TO REDUCE OR NOT TO REDUCE: SAGE & THYME CHICKEN
When you reduce a sauce, you are basically getting rid of water content, while salt and all other flavours remain, because water equals dilution, our technique of puréeing then reducing intensifies the flavour.
Try this recipe below to understand how flavour intensifies when reducing a sauce:
SAGE AND THYME CHICKEN:
1 Kg Chicken drumstick (you can use other cuts as well)
8 thyme sprigs (strip the leaves off the springs)
A handful of sage (chopped)
1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup
1 & 1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
5 button mushrooms (sliced)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
20g fresh ginger (minced)
1tbsp salted butter
[optional] 1 tsp mustard (just for a nice piquancy)
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp duck fat (Use any infused oil of your choice if you do not have duck fat, other options include chicken fat, or a mixture of 1 part sesame oil, 2 parts olive oil)
- Start by rubbing your chicken with the salt and black pepper, then leave for at least 1 hour. This is will allow salt penetrate into the meat and season it all through, plus it will help the chicken cook better and not dry out.
- Put chicken in a baking dish, and add your butter and fully massage the butter onto all chicken pieces, this gives a nice browning to your chicken skin and chicken and also adds flavour.
- Now add all other ingredients, mix well and put in a 200ºC preheated oven for 25 minutes, then reduce to 170ºC after 25 minutes and finish off from there. Cooking it this way allows the intense heat to render fat off the skin before the heat is reduced to allow the chicken cook properly inside and out.
- When your chicken is ready, collect the sauce from the baking dish, taste it first, then put that into a small pot and boil it until it becomes slightly thicker that when you started. Taste it again and immediately you will notice the flavours are more intense. you can drizzle that sauce on your chicken and serve, or use it to flavour a salad to go with the chicken.
Hope you learnt a great deal here today, till next time, enjoy cooking. cheers!