Friday, August 9, 2013

Maple Chicken 'N' Ribs

This recipe from Nigella Express was one that I had bookmarked many years back but till now, I haven't cooked it until when I was trying to bookmark recipes for Cook like a Star. It was just about time I baked this.

When I was browsing through this recipe, it looked like what I would normally marinate chicken with before baking but this time, it had a few different items like apple juice, star anise, cinnamon stick. What peculiar combination. To me, star anise and cinnamon stick always reminds me of tau yew bak :) Ok that will be for another day ;P

Do note that the recipe below yields for 6 to 8 persons so adapt the portions accordingly. For me, other than the apple juice, I wouldn't be too much concerned about the exact measurements because it's really about your tastes. This is what I love about Nigella. Although she is cooking and throwing so many things into her food, sometimes she gives you tips and even tell you not to be too bothered about measurements etc. I guess in this sense, cooking is also free-handed in a way. This is what I truly love about cooking which is a tad different from baking. 

  • 12 pork spare ribs
  • 12 chicken thighs with skin and bone still on
  • 250 ml apple juice (as sharp as possible)
  • tablespoons maple syrup
  • tablespoons vegetable oil
  • tablespoons soy sauce
  • star anise
  • cinnamon stick (halved)
  • cloves garlic (unpeeled)


  1. Put the ribs and chicken pieces in a couple of large freezer bags or into a dish.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, squelching everything together well, before sealing the bag or covering the dish.
  3. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight or up to two days.
  4. When the marinating time is up, take the dish out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF.
  5. Pour the contents of the freezer bag into one or two large roasting tins (making sure the chicken is skin-side up), place in the oven and cook for about an hour and a quarter, by which time everything should be sticky and glossed conker-brown.

  • Marinate this dish for at least more than 1 day. Trust me, the flavours will absorb through and through and you will definitely love it.
  • If you don't have maple syrup, don't run out to get it. Your usual honey will do the trick already.

Honestly, judging from the recipe, I would have thought this recipe was just like any other roasted chicken and pork ribs. I was wrong, wrong, wrong! Try to look beyond that charred surface because it is mainly the honey being all caramelised. The sister who came over for dinner said "Jie, this is one of the best roasted chicken dishes you have ever made! I haven't tasted such good chicken and pork ribs in a long while!" You wouldn't have seen it but I was beaming with pride and if Nigella was with us, I bet you that she will be smiling and licking her fingers too ;) Oh, did I also mention that the garlic cloves were full roasted and they were also so sweet and creamy?

This is definitely a keeper recipe for a simple and no fuss meal. You marinate the chicken and pork ribs today. One or two days later, turn on your oven and bake it. Yes, it is THAT simple!

I'm going to submit this post to Cook like a Star where the Star for this month is Nigella Lawson. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Do join us by cooking or baking any of Nigella's recipes for the month of August but do remember that it must be a current post. Don't forget to mention 'Cook like a Star' in your posts.


Incidentally, if you have seen Nigella's Cookalong for August 2013, this recipe is also chosen for the Cookalong. Do join in if you are baking this dish ;)

I'm also going to submit this post to Cook-Your-Books #3 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

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