When it comes to cooking, even the best-laid plans sometimes don't work out. I'm not talking about this recipe, of course, for this one turned out quite well. But I had a different intention for using the chicken backs I bought from a local butcher.
My (failed) plan:
Make a chicken stock out of the chicken backs, then use said stock in a S'mores Beer Stew.
I tried cooking pasta in S'mores Beer but the beer, which was a porter, was too foamy and overflowed in my large saucepot. Conclusion: s'mores beer is not good for boiling.
My second (failed) plan:
Use the Hawaiian marinade I bought from the supermarket as part of my own take on sauerbraten for Father's Day.
My dad tried the marinade and he hates it. It looks like I'll be making my own marinade that is more traditionally related to sauerbraten.
I did my due diligence in researching other chicken back recipe videos on YouTube but the only videos I could find used the chicken backs in a Jamaican curry. It looks like I'll have to be a pioneer for the foodie YouTube community yet again(but hey, I ain't complaining!).
My dad is not a trained chef but one of his few dinners that he can make from scratch is chicken thighs in the oven.
It turns out that his experience came in handy when it came to cooking the chicken backs(though I had help from http://www.ehow.com/info_12331301_cook-chicken-backs.html). He normally cooks chicken thighs in the oven for 60-90 minutes, which is also the time range for cooking chicken backs.
I watched a YouTube video of somebody cooking chicken backs in the oven for 20 minutes. The catch: the backs were cut up into small pieces, making cooking them a heck of a lot faster. But that would require a butcher's knife and even my sharpest knife can't cut through bones.
Normally I thaw my chicken out 24 hours before cooking it. My only problem was that after 24 hours, the chicken backs were only partially thawed. But I needed to make this video on the day I did. My dad never thaws chicken in the microwave and I admit thawing chicken out in the microwave isn't the ideal way to thaw out meat, because there's the chance some of it may get accidentally cooked. You don't want half the chicken being raw and half being cooked. But you gotta do what you gotta do to cook your meal, even if that means thawing out the chicken in the microwave. Fortunately, I was able to figure out the defrost settings of my microwave- and my dad learned more about his own microwave that day.
Another part of my original plan for the chicken backs was being able to find the internal organs that are supposedly inside the backs, taking them out, and frying them. But it turns out I couldn't find any organs inside whatsoever, so it's likely the butcher took the organs out of the backs.
But when I ate the chicken backs, I had a taste of chicken liver(yuck!) in my mouth, so there might have been organs in the backs all along- they were just too small to remove.
Other organs you may find inside a chicken back include:
I can safely say after eating chicken backs that the only parts of a chicken I haven't eaten are the 4 organs listed above, as well as chicken genitalia or reproductive organs(but if I ever find that, I'm willing to try it).
HELPFUL LINK: Hawaiian Marinade: http://www.amazon.com/Lawrys-Hawaiian-Tropical-Juices-Marinade/dp/B00G863WC8?ie=UTF8&
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
A lasagna pan
Nonstick cooking spray
A sheet of aluminum foil
A pastry brush
2-3 Ziploc Bags
For the marinated chicken:
Chicken backs(I used 3), thawed out completely
1/4 cup of Hawaiian marinade per chicken back(see helpful link, though I think Lawry's Hawaiian marinade is found in most major supermarkets)
More Hawaiian marinade to brush onto the chicken backs
1. Put each chicken back into a Ziploc bag(though I was able to fit 2 of them in one bag)
2. Pour the Hawaiian marinade into the Ziploc bag with the chicken backs in it.
3. Close the bag. Shake the marinade and chicken backs up in the bag. Make sure the backs are fully coated with marinade.
4. Marinate the chicken backs in their bags for 30 minutes.
5. Once the chicken backs are done marinating, spray a lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
6. Put the chicken backs into the lasagna pan. Dispose of the bags the chicken backs have been marinating in.
7. Brush the outsides of the chicken backs with more Hawaiian marinade, using a pastry brush.
8. Cover the lasagna pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, so the chicken backs don't dry out in the oven.
9. Cook the chicken backs in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes before turning them over.
10. Turn the chicken backs over using two forks.
11. Pour more marinade on the other side of the chicken backs.
12. Cover the lasagna pan with aluminum foil again and return the chicken backs to the oven for another 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken backs reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: don't be worried if the chicken looks pink once it has reached the necessary internal temperature. That might be from the color of the marinade(orange). As long as your chicken is fully cooked, it's safe to eat.
13. Serve with fries. Bon appetit!