Soy-Sauce-and-Citrus-Marinated Chicken and Bucatini with Lemony Carbonara: Not Your Standard Weeknight Dinners

I was going to write about the Sharks’ 6 game losing streak this week, and then they won a game. Then I was going to write about how they “got back on track” after that nice come from behind win against the Rangers on Tuesday, and then I realized it was probably going to be a copy and paste of every other article about the Sharks on the internet this week.

I would do a playoff preview, but it would probably be a worse version of every “preview of the Sharks’ possible playoff opponents” online, so I decided to write about food again since I made a couple of good dishes this week. It’s becoming more apparent to me that the NHL content of Buffalo Wings and Political Things will likely be interspersed into the food and political posts, but we will see how things go.

At this point, after the way they looked during the losing streak, I’m just glad the Sharks managed to clinch the playoffs, and am no longer expecting a Pacific Division title or worrying about a first round opponent. If they can go all the way to the Cup as a Wild Card last year, knocking off three very tough teams in LA, Nashville, and St. Louis, they can do the same this year with what I believe is an improved roster. Lets hope.

Anyways, let’s talk food.

Sam was kind enough to recently purchase me a subscription to Bon Apétit, a food magazine that has a dear place in my heart as it was the source of many of the excellent dishes my dad would cook on the weekends while I was growing up. Ever since I moved out I have continued to use the magazine’s website for the occasional recipe but the selection of free recipes online is limited and slightly repetitive.

I got my first issue in the mail last month, and after it sat on the coffee table for a few weeks I finally put it to good use, trying two new recipes in the last week. The first one was a delicious Soy-Sauce-and-Citrus-Marinated Chicken.

Unfortunately I completely forgot to take pictures, but the dish was delicious. I marinated 4 bone-in, skinned chicken thighs in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic cloves, crushed ginger, grapefruit juice, orange juice, lemon juice, white vinegar, and sugar for a couple of days (the chicken went into the marinade on Sunday night, and was eaten on Monday and Tuesday night).

To cook, I took out two thighs and placed them on a foil lined baking sheet, patted them dry, and seasoned them with Kosher salt. They then went into the oven for around 25 minutes at 375F, until they reached 165F internally, when they came out and sat for about 5 minutes before serving.

As I said, the chicken was delicious, especially on Tuesday night after it had sat in the marinade for an extra day. The dark meat of the thighs soaked in every flavor of the marinade, and I was able to taste the ginger, soy, citrus, and garlic individually. The skin, lightly salted, was saved for last and was juicy and flavorful. In the future, I would probably swap out the lemon juice in the marinade for lime, cut down on the grapefruit and up the other citrus, and add some greens to the meal (although the chicken went excellently with the sticky sushi rice we ate it with). I won’t paste the full recipe and cooking steps here since I don’t have pictures to accompany the dish, but if you are interested in the full recipe, give me a ping.

For the 2nd recipe this past week, I decided to get venture out on a limb and prepare something that I don’t normally cook: a slightly complex pasta dish. I’ve always enjoyed eating pasta when I go out to restaurants, but my pasta arsenal at home has usually consisted of spaghetti with Newman’s Own marinara, pre-made ravioli, or penne pasta with pre-made pesto—Sam is really the pasta expert in the house. However, I wanted to try my hand at something new in an attempt to expand my repertoire and get a little bit out of my comfort zone.

Conveniently enough for me, the recipe listed directly after the previously discussed chicken was something that immediately caught my eye: Bucatini with Lemony Carbonara. I am a big fan of citrus, a big fan of thick noodles, and a big fan of pasta dishes that include meat, so I guess it was my lucky week! After I took a look at the ingredients and the cooking steps, I immediately decided that the carbonara would be dinner for Wednesday and Thursday nights. I was not disappointed by my choice.

I will first will lay out the ingredients, talk about the dish, and post a few photos, and then include the cooking instructions at the bottom for all who are interested.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 oz. guanicale (salt cured pork jowl), pancetta, (Italian bacon), or slab bacon, thinly sliced, cut crosswise into ½” pieces [editor’s note: I used regular thick cut bacon from the plebe grocery store and the dish turned out just fine]
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced [I used 5]
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 12 oz. bucatini or other long-strand pasta
  • 2 oz. Parmesan, grated, plus more
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus thinly sliced zest for serving
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

The dish was excellent. The lemon zest and juice added a fresh, fruity, but understated twist to the pasta, and it blended well with the other traditional ingredients. The thick bucatini noodles absorbed all of the flavors quite nicely (I would definitely recommend the thick bucatini noodles over regular spaghetti), and the thickness of the bacon, cheese, and egg balanced nicely with the lighter ingredients in the dish.

The next time I make this dish, I will up the shallots and garlic, as although I could taste them along with the other ingredients, they weren’t as pronounced in the sauce as I was hoping (just a note, I do like onion and garlic flavors a lot, so the given amounts may already be perfect, and it could be my palate that is off). I would also keep the pasta off the heat a little longer than I did before I added the egg yolks, as the pan was still quite hot so some of the egg cooked immediately upon being poured in and there were a few small bits of scrambled egg in the dish (once you mixed everything together, you could barely notice).

This was a solid 4/5 stars for me, and has definitely been added to the Chris Issel Cooking Library!

Sam’s serving
The master at work–bonus points if you can spot the kitty

Here are the instructions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook guanicale, tossing often, until browned and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add pepper and cook, stirring often, just until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 ½ cups pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta to skillet along with ½ cup pasta cooking liquid and 1 oz. Parmesan and toss to coat. Remove skillet from heat and add egg yolks [editor’s note: as I mentioned make sure the pan isn’t too hot or the egg will immediately cook and the yolk won’t blend into the dish]. Toss again, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until a smooth glossy sauce coats pasta [editor’s note: the recipe does not say to return the skillet to heat after adding the egg, but I continued to cook on low heat after I blended in the yolk].

Add grated lemon zest, lemon juice, and another 1 oz. Parmesan. Toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed to loosen sauce.

Divide pasta among bowls, top with sliced lemon zest and more Parmesan. Serve.

2 thoughts on “Soy-Sauce-and-Citrus-Marinated Chicken and Bucatini with Lemony Carbonara: Not Your Standard Weeknight Dinners

  1. Hi Chris – Both recipes sound great and I printed out the lemony carbonara. However, it took 4 pages due to the order in which you wrote things. I humbly suggest that you put ingredients and directions together. Eat well and save trees.

    I think it’s great that you and Sam both like to cook. I bet you have a lot of fun in the kitchen!

    We will see you a week from tomorrow!

    Love, Grandma

    On Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 8:04 PM, Buffalo Wings and Political Things wrote:

    > christopherissel posted: “I was going to write about the Sharks’ 6 game > losing streak this week, and then they won a game. Then I was going to > write about how they were “got back on track” after that nice come from > behind win against the Rangers on Tuesday, and then I realized it ” >


  2. If either of you has an iPad, get epicurious, the App from Bon Appetit, which is available with your subscription. All the recipes in one place and you can make ingredients lists and stuff. Sounds delicious! Kitty on top of fridge supervising your every move.


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