Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Martha's Peanut Chicken & Michael's Tzimmis

Finally... I'm back in the land of the living, for realz this time (unlike this time and this time).

And that means back into the kitchen, full boar (or is it bore?). Tonight's menu comes to us courtesy Garden & Gun Magazine (yes, there really is such a thing... only in the south, right?!?) and my friend Michael Krall.

Martha Hall Foose's Peanut Chicken

Garden & Gun bills her as "the other Martha", but gotta tell you this one speaks to my soul a bit more than that other Martha. I mean, c'mon -- she's got a super simple yet elegant phyllo-tomato appetizer...

and who wouldn't feel right at home here?

Oh yeah, and Martha Hall Foose is also 2009 Winner of the James Beard Award for American Cooking and the Southern Independent Booksellers Award.

So. On to the chicken.


  • 5 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 3 green onions, white & green parts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 3-to-4 pound chicken (we used a Springer Mountain chicken -- semi-local and humanely raised)
  • 1 one-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • handful of fresh cilantro (we used cilantro paste, since we haven't yet planted the cilantro)


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the necks and innards from your chicken ... yes, that instruction is for you chicken virgins ;-)

2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1/2 of the green onions, the soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne.

3. Gently loosen the skin of the chicken and spread half of the paste between the skin and the meat.

(If you're a germ-phobe who refuses to touch raw chicken -- like I used to be -- just get over it because this step is really crucial to getting a flavorful bird.)

4. Rub the rest of the paste all over the outside of the chicken. Put the remaining green onions, ginger, garlic and cilantro into the chicken cavity.

5. Roast the chicken, breast side down, in a roasting pan for about 20 minutes. (Don't know which side is the breast? If the wing tips are facing down, you've got your chicken breast side down)

6. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and flip the chicken to breast side up (wings at attention) and baste with any juices that have accumulated in the pan. Roast for another 30 - 40 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 160 degrees and juices run clear.

7. Let your birdie rest for 10 minutes before carving. This step seals in the juices.

Michael's Tzimmis

How do you say it? I'm still not sure, but boy is it good!


  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 5-6 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


1. Peel and chop carrots into small pieces.

Chop, chop, chop some more because this is the most labor-intensive part of the process.

2. Put carrots in a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, peel and dice up the sweet potatoes. Add to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

4. Drain cooked veggies, empty into a very large mixing bowl, and mash. Put into a lightly oiled baking dish.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Whisk together orange juice, honey, salt and cinnamon. Pour mixture over veggies in baking dish. Allow a few minutes for some liquid to absorb into the dish. (There will be some liquid on top. That's okay)

7. Drizzle no more than a tablespoon of canola oil on top of the veggies. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.


Chef Tanya -- The chicken was good. Slightly peanuty, but not too much. I don't think we let it cook long enough to crisp up. Consequently, the skin pulled off the chicken when we were cutting it. I would have liked it more were it crispier. The tzimmis is really good: flavorful, but not too sweet. A nice alternative to the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes of Thanksgivings past.

Jason -- It was good. The chicken wasn't as peanuty as I expected, which is fine by me. The potatoes had a good flavor.

Miranda -- (ate dinner earlier with a friend, so wasn't hungry.)

Olivia -- The chicken was okay. I didn't really like the potatoes. I like them with marshmallows on top, like at Thanksgiving.

Hannah -- (no response, but basically a "meh" expression. She ate up the chicken, but didn't touch the veggies)


  1. Oh this chicken looks divine! I have never heard of such a combination, but I do love to dip my chicken satay in peanut sauce, so I imagine it would be like that. I am putting this on my "must do" recipe list! Thank you! It is so good to have to back to what you do SO well!

  2. Thanks Hands Free Mama... it's great to BE back!

    Let me know how you like the chicken when you try it. Jason's not a big PB fan, but this he said he could handle.

  3. I've been looking for this recipe all over the web (and my piles of magazines)! It's amazing, thanks for posting it so I can save it for good!