Hi fellow foodies! It’s that time of year when things can get a little bit spooky and food can take on a personality of its own. Halloween allows people of all ages to get creative with costumes, decorations and even their meals. Today, I want to present my idea for a creepy centerpiece that combines good flavors with stomach turning visuals. I fashioned an alien head out of kitchen edibles that is sure to get attention from your friends and family. It’s kind of gross, definitely tasty and a whole lot of fun!
3-4 pound chicken
6-8 chicken wings
Red chili flakes
Olive oil spray
Red wine vinegar
Battery powered candles
Wooden skewers of different sizes
9 x 13 baking dish
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Step 1: Prepare the Chicken
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with olive oil spray. Rinse chicken. Place chicken in dish with the back facing up. You should see the tail on top. Stretch out wings and use a long wooden skewer to fix wings in an outstretched position.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with olive oil spray. Run a wooden skewer through the other chicken wings so that they are fully extended. Place wings on baking sheet.
Add some lemon halves (4) to the casserole dish along with a handful of celery sticks. These will be garnishes later.
Step 2: Create the Sauce
To a small bowl, add 1/2 cup honey, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground sage, and 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard. Add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice while whisking.
Step 3: Brush on Sauce and Bake
Use a brush to spread sauce on chicken and skewered chicken wings. Place in oven on centered racks. Whole chicken will take about one hour to bake and chicken wings will take about 40-45 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of bake time for the whole chicken, you will raise the temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit in order to bake the asparagus (more about that in a bit). Turn chicken wings over halfway through cook time. Check for doneness with a thermometer. On the whole chicken, it should be inserted on the thickest part of the meat but not touching the bone. It should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit for all of the chicken parts.
Step 4: Create the Glazed Chicken Paws (Feet)
To a medium saucepan, add water until it is halfway full. Add chicken paws that have been cleaned. Leave the claws on the paw to add an extra creepy vibe to your meal. Add 1 tablespoon of red wind vinegar so that the paws don’t turn dark in color. Boil on high temperature for 20 minutes.
Remove paws from boiling water. Place into a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder (not pictured). Stir and marinate for 3 minutes.
Place chicken feet and marinade in flare frying pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté on medium high until marinade is reduced and feet are glazed, approximately 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
Step 5: Prepare the Eggs
This project involves a bunch of multi-tasking. While you are baking the chicken and preparing the chicken paws, boil 4-6 eggs in water in a medium saucepan for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Dry eggs with a paper towel and spray with black color mist (edible food spray). Protect work area from overspray with paper towels. Allow to dry.
Step 6: Prepare and Bake the Asparagus
Raise oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for the last 15 minutes of bake time for the chicken.
On a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil, add approximately 1 handful of asparagus. Coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Dust with 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes on and middle oven rack.
Step 7: Prepare the Garnishes
On a large platter, place mixed field greens.
Cut a pomegranate into quarters and remove some seeds. Cut apple slices and onion slices. Cut a large section of papaya to create a mouth for your alien. Line interior with toothpicks or small bamboo skewers. I left the seeds in the papaya section to give my alien “dirty teeth”.
Step 8: Alien Assembly
Using two large spatulas, pick up whole chicken and center in the mixed greens on your platter. Use color mist to spray body of bird so that it will be dark in color. Carefully, add skewered chicken wings in a rainbow pattern at the head end of the bird. Skewer baked asparagus and add them to the rainbow pattern.
Add a row of glazed chicken feet using small bamboo skewers.
Use two lemon halves to create “eyes” at the tail end of the bird. Affix with small bamboo skewers. Add a small onion ring filled with pomegranate seeds to each eye to creat an iris.
Add papaya mouth that you have already prepared. Surround mouth and eyes with blackberries. You can put some asparagus tops above the mouth for a “nose”.
To garnish, surround the alien head with celery sticks, pomegranate quarters, black eggs, apple slices and battery operated tea lights.
Step 9: Woo Hoo! You Just Made an Alien!
Congratulations! You just made Alien Entrée! My family was super interested in this project because they are used to my traditional meals. If you just made this, I’ll bet you will get some fun reactions too (especially with the chicken paws!) Its certainly fun to think outside the box and experiment with Halloween food. Feel free to try out your own designs with this project. It certainly lends itself to a variety of ingredients and elements so that your alien head can be downright crazy! Have fun!
Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019