AM

                                                    Worked great. Our new fave marinade. Getting ready to make a sandwich from the leftovers.

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      linguafood Jul 4, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                      Buon appetito!

                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                        c oliver Jul 4, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                        Gracias :)

                                        2. re: linguafood
                                          escondido123 Jul 4, 2013 04:38 PM

                                          I didn't say the sauce was a "problem." I just wondered if you had the ingredients for the chicken but not the sauce would it still be worth making. Yes, I assume it wouldn't be the same, but wondered if it would be worth making.

                                          1. re: escondido123
                                            c oliver Jul 4, 2013 04:52 PM

                                            I reply with a strong YES! To me the best part of it is the chicken. But I don't have to choose cause I now have THREE bottles of the hot sauce. I ordered two from Amazon and then Bob found a version and bought it. I AM, however, going to have to start buying much larger volumes of five spice powder :)

                                            1. re: escondido123
                                              linguafood Jul 4, 2013 08:41 PM

                                              Probably. It's still very tasty chicken... but the sauce puts it over the top.

                                        3. f
                                          Frizzle Jul 3, 2013 09:43 PM

                                          My chicken is marinating but I have a hot sauce issue. I have Tabasco or a habanero sauce. I also have fresh birds eye chillis. What do people suggest?

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Frizzle
                                            c oliver Jul 3, 2013 09:46 PM


                                            1. re: Frizzle
                                              linguafood Jul 4, 2013 11:26 AM

                                              Probably too late, but def habanero. I love my Grace's brand scotch bonnet sauce, because it adds a wonderful fruitiness to the heat. It's my favorite hot sauce these days. Great on pizza, too :-)

                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                Frizzle Jul 4, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                Thanks C Oliver and Linguafood. I did use the habanero but I don't think the particular habanero sauce I had worked so well in the dipping sauce. The oyster sauce overpowered everything. Living in New Zealand I'm not sure I'll find a scotch bonnet sauce easily.

                                                The marinade though was delicious. I mixed and ground five spice fresh for it so it was packed with flavour and punch. We'll be revisiting the marinade in the future that's for sure.

                                                1. re: Frizzle
                                                  linguafood Jul 4, 2013 08:42 PM

                                                  You can order anything online these days. That sauce is intense -- like three slaps in the face at the same time: salty, sour, hot.

                                                  Love it. But I love oyster sauce in many things.

                                            2. CocoaChanel Jul 5, 2013 06:03 AM

                                              *bookmarking thread. Looks delicious!

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: CocoaChanel
                                                c oliver Jul 5, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                I have a feeling that this is going to become one of those legendary CH dishes :) Kinda like, for me, Will Owen's pork shoulder (even though he credits the LA Times for the original recipe).

                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                  linguafood Jul 5, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                  Can you link to that recipe?

                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                    c oliver Jul 5, 2013 09:07 AM


                                                    I've made it at least a dozen times and have passed it all around the US.

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      linguafood Jul 5, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                      Ah, muchas. Sounds tasty.

                                                      I might try that with a smaller roast than the usual 8-9 lbs. I tend to make. No way I'm basting a roast every 2 hours if I'm doing it overnight :-)

                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                        c oliver Jul 5, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                        I use whatever size I please. And no matter how big it's never taken as long as WO says.

                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                          linguafood Jul 5, 2013 09:39 AM

                                                          But you're still supposed to be basting it regularly, right?

                                                          What I love about my pork shoulder recipe is that you just throw it in the oven at night, and it's done 12-14 hours later. All the "work" (wet brine overnight & the dry rub) is done beforehand.

                                                          I'm lazy.

                                              2. pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                Believe it or not, this recipe is phenomenal with tofu.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: pikawicca
                                                  c oliver Jul 5, 2013 07:50 AM

                                                  Wow! I'm kinda picturing it. Could you elaborate please? What kind of tofu, what size? Any details that you can think of. We've become real fans of tofu lately. TIA, P.

                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                    pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                    Firm tofu, pressed really well, cut into bite-sized pieces. I like to marinate in a Ziploc bag with as much air removed as possible. Proceed as for chicken. (I cook the tofu, then chicken for the DH.)

                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                      c oliver Jul 5, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                      Gotta try this. What does getting the air out do please?

