Firecracker Chicken

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture

Serves 6

  • 4 tablespoons Garlic Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon hot chile paste (we used Louisiana Pepper Exchange Cayenne)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 chicken quarters (about 4 pounds)
  • 1½ pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Fresh Green Sauce, for serving (recipe follows)


Galic Sauce:

Take care adding the oil to this sauce, especially up front. If you add it too quickly it will not emulsify. It’ll still be tasty, but saucy instead of thick.

  • 1 cup freshly peeled garlic cloves, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups canola oil

Fresh Green Sauce:

  • ¼ cup canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup Garlic Sauce (recipe follows)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped jalapeño peppers or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream, preferably Mexican crema
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • salt to taste

Firecracker Chicken

Firecracker Chicken


Click image to enlarge




Combine the Garlic Sauce, soy, vinegar, chile paste, rosemary, and cumin. Rub the mixture evenly all over the chicken; cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you plan to start roasting it.

Preheat oven with a rack in the center to 325ºF.

Cut the potatoes into slabs about ½ inch thick, then cut crosswise into ½ inch pieces. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat and spread in an even layer.

Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and arrange chicken, skin side up, atop the fries. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour. While the chicken roasts, put the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the honey and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes; taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Increase the oven temperature to 400ºF, baste the chicken with the marinade, and roast until the chicken is well browned and internal temperature reaches 165ºF at the thickest part of the thigh, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Pass Fresh Green Sauce at the table

Garlic Sauce:

Halve the garlic cloves; remove and discard any hint of green sprouts in the middle (they’re bitter). Coarsely chop the garlic and add it to the bowl of a food processor with the salt. Pulse, scraping down the sides often, until garlic is finely chopped. Scrape the bowl and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Begin processing and add about ¼ cup of the oil, a few drops at a time, then add another ¼ cup in a thin, steady stream. Drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, wait a few seconds, and slowly add another ½ cup oil in a steady stream. Drizzle in a scant tablespoon of lemon juice, then ½ cup oil; repeat the process, waiting a few seconds between each addition, until all the oil and lemon juice are incorporated. You should have a thick, fluffy mixture with a texture similar to mayonnaise. Taste and add additional salt if desired; refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled, then store, refrigerated, in airtight containers; will keep for months.

Makes about 5 cups.


Fresh Green Sauce:

Cook oil and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot and very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until completely cooled.

Put remaining ingredients (except salt) in a food processor or blender and pulse, scraping down the sides, until cilantro and jalapeño are coarsely chopped. While processing, slowly add cayenne-infused oil a few drops at a time; mixture should thicken and emulsify. Taste and add salt if needed; adjust lime juice if desired. Sauce will keep for about a week, refrigerated.

Makes about 2 cups.


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