You could say my time in New York wasn’t necessarily easy street. My job status was always changing. I was dumped and kicked out of the city, only to return. I’d done more unpaid internships than I care to remember, and I once called a stranger on the subway “dad” after getting drunk off one glass of wine at 4pm, somewhere near Union Square. Ouch.
Maybe not the picture of success… However, as I slowly come into my own, I celebrate the small wins in life. I moved to Washington. I have a job…three, actually. I have a steadyish income that just covers my rent, I have Obamacare… That’s the mark of maturity right? I am living on my own, making it happen, and glad to be out of the financially and emotionally oppressive Big Apple.
Though, one thing I do miss about the NYC hustle is the rare break from the eating cheap diet (including, but not limited to, microwave ramen and bodega bagel sandwiches), when my now very ex-boyfriend’s mom would have us out to her fancy pants restaurant in Long Island.
My favorite dish? Peking Duck. I have no idea what went on it or in it. There was essence of orange, big hit of salt, and the skin, that crispy blackened skin.
Oh, sorry, I was cleaning the drool off the keyboard.
No longer on Mama H’s meal plan and unable to afford a monthly Peking indulgence on my own, I decided to make a much cheaper but no less delicious version: A Poor Girl’s Not So Peking Duck. I use chicken thighs because they are inexpensive but so tasty. I marinate them in orange juice, soy sauce, left-over miso soup or miso paste if I’ve got it, ginger, five spice, and a few other razzle-dazzles. I roast the chicken at high heat until the skin is crispy and the meat is juicy and tender. Serve alongside some rice or with little scallion pancake wrappers, and you’ll think your at a deliciously fancy Chinese restaurant eating an all expenses paid meal. Instead, you’re home, in your pajamas, watching Space Jam, and saving money. At least that’s where I’ll be. Isn’t that better anyway?
These are some ingredients – use them.
Mix together soy sauce, orange juice, miso, honey, and spices together.
Pour over chicken and stuff scallions in there artfully. Or whatever. Marinate for at least 4 hours.
After marinating place on a rack and put into an oven that has been preheated to 425°F.
Roast for 35 – 45 minutes until really, very, quite dark brown. The internal temp of the chicken should be 160°F.
Eat!!!! And remember it’s okay if you are nearing 30 and still have no money, you’ve got cheap chicken or something like that.
Poor Girl's Not So Peking Duck
4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
juice of 1 large orange
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of miso paste
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of salt
1 bunch of scallions (white ends)
toasted sesame seeds, scallions (green ends) for garnish
Whisk together orange juice, honey, miso, soy sauce, and space together.
Place chicken thighs in a shallow baking dish. Pour marinade over chicken and tuck in scallions.
Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425°F.
Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off, and place on a roasting rack over a baking tray lined with foil.
Place in the oven, bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the thighs are really dark mahogany and the internal temperature is 160°F.
Serve over rice, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.