What was the inspiration for this dish today? Well, we usually use chicken legs for chicken cacciatore or pot pies and thought this would be a great change. Despite the strange cold snap we’re having right now, we wanted to do a lighter and more seasonal preparation, eh voila! Hoisin charred chicken legs!
Hoisin “barbeque” sauce (ala Chef Jonathan Sheridan) is easy to make, providing you’ve done a little shopping in advance for the ingredients. Start by taking equal parts hoisin sauce (most markets have this in their Asian food section) and ketchup and mix together in a bowl. Then in a sauce pan, take equal parts soy sauce and sugar, several whole star anise, a sprinkling of Sechzwan style peppercorns and crushed chile flakes, and minced garlic and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Let cool and strain into the hoisin ketchup mix. Add a squirt of sesame oil to the mix and toss the raw chicken legs until they’re completely coated with the sauce.
Lay the pieces out on a pan and cook in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes, then raise the temperature to 400 for 20 minutes. This brings out the flavor of the bbq sauce and gives them that stunning charred look.
We’ve made an Asian version of cole slaw with rice wine vinegar and cilantro to go with the chicken, which provides a nice contrast to the spicy sauce. Serve with steamed rice or roasted sweet potatoes and you’ve created a dinner your fans will rave about!