Who is not attracted to the deep flavour of sticky toffee pudding or gingerbread? But after winter is over there is always a leftover tin of treacle that remains a lonely feature, want for purpose, in the pantry. That is until the holidays roll around to the next coming year. In this recipe I have repurposed the same magic ingredient that lends its dark comfort to us during the holidays to add savoury richness to a simple baked chicken . It is effortless, mouthwatering and will provide gainful employ to the treacle tin you already have to hand.
1/2 cup treacle
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups pineapple cut in chunks ( about 1/2 a fresh Pineapple )
4 free range chicken breasts ( or one spatchcock chicken )
Finely copped parsley or chives to garnish
Preheat oven to 160C/325F
Mix all ingredients except pineapple in a blender to make a marinade.
In a large bowl add chicken and pineapple and pour over with the marinade and toss to cover evenly.
Transfer everything to a balking casserole dish cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness for the chicken.
Our Tudor inspiration
Treacle, or Molasses as it is known in the New World, is a byproduct of the sugar crystal production process. As such a much more affordable sweetener for the middle and lower classes in the Tudor era. It was also used for medicinal purposes. Healthcare professionals deemed it beneficial for the blood, and it showed up in formulas for poison antidotes.
In the 1500’s, it would have come by way of Venice, which managed the first sugar refineries. But by 1600 London got their start in the sugar refinery business, which meant that treacle became more widely available and affordable to the general public. It had never been expensive, but with local production, it became the cheapest it had ever been. Treacle became a common ingredient in gingerbread and other baked goods. It was also used to sweeten beverages like ginger beer.