For no particular reason, it’s a rare occurrence on this blog that I recommend marinating something. Not out of distain but out of my own personal practicality. My system of cooking usually entails pulling a piece of meat from the freezer before I go to work and then giving myself the day to come up with a meal to surround it so marinating is something my brain not often contemplates.
But for this recipe, I could not recommend it enough. It takes inspiration from a traditional Italian recipe whereby chicken is placed in a similar marinade overnight and served with pasta however I’m giving it a British twist.
The marinade provides a perfect balance of sweet and sour that accompanies the chicken once it has browned, with the marinade lending itself to a gentle syrup as opposed to jus-like sauce that allows the chicken to ‘glisten’ on the plate, with every piece containing its own flavourful bite.
- For the marinade, combine a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar, a crushed glove of garlic and a teaspoon full of thyme into a bag
- Slice up a chicken breast into small chunks before dropping into the bag, zipping it closed and smushing it about with your hands, coating every piece
- Chicken isn’t the most absorbent of meats therefore the longer it has to marinade, the tastier it will be on the plate – so allow this to marinade overnight
- The next day, heat a little olive oil in a thick bottomed pan and swirl around to coat the bottom
- Slice up a celery stick and drop into the hot oils, tossing about with a wooden spoon and cooking gently
- Open up the bag of marinating chicken and carefully tumble into the pan – the pan will sizzle here so turn down the heat a little and allow everything to mingle in the pan, regularly rotating the ingredients with the wooden spoon
- Allow the chicken to cook in this pan – and as a side note, this meal lends itself to good flavours when the chicken is ‘browned’ in the pan rather than ‘cooked’ because the vinegar counteracts the blistered taste – it’s delicious
- The frying pan should gently burn off the small amount of vinegar so you may want to add a very small amount of chicken stock to the pan just to reinvigorate the marinade flavours
- Once everything has come to nice consistency, transfer to a plate and serve
I served this alongside some peas and mash because I found this was the easiest way to ‘Britain-ise’ the meal plus the textures worked well with the chicken however this could easily work with some plain linguine or even some plain white rice.
While I don’t usually marinade my meats due to forgetfulness, the sweet thyme notes in this marinade compliment the sour notes of the vinegar, coating the chicken in a glossy coating that always remind me that sometimes, a little preparation the night before goes a long way.