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Keep Vinaigrette Emulsified With. . . Molasses?

It’s not for sweetness. It’s for a dressing with serious staying power.
By Published Apr. 1, 2022

Regular salad eaters may often mix up a large batch of vinaigrette to last for several days. But no matter how carefully the oil is whisked into the other ingredients, it never stays emulsified for long. One option is to rewhisk the dressing in a bowl each time you serve it, but the sauce never truly comes back together.

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Our Make-Ahead Vinaigrette is the answer. It calls upon mustard and mayonnaise—two common emulsifiers in salad dressings that can hold a vinaigrette together for a little while. But the real key to the recipe’s longevity is molasses. A small amount (not enough to add noticeable sweetness) keeps the vinaigrette stabilized for an astonishing amount of time—at least a week. It works because molasses contains large compounds called melanoidins that increase the viscosity of the emulsion and make it difficult for the oil droplets to coalesce and separate from the water.

The vinaigrette holds together so well, you don’t even need to bother with whisking in the oil— just shake the jar to combine it with the other ingredients, for a dressing that’s easier than any you’ve ever made. Plus, you can customize it by substituting other oils (like hazelnut or walnut) for the olive oil, using any number of wine vinegars or lemon juice, or even throwing in aromatics like minced garlic and shallots.

For more details about the dressing, be sure to read this article.

Here’s the method:

  • Combine 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon light molasses, 1 tablespoon mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt in 2-cup jar with tight-fitting lid. 
  • Stir with fork until mixture is milky in appearance and no lumps of mayonnaise or molasses remain. 
  • Add ¼ cup wine vinegar, seal jar, and shake until smooth, about 10 seconds.
  • Add ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, seal jar, and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds. 
  • Repeat, adding ¼ cup olive oil and ¼ cup vegetable oil in 2 additions, shaking vigorously until thoroughly combined after each addition. (After third addition, vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened, with no pools of oil on its surface.) 
  • Refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake briefly before using.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.