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Eight Easy Variations for Chicken and Cornish Hens

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Modern processing of Chicken always seems a miracle to me. Back in the Dark Ages of my girlhood, it was not unusual to choose a live bird, and have the shochet take it out back. (Learning to look for clear eyes on your intended dinner was one of the less enchanting parts of training as a balabusta) When it was returned you had to pluck the feathers, kasher it, and do the dissection as well. Now, wonder of wonders, they are sold in nice neat trays, already in pieces, and require only a minimum of work to create a lovely meal.
A few bits of general advice about baking Chicken. Do get a rectangular baking pan with a nonstick finish. If the pan is lined with Silverstone, you will never need to soak it before cleanup. Always buy the heaviest chicken you can, because bigger pieces tend to stay juicier than small ones. Although some of you on diets may not want to eat the skin, leaving it on whilst cooking will not add to the calories of the meat, and will keep it moist. All of these recipes may be done using Cornish Hens which have been cut in half lengthwise. These make a very pretty Entree, and the butcher will be glad to do it for you. The one hour cooking time remains the same.
All of the variations listed here will bake for one hour at 375 degrees. None require more than 10 minutes to prepare. By the time the oven has been preheated, you can have any of them ready to slip right in. An hour is more than enough time to do Vegetables, Potatoes, and even set a pretty table.
Sweet and Sour

Mix 1/2 cup Apricot Jam with 1 tablespoon Vinegar, and 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce. Pour over Chicken pieces and bake. Baste once, halfway through cooking.
Mix 1/3 cup Mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard. Put 1/2 cup Flour and one envelope Dehydrated Onion Soup Mix in a plastic bag, making sure the onion bits are crushed. Coat the Chicken pieces with the Mayonnaise mixture, then place in the bag. Shake well to coat, and bake.
Mix 1/2 cup orange marmalade with one tablespoon fresh grated ginger. Smear on the Chicken pieces and bake.
Honey Mustard
Mix 1 tablespoon Tarragon in to a small jar of Honey-Mustard. Smear on Chicken pieces and bake.
Sprinkle pieces with Seasoned Salt, Lemon Pepper and any Herb you like. Spray with Vegetable Oil spray and bake.
Mix 1/2 cup Chili Sauce, 1 tablespoon Mustard, 1 tablespoon Onion Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, and 2 tablespoons Molasses. Pour over Chicken pieces and bake, basting halfway through cooking.
Mix 1/2 cup Cream of Coconut with 2 tablespoons Lime Juice, 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce, 1/4 cup finely chopped Cilantro, and 1 tablespoon fresh grated Ginger. Smear on Chicken pieces and bake.
Sprinkle with a packet of Taco Seasoning Mix, spray with Vegetable Oil spray, and bake. Spoon Salsa over pieces before serving.
Copyright 2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
hosted by the Gantseh Megillah

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