Admittedly, I’m attracted to recipes that ask me to marinate chicken pieces overnight in my glass baking dish, in my refrigerator. The recipe for “Thai-Style Chicken Legs,” as posted on Smitten Kitchen, combines all of its ingredients thusly (except for the dipping sauce), so that the next day, I only needed to turn on the oven and push the tray in. I couldn’t ask for a better result: my young child loved eating this chicken.

Instead of using Asian fish sauce, I substituted with oyster sauce. I’ve done this swap before in recipes, and it seems fine enough for me. The spicy/sweetness of the hoisin sauce was not a problem for my diners, luckily. I did improvise for the dipping sauce. I knew that a “Thai sweet chili sauce” would be too much for my youngest diner. So, I swirled together a combination of peanut satay sauce, pad thai sauce, and honey. This was an OK experiment, but the chicken didn’t really need any dipping sauce to be tasty. I made sure to use an instant probe thermometer to measure the chicken’s temperature as it cooked. It reached 180 degrees in 17 minutes. I then removed the foil lid off my baking dish and roasted for another 10 minutes.

Since I was using such a hot oven (450 degrees) I also made the “Roasted Green Beans with Sesame Seeds,” from The Eating Well Diabetes Cookbook, by Joyce Hendley, which asked for the same oven temperature. I wanted to support the Asian flavors of my meal, so I made sure to drizzle sesame oil and tamari on these green beans. I roasted them for 15 minutes, until they were brown and tender.

Chicken Drumsticks, Thighs, Breasts (5.25 lbs.) = $13.05
Green Beans (1 lb.) = $2.07

RECIPES: flavorful chicken to be enjoyed by all, along with ever-pleasing green beans
marinate chicken overnight, bake it in 30 minutes; green beans need even less time in the oven
TASTES: garlic and coriander provide a bit of warmth for the chicken, along with the spicy/sweet hoisin sauce; wrinkly green beans will always be compatible with sesame seeds

Next time, I’ll prepare an eclectic vegetarian meal. I’ll make the “Leitrim Boxty (Irish Potato Pancake),” as heralded on, along with the “Pea and Red Lentil Curry,” from the April 2005 issue of Vegetarian Times. Sound kooky? Come back on Tuesday, January 18, to witness my results.