RECIPE: Coca Cola Oven Chicken

This recipe was a great Sunday meal when you have little time to devote to the kitchen yet everyone is hankering for some simple, comfort food. The sauce is made with cola, which adds a sweet, caramel flavor to the chicken. I had asked my husband to get me a can of coke for a garden tonic that Jerry Baker subscribes for spring, and he bought me a liter! (this is what happens when you send husbands to handle the grocery list-sorry hon!) So this recipe was also great at using extra cola in the house. (I might try a cake later this week! I hear cola makes a great cake.) This recipe just needs time but not effort. You let the stove and oven do all the work for you. But it needs a couple hours from start to finish, so plan accordingly.


2 Tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 bay leaves, crumpled
2 cups ketchup
6 oz. cola
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp. dried mustard
2 tsp. cider vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 whole chicken, cut up (about 3 lbs.)

First, make the sauce. In a large non-aluminum sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and shallot and saute until softened. Add cola, bay leaves, ketchup, Worcestershire, dry mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook on low simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Sauce will be thick and bubbly.

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a large Pyrex pan, ladle 1/2 cup or so of sauce on the bottom. Arrange the chicken (skin side up) in the pan. Spoon about 1/2 cup or more over the chicken pieces, using the back of the spoon to cover the chicken pieces completely. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip pieces over and baste the other sides with a basting brush using the sauce and drippings on the bottom of the pan. Return to the oven and cook another 30 minutes.

You will have about a cup or more of sauce left in your pan. After the hour is up, kick up your oven to broil. With 1 /2 cup of the extra sauce, spoon over the chicken pieces and broil them until charred and crispy (about 4 minutes). Flip your pieces over and take another 1/2 cup of sauce and ladle it over the flipped chicken, and broil for another 4 minutes. Chicken will have a nice caramelized char over the skin and ready to be served. Let the chicken cool down for 5 minutes before serving. If you have a little extra sauce, serve it in a small bowl in case anyone wants extra. I made a brown rice pilaf with vegetables as a side, but this would be great with corn or potato salad. It has a nice barbecue feel considering it's oven baked!



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