I've got to be honest: I don't really know what's "viking" about this chicken, but the original recipe came from the locally-published The Viking Cookbook that Cousin Martin brought home from Svalbard, Norway, where he went to view the solar eclipse earlier in the year. I didn't expect to find any recipes for which I had all of the ingredients -- whole Baltic herring? young nettles? swedes? (which turn out to be rutabagas, though I had no idea) -- but then I found this honey-grilled herb chicken. The recipe calls for a whole chicken; I had lots of boneless, skinless chicken breasts on hand, so I adapted, with delicious results. You can use skinless chicken thighs, if you prefer, or a couple of small Cornish hens. I ate the picnic-perfect leftovers cold the next day with cucumbers, which seemed somehow a bit Norwegian to me.
Viking chicken with honey, butter and herbs
From the pantry, you'll need: chicken breasts, butter, honey, herbs, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.
Recipe adapted from The Viking Cookbook. Serves 6.
6 trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or thighs (approximately 2-1/4 lbs), or 2 small Cornish hens
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1-1/2 tsp fresh chopped tarragon, rosemary, or a mix (or 1 tsp dried herbs)
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp honey
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Rub the chicken with salt, pepper, and the mixed herbs, and place in a straight-sided casserole dish.
In a small measuring cup, melt the butter and honey for 1 minute in the microwave. Use a pastry brush to coat both sides of each chicken piece, reserving a small amount of the butter-honey mixture for basting.
Bake for 30 minutes; turn the chicken, and baste with the remaining butter and honey. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
If desired, you can brown it a bit under the broiler, but watch it carefully, as the honey will burn.
Serve at room temperature, or chill for picnics. You can also make this ahead, and freeze it.
More picnic-friendly chicken recipes:
Chicken with mango barbecue sauce, from The Perfect Pantry
Grilled not-too-spicy jerk chicken, from The Perfect Pantry
Garlic, lemon and herb grilled chicken breasts, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Teriyaki chicken breasts, from Simply Recipes
Strawberry glazed grilled chicken breasts, from Simple Bites
Mint lime grilled chicken breasts, from She Wears Many Hats
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