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Parsley-Shallot Marinating Sauce

Parsley-Shallot Marinating Sauce

Typically, a marinade’s work is done once the cooking begins: The seasoned mixture infuses raw food with flavor and is then discarded. But we wanted our marinades to work harder. Since we were already spending time making a marinade, why not create a recipe that could pull double duty as a finishing sauce? By reserving some of the marinade before adding the meat, we could effortlessly reinforce and brighten the marinade’s flavors at serving time. For these multi-use sauces, balance was paramount to success: Too much acid and the meat would turn mushy during marinating; not enough and the sauce would taste dull at serving time. We usually use a hefty amount of salt in marinades since it seasons meat throughout and helps keep it moist during cooking, but we found we needed to rein in the salt quantity or the sauce would be too salty to serve. Oil was another important component, since many aromatics contain oil-soluble flavor compounds—that is, they release their full range of flavors only when mixed with oil.

Makes about 1 cup

This versatile sauce pairs well with any protein and also tastes good with a range of vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, and mushrooms. This sauce makes enough for about 4 servings of protein; toss the protein with about half of the sauce and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking; reserve the other half of the sauce for serving time.

1½ cups minced fresh parsley
¾ cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 3 tablespoons juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon sugar

Combine all ingredients in bowl. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and whisk to recombine before using.)

How to Use It: Parsley-Shallot Marinated Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Our Parsley-Shallot Marinating Sauce brought simple chicken and vegetables together to create an elegant, composed weeknight meal. A brief marinade for the chicken was enough to give the mild meat a flavor boost; the vegetables needed only to be tossed with some of the sauce before going into the oven. Setting aside the rest of the sauce to drizzle on at serving time gave the finished dish a hit of vibrancy; tasters loved how the flavors of the marinade and the serving sauce complemented each other and brought out different dimensions of the same ingredients. We successfully cooked the vegetables and chicken together on a single sheet pan by carefully arranging each element: To ensure that the delicate white meat stayed moist while the darker meat cooked through, we placed the chicken breasts in the center of the pan, with the thighs and drumsticks around the perimeter. Placing the vegetables in a single layer on the bottom protected the chicken from the direct heat.

Serves 4 to 6

If your parsnips are very thick, slice them in half lengthwise first to ensure even cooking.

3½ pounds bone-in chicken pieces (2 split breasts cut in half crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs), trimmed
1 recipe Parsley-Shallot Marinating Sauce (see above)
1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and sliced into ½-inch wedges
12 ounces red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths

1. Toss chicken with ¼ cup sauce in bowl until all pieces are evenly coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Toss fennel, potatoes, and parsnips with 2 tablespoons sauce in separate bowl. Place vegetables in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of vegetables, arranging breast pieces in center and leg and thigh pieces around perimeter of sheet.

3. Roast until chicken breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through roasting. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Remove pieces from oven as they reach correct temperature.) Transfer chicken to serving dish, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce.

More Ways to Use Marinating Sauces

  • Drizzle over shrimp, salmon, and chicken breasts before and after cooking
  • Use as a dip for warm rustic bread, grilled chicken skewers, and spring rolls
  • Use as a dressing for pasta, rice, and grain salads
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