I am just forewarning you… things are about to get really campy for the upcoming onslaught of Halloween posts. I make no apologies, just warning.
With Halloween upon us it’s time for a little kitsch and carnage. What better than Bones & Body Parts? They’re sweet, sticky, savory, a little spicy… Need I say more?
This time of year, while everyone is gushing over pumpkin spice, I’m a little more focused on apples and cider. The Bones (aka baby back ribs) and Body Parts (or chicken legs) get marinated in a good apple cider. They take on a gentle apple flavor, nothing quite as strong as the cider itself, but there’s something about the essence of the cider that the meat takes on—it’s almost like you can smell the fall air when you bite into one of these severed appendages.
In addition to the cider, the marinate also gets both brown and turbinado sugar (for caramelization and sweetness), fresh minced red chilies (for a little heat), and garlic, Dijon and Worcestershire (for a punchy depth). The whole thing really comes together as simply as that; everything is chucked or poured into sealable bags, and then into the fridge where they’re forgotten for 24 hours. When the time comes, everything—marinade and all—get dumped into a roasting tray (or multiple, based on how much you plan on making), covered, and cooked in the oven low and slow until meltingly tender.
It is here where the real horror show begins. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Cooking the chicken and ribs in a covered pan of liquid in the oven means that their fat melts off, which is in part what keeps the meat so tender, but all that fat has to go somewhere. Obviously, it collects in the pan. It’s kind of a horror show. So I remove the chicken and ribs to a plate while I dispose of the remaining contents of the pan. From there, I wipe the whole thing down and return the Bones and Body Parts to the pan, crank the oven, and roast them a little while longer until they start to caramelize and crisp up a bit. They get sticky and sweet, and it’s so good against the tender meat.
This fits in perfectly among an array of finger foods for a Halloween party, but if you’d rather make a meal of it I like having it with a Kale and Apple Salad.
All that’s left now is to tumble everything onto a big serving platter in a big pileup of butchery and serve.
Lots more for Halloween to come! Follow me on BLOGLOVIN’ so you don’t miss out!