If family and the cooking of food for your family are your two big things, you are going to love Ayesha Curry's, The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith and the Joy of Eating Well. Not only is it chock full of great, accessible, home-cook-friendly recipes, but it's also filled with great little anecdotes and stories about Ayesha's childhood, motherhood and marriage to the great Stephen Curry (NBA star of the Golden State Warriors). The minute I picked up this book I knew it was love at first sight and every recipe I've tried out has been exactly what I wanted it to be. It was tough to choose just one to highlight here today, but in the end, after a long week with a disgusting cold that we just can't seem to get rid of, comfort food won out and I can think of little that's more comforting than this One-Pot Brown Sugar Chicken. It's sweet, it's savory, the chicken is fall-apart tender, there's a ton of finger lickin' gravy, the aroma it creates while cooking is intoxicating and it all comes together easily which makes it a perfect Famous Friday highlight. Slam-dunk, Ayesha!!
I know I've touched on it already, but reading this book makes you feel like you're in the kitchen with your best friend. It's so warm and friendly and sincere and the recipes all seem to call out to you. Even though she's married to a huge NBA star, I know that if we met, Ayesha and I would have a lot in common--we both treasure our families and good food (and we both cook for athletes too!) Anyway, if you're looking for a new cookbook that you'll use again and again because the food is the kind of regular food that people really want to eat, I know you won't be disappointed. Would be a great cookbook to give to a young cook!
Life is just better with brown sugar, right? Here it combines with soy sauce to make a divine, sweet and savory sauce that bathes the chicken in a perfectly sweet and sticky environment and you'll probably want to jump in there and take a bath too! It's perfection!! And so easy! In the book, this dish is called Mama Alexander's Brown Sugar Chicken because it's Ayesha's mom's specialty and was made at least once a week for her while she was growing up--I think that may become a tradition around here too! Every bite is just perfect and any starchy side that you make with it will perfectly sop up all that divine sauce!!
So pick up a copy of The Seasoned Life, enjoy the stories, recipes and gorgeous photos of the food (and the Curry family) and have a delicious weekend! Later, gaters!
The Seasoned Life's Brown Sugar Chicken-Famous Fridays
Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours (most of this is hands-free)
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken on the bone (any combination you like-I used breasts and wings here)
- Kosher salt and black pepper to season
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 heaping teaspoon minced fresh ginger (I didn't use because I'm not a big fan but I know it would be good with this is you like ginger)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other oven-proof saucepan, melt the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, skin side down and let brown 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
2. Once chicken is browned, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and return the pot to medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and turn the heat up, scraping any browned bits up from the bottom of the pan and bringing the mixture to a boil. Add in the soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger (if using) and stir together well. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, so that the sugar dissolves and the sauce gets a bit thicker. Add the chicken back into the pot, skin-side up and cover.
3. Place the pot into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for another 30-50 minutes, until the chicken is extremely tender and almost falling off the bone. Serve with rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or anything that will allow you to sop up all the delicious gravy!!
4. You can definitely make this a day ahead. Bring to room temperature, cover and chill. Reheat over a low light.
Note: Recipe adapted from The Seasoned Life by Ayesha Curry. I subbed in chicken breasts and wings because we prefer white meat.