As a 6 year old toddler, I found winters in Ghaziabad, UP brrrrrr cold. My mom found a novel way to beat this chill with a home made charcoal grill- an angeethi. In short its a bucket grill/oven, coated with mud, which not only emanates heat but also roasts the yummiest sweet potatoes, water chestnuts and corn on the cob. These are my earliest memories of an oven.
The next time I encountered an oven was an 80 ltr OTG in the US. And now, as a self proclaimed Chef, my options were endless. The first thing that I experimented in this OTG was Orange Chicken…..which has now turned in to a staple at home.
This preparation is with 6 full leg pieces and one can adjust flavours according to quantity and taste. First comes the 8 hour/overnight marination. I prefer full chicken legs, each cut into 3 parts. Pierce the chicken all over or make diagonal cuts on them to let the juices seep in. Add Extra VirgIn Olive oil, whole garlic pods(with or without skin), halved orange slices of 2 oranges(pipped), a dozen or more Green olives, 1 tbsp chilli flakes or chilli powder, Juice of 2 lemons, 3 tbsp oregano (one can alternate with 2 tbsp Rosemary for variation), salt and pepper to taste, toss and let it stand in the refrigerator.
When ready to bake, open a bottle of beer ( or pour yourself a glass of white wine) and take a long swig. Preheat oven for 10 mins at 450* F or 230*C. Grease your baking dish with olive oil; I prefer a bake and serve dish; spread the marinated chicken in the dish and shove the dish onto the middle rack of the oven. Set time to 1 hour and turn on your favourite episode of Sherlock. Calmly swig or sip.
Right when Sherlock finds the hidden bomb , say 30 mins, it would be time to check the chicken and to turn turn the pieces over. If you feel the juices are drying up AND if you have not gulped down all the beer and wine by now, pour half a cup into the dish. This will give you a nice smoky flavour and a gravy to wipe the bread with. Your Orange Chicken is ready soon as Sherlock solves the mystery.
Serve the Chicken with salad or sautéed mushrooms and some good bread and your preferred poison. Buon Appetito!