Truthfully, this recipe for Mahogany Chicken was amazingly delicious. Between the sweetness of the molasses and sugar and then the saltiness of the soy sauce, this chicken recipe has it in the bag. The chicken was tender and juicy and had a nice flavor from the crispiness of the chicken skin after it was browned under the broiler. Along with quinoa and roasted cauliflower, this meal was a win for our whole family.
Published January 31, 2022
Updated March 21, 2022
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What to do with no dry sherry
One part of this recipe that was changed was with the dry sherry. As we had done, red wine was substituted and still made this recipe taste downright fantastic. As we are a family of six, with this recipe recommending using eight thighs, I did have to compensate for a few that were not in our home.
I used two chicken breasts in addition to the six thighs that were available. To be honest, the thighs were super juicy, and the breasts were on the dry side. With the chicken breast meat cut up and drizzled with the sauce, it helped to make it moister. Our boys, however, still did not appreciate the slightly dry breasts.
A note has been made on my recipe, in the Americas Test Kitchen cookbook, to not use chicken breasts again! We use recipes from this book often, as they are easy to do and quite delicious. I have yet to try a recipe from this comprehensive cookbook that our entire family has yet to love. If you love to collect cookbooks, because let’s be honest, I cannot be the only one, then this cookbook is the one for you!
Mahogany Chicken Recipe
Ingredients for Mahogany Chicken
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
8 bone-in chicken thighs
1 piece ginger, peeled, smashed/1 Tbsp ginger paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Directions for Mahogany Chicken
1. Firstly, preheat oven to 300 degrees with the rack in the lower-middle section.
2. Whisk 1 cup water, soy sauce, sugar, molasses and vinegar together in a 12-inch skillet. If you notice the picture below, with the soy sauce jar, we used Low Sodium Soy Sauce.
Typically, we only buy Low Sodium Soy Sauce as we try to limit our sodium intake, however you can choose to use traditional or Low Sodium.
Also, I used a Dutch oven instead of a skillet.
3. Arrange chicken, skin side down, in the soy mixture and then nestle ginger and garlic between the chicken. For this recipe the first time I did use fresh ginger, peeled it, smashed it and plopped it into the sauce.
As you strain it out later in the recipe, the whole fresh ginger is a non-issue. However, I cannot make enough recipes that my family has liked, with fresh ginger to compensate for buying it often enough to stay fresh.
So, as a result, I found this beaut of a squeeze tube at ALDI and am in love! This magic tube has made the last few recipes with ginger the best and easiest ever.
Plus, it saves a small fortune not having to throw away ginger I do not use quick enough. Thanks, ALDI, for this $2.99 bottle of pure win! Click HERE if you want to check out ALDI using Instacart and $10 off your first order! Use the code:MRISKE18E18E at checkout for $10 off.
4. Then, bring the mixture in the Dutch Oven to a simmer over medium heat, around 5 minutes. Add the sherry! Don’t be like Monica and forget until now. And we did not have dry sherry, but we did have red wine which worked perfectly!
5. Transfer skillet, or Dutch oven, uncovered into the oven and then cook for 30 minutes. Since this was the second time making this recipe, using a Dutch oven worked so much better than a cast iron skillet.
6. Carefully flip chicken in the skillet and then continue to cook for 20-30 additional minutes, making sure the chicken temps at 165 degrees.
7. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter, being careful to not break or tear the skin.
8. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and into a bowl, or into a fat separator and then let settle for 5 minutes.
9. Turn the broiler on in the oven.
10. Whisk cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup water together in a measuring cup.
11. Pour 1 cup defatted cooking liquid into the now-empty skillet and then bring to a simmer over medium heat.
12. Whisk cornstarch into the simmering liquid and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.
13. Pour sauce into a bowl and then set aside for serving. I had a nice saucepan waiting for the delicious sauce. You can leave it on simmer until dinner is ready.
14. Return the chicken skin side up to the empty skillet and place in the oven under the broiler until well browned. This should not take more than 3-4 minutes.
Serve with sauce separately with steamed vegetables and rice or quinoa.
With this dinner, we had it with roasted cauliflower and quinoa. To roast cauliflower, wash it in a sink colander and slice off the stem.
While the cauliflower is laying stem-side down, slice it in 1-inch strips and lay them on a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast them with the chicken and flip when one side is browned. Make sure to drizzle it with oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for flavor, then cook it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the cauliflower is tender and browned at the edges, remove the pan from the oven. To check for doneness, a knife can be inserted into the stem and will then cut it easily through.
Typically, my meals have much more aesthetic appeal and more color. To be honest, as I was cutting up the cauliflower dreaming of its deliciousness, I heard my mother’s voice say, “there should be more color!” In hindsight, I should have made this recipe with broccoli or Brussel sprouts or zucchini instead of cauliflower. Next time mom, I am sorry this meal was so monochrome, but it was delicious!
Recipe for Mahogany Chicken
- Dutch Oven
- Cutting board
- Mesh Strainer
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 1 cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup Dry Sherry
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Molasses
- 1 Tbsp Distilled Vinegar
- 8 Chicken Thighs bone-in
- 1 piece Ginger peeled, smashed
- 1 Tbsp Ginger Paste
- 6 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the lower-middle section.
- Whisk 1 cup water, 1 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp molasses and 1 Tbsp vinegar together in a 12-inch skillet.
- Arrange chicken, skin side down, in the soy mixture and nestle ginger and garlic between the chicken.
- Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, around 5 minutes.
- Transfer skillet, or Dutch oven, uncovered into the oven and then cook for 30 minutes.
- Carefully flip chicken in the skillet and then continue to cook for 20-30 additional minutes, making sure the chicken temps at 165 degrees.
- Using tongs, transfer the chicken thighs to a platter, being careful to not break or tear the crispy skin.
- Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and then collect into a bowl, or into a fat separator and let settle for 5 minutes.
- Turn the broiler on in the oven.
- Whisk the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup water together in a bowl.
- Pour 1 cup defatted cooking liquid into the now-empty skillet and then bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Whisk cornstarch into the simmering liquid and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Pour sauce into a bowl and then set aside for serving.
- Return the chicken skin side up to the empty skillet and place in the oven under the broiler until well browned. This should not take more than 3-4 minutes.
- Serve with sauce separately with steamed vegetables and rice or quinoa.
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