Frugal Da-da's Recycled Kitchen Sink Marinade

Da-da learned cooking-for-entertaining, originally. This is quite costly, but you're going for the gold when entertaining. However, given Da-da's time and economic restraints, he's since learned how to cook quickly and frugally. One of the things he now does is recycle dressings and sauces. (Huh?)

That's right. Da-da bought a big, widemouth quart juice container, and dumps the dregs of any bottled sauce or bottled/homemade salad dressing in there for use as a future marinade. You'd be shocked at how good chicken is marinated in leftover dregs of Newman's balsamic dressing, last few tablespoons of Trader Joes BBQ sauce, soyaki, fish sauce (adds incredible complexity), black strap molasses, orange juice, kung pao sauce, old salsa... the kitchen sink. The less work you put into it the better. Save till you have enough (might take a few weeks), then toss in some chicken legs or thighs, marinate for a few hours, yank out and S&P, and GRILL, GRILL LIKE THE WIND. Damn good. If Da-da has some teeny erg of energy left, he sometimes tosses in a little chopped garlic or shallots. If you really get into it, try keeping a log of what's in there, jotting down what mad scientist ingredients you used just in case the kids want more, and believe Da-da: they will.

Da-da created this little experiment primarily because he has a smallish fridge and needed the valuable chilly real estate for other ingredients. And with prices for six chicken legs being about $2.50, you can afford to experiment. If you happen upon something reaaaally good, you can replicate it for a whole (butterflied) chicken, provided you kept notes. If not, what the hell. It was fun while it lasted. Recipes are nothing but someone trying to replicate a moment, anyway.

[Note: chop leftover grilled meat and stir fry with leftover rice and  veggies to make an incredible rice bowl. Better than take-out.]

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