Second Sunday of Advent

You can not get to Christmas without first learning of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was an uncomfortable man who makes all of learn of him uncomfortable. He gave up the trappings of city life to live alone in the desert. There he ate locust and wild honey instead of meat and potatoes. He even gave up comfortable clothing for a coarse, camel-hair coat. He gave up as many comforts as he knew so that he would find his only comfort in God.

John the Baptist’s message was one of preparation. He knew that God’s kingdom was coming soon and he wanted everyone to be ready.

We all have work to do so that we don’t miss what God is doing in the world. John the Baptist pointed to the coming of Jesus, and today he is still doing the same job during the season of Advent. He calls to us through the ages, “Prepare the way of the Lord.”

The best way we could think to remember such an uncomfortable saint, is to make a dish that leaves you uncomfortable—Hot Honey Chicken. We don’t call for using locusts or grasshoppers, instead we are substituting chicken. However, we do suggest that you use locally sourced wild honey, which is surprisingly easy to find. And make sure that you add enough heat so that you feel the burn of the Judaea desert!

John the Baptist (Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece, 1512-1516 – Oil on Panels)


Hot Honey Chicken

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Baking Time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hours 20 minutes | Serves 4

NOTES ABOUT THIS RECIPE

Using a cast-iron skillet gives this recipe a classic “campfire meal” feel. For even more spice, consider making extra Sriracha/honey sauce and using it as a dipping sauce on the side.

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb total)
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved 
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper.
  3. Season the chicken on each side with this combined mixture.
  4. In an oven-proof skillet (such as a cast-iron skillet), heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat.
  5. When oil is hot, add the chicken and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and place the chicken on a plate. Drain fat from the skillet.
  7. Add the halved potatoes and sliced carrots to the skillet and return to heat. Season with salt and pepper and stir until mixed well.
  8. In a separate small bowl, mix honey and sriracha. Set aside 2 tablespoons mixture.
  9. Add 2 cloves of the chopped garlic to remaining honey mixture. Place chicken on top of vegetables, and brush  the chicken with the honey-garlic mixture.
  10. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Cook time will vary based on the size of the chicken thighs.
  11. Remove chicken. Place on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  12. Stir vegetables and place skillet back in oven an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until both vegetables are tender and potatoes are lightly browned.
  13. Remove the skillet from the oven and place chicken back on top of the vegetables.
  14. Brush the reserved 2 tablespoons honey-Sriracha mixture on the chicken, and serve.