Friday, August 3, 2018

1970s Hometown Cookbook: Dave Cooks All the Recipes. Part 3: "Golden Glazed Chicken" - Jello/Chicken Bugaloo

Recipe Count: 2 of 156 Complete

Why does banana+fish constitute a Rule 1 violation and orange Jello+chicken does not? I don't know. I will have to think about it...

Anyhow, the first recipe I have chosen to prepare in my "Favorite Recipes" journey is "Golden Glazed Chicken" care of Margaret Monmonier. You may remember this recipe from the post I did a couple of years ago in which I revealed my secret love for vintage church cookbooks.

Something about this recipe just caught my eye. The something being "orange gelatin powder." I read this to mean good old fashioned orange Jello.

"Golden Glazed Chicken" isn't the jello-involved molded salad you would expect from a 1970s church recipe collection. It is a fairly straight forward baked/braised chicken dish. The twist being an orange jello/pineapple juice glaze.

Considering this recipe my "Lore of Our Grandmother's" post of many years ago came to mind. In that bit I explored cooks of past eras using combinations of acid and pineapple as a way to tenderize meats. However, it is possible that "Golden Glazed Chicken" is a sweet/sour, pineapple-involved, holdover dish from the post war "tiki culture" fad.

The use of jello is what really interested me. There are many, many common tropes, ingredients, and techniques that you see over and over in these recipe collections of the past. I don't think I have ever seen jello/gelatin used in this manner. So I decided to give it a go.

I coated a quartered 3 pound chicken with seasoned flour in a bag as per the instructions. I browned the chicken off in my beautiful Wagner Ware square skillet. I am in love with this pan. I find myself using it more often than my beloved Griswold skillets.

While the chicken was in the oven at 350 I prepared the glaze. There is something charming about a can of Dole pineapple juice, isn't there?

The glaze prepared, I poured it on. Afterwards I emplaced the pineapple slices. I was a bit perturbed that there wasn't a suggestion reference canned or fresh pineapple. I went with fresh.

For the "baste with pan drippings" instruction I chose to baste three times during the 30 minute remaining cook time.

Here she is after a final post-cook glazing.

I am into how the pineapple/jello liquid collected inside that center pineapple ring...

Right out of the oven the liquid in the dish remained very thin and runny. It seems intuitive that this was meant to sit and cool a bit before serving. The liquid did stiffen up a bit (as Jello is wont to do) after about 15 minutes of rest. A final schlacking left the chicken pieces with a pleasant orange glow.

Tasting Notes:

The chicken quarters had the familiar oven braised chicken quality that I remember from my mom's "cacciatore" style specialties. There was no real penetration of the orange/pineapple flavor into the meat. The skin was predictably flabby and the breasts predictably dry...

The sauce/glaze had a takeout Chinese duck sauce packet style flavor. Not at all offensive. Throw some boiled Uncle Ben's next to this on a plate and spoon on some sauce? Not half bad. The orange jello thickened the sauce and gave some mouth feel. However, I think you could have had the same effect using a pineapple/orange juice mixture with a bit of cornstarch.

I used fresh pineapple, but I have a suspicion that canned was intended. Considering that, this is a creative "pantry items + protein" dish. Perfect way to break up the meat and potatoes on a lazy Wednesday. Kudos to Margaret Monmonier.

A journey of 156 recipes begins with a step. Think I may head to the dessert section next...

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