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                        Exposes more of the tofu (or whatever you're marinating) to the marinade.

                                                        1. re: pikawicca
                                                          linguafood Jul 5, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                          Isn't that the case for anything one would marinade? I mean, I always try to get as much air out as possible - for space reasons alone. A snug bag doesn't take up as much space as a one full of air.

                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                            pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                            Yep. I believe I said that :-)

                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                              c oliver Jul 5, 2013 02:20 PM

                                                              I've just been mixing the chicken and the marinade in a bowl and sticking it in the fridge. I learn things all the time :)

                                                  2. dordalina Jul 5, 2013 08:20 AM

                                                    I'm so looking forward to making this over the weekend. I have a whole chicken in the fridge that I'm going to piece and I think I'll grill the parts since it's BLAZING hot here right now and I can't bear to turn on the oven. I even have the hot pepper sauce arriving from Amazon today! Mmmmm-mmmm.

                                                    1. mebby Jul 8, 2013 11:17 AM

                                                      Thanks, EM23, Lingua and Sam Sifton! Tried this one last night and loved it. Unfortunately the small people weren't as enthusiastic, but I think if I dialed back the marinade/seasoning a bit (which, admittedly, I was probably heavy handed with) and skipped the sauce altogether for them, they would be good.

                                                      I used boneless, skinless thighs, marinaded for about 1.5 hours, and grilled. For my tastes, the dipping sauce as written was a bit heavy on the oyster sauce, so I added some lemon juice (had used all the limes) and a bit more hot sauce (mine is a habanero sauce, not the called for brand) and it was scrumptious.

                                                      Perfect summer food...no heating the kitchen, easy, quick and delicious. Will definitely be repeating.

                                                      1. c oliver Jul 28, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                        Made this for the third or fourth time last night. We have in-laws, kids, sons-in-laws and grandbabies here. Everybody loved it and wants the recipe.

                                                        1. p
                                                          Pwmfan Jul 29, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                          I'd love to take a batch of chicken wings to my next "girls' snack night" made using this marinade and sauce and baked rather than fried. However, my chicken wing making skills are pretty sketchy. Can you give me an estimate as to cooking temp and time for about 3lbs of wings in the oven? Or would it be the same as you advise for the mixed chicken parts? Also, would these be good cold or at room temp or should they be reheated?

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Pwmfan
                                                            linguafood Jul 29, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                            I wouldn't eat them cold. They really are best served hot or *at least* room temp.

                                                            Having never made chicken wings, I'd likely go the frying route, but I'm sure you could roast them in the oven.

                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                              c oliver Jul 29, 2013 01:51 PM

                                                              I agree; I wouldn't eat them cold. We had extras that are now sitting in the fridge. I'll probably reheat, as you mentioned above, in the oven. The frying is super easy and all it does is make a bit of a mess. Twenty minutes at a medium fry temp and they were perfect.

                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                linguafood Jul 29, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                                I usually reheat them at 275 for 15-20 min., then put under the broiler on HI for 3-4. Really crisps up the skin -- even crispier than straight from the grill.

                                                                Guess I'm making this again soon. It's been at least 2 weeks :-)

                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                  c oliver Jul 29, 2013 03:21 PM

                                                                  Good idea re the quick broil. I'm probably having leftovers tonight. Still have some of the sauce and some rice.

                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                    c oliver Aug 9, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                    Forgot to mention that I did reheat just like this and they were wonderful. Thanks as always.

                                                            2. alliegator Aug 9, 2013 02:32 PM

                                                              I saw this when linguafood posted it, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
                                                              This Sunday, I will! And I'm going to grill it. It should be muy excellente!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: alliegator
                                                                linguafood Aug 9, 2013 03:12 PM

                                                                Oh, it will be.

                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                  alliegator Aug 12, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                                  It was :D

                                                                2. re: alliegator
                                                                  c oliver Aug 9, 2013 04:20 PM

                                                                  I fry them and it's not particularly messy. Because the oil's not smoking hot, it does fine. 'Course I have an induction cooktop so cleanup is never a consideration for me.

                                                                3. c oliver Aug 12, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                  We're heading to Seattle to see family. I'm taking 5-spice and Matouk's sauce just so I'm set to make this yet again :) Like others, I really get to craving it after not very long period of time.

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