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Baked chicken for a flu

11 Dec

We are all down with a terrible flu of varying degrees and I didn’t get the crayfish I thought would be cheap with China not wanting to buy from Tasmania.  Plus the hubs didn’t get anything that could be cooked in a jiffy.  So I was at my wits ends for a 2nd week running. 😦

So to boost all our immune systems and have a tasty meal, I decided I had to add garlic, lemon and red onion to the mix. And chicken soup is supposed to help with flus, right?  I had no soup but had some drumsticks.  I was too tired to stand around the stove so I baked the lot.  Apparently it was very fragrant according to the hubs.  I can’t smell a thing.  But the taste was definitely there and great since I’ve been having close to no appetite for a while.  I sprinkled the top with some fried pine nuts for added texture and taste.  Worked wonders with bub who was asking repeatedly for additional helpings.  I love how the garlic bakes to a lovely creamy paste – and this comes from a garlic hater.

Baked chicken for a flu

Makes enough for 4

Ingredients

4 chicken drumsticks

1 large red onion thinly sliced

1 bulb of garlic, separated into cloves with membranes still intact

1 lemon sliced thinly

1 sprig of rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp EVOO to fry pine nuts

Pine nuts 40g

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Rub salt and pepper into the chicken drumsticks.  Line up in the baking pan in a single layer.
  3. Place red onion, garlic, lemon and rosemary over chicken and drizzle EVOO over.
  4. Cover pan with 2x layer of aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the juices run dry when the thickest portion of the chicken is speared.
  5. Meanwhile, heat up EVOO in a saucepan and fry the pine nuts on medium heat, constantly stirring until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle pinenuts over chicken when done.
  7. Serve with potatoes or rice as preferred.

Tips

  1. Don’t eat the lemon!
  2. You can bake this together with potatoes.  So that saves time!
  3. Added after feedback from one of my readers:  This method of baking will give a gravy.  Some people may not like it.  If you do not like gravy, then bake without the foil.  My kid finds the chicken baked without the foil too dry though.  But the skin does come out nice and crisp.

Ad libbing

4 Dec

Today, things didn’t go as planned.  For a good reason but it meant that we didn’t go to the market and I had to scrap my idea of Greek lamb patties.  But it also meant I had to open the fridge and cook something from it.  It’s difficult because I only have a bar fridge and so our stocks at the end of the week are usually very low.  Thank goodness we have a separate freezer which has a stock of meat and fish.

Flinging the fridge door open, I sighed.  I mean, how am I going to put together a dish with bits and bobs when every week I buy stuff according to a recipe in mind?  And to cook something without a recipe?  Quite unheard of!  But I had no choice.  So I managed to fish out some tomatoes, an eggplant and a bottle of homemade pesto I made 2 weeks ago.  I had some chicken thighs and so I set to work.  Admittedly, it isn’t something terribly original per se but I did surprise myself by the ease of the dish and how lovely it turned out.  The bonus?  The kid actually ate the whole lot of it without much trouble!

Baked Chicken and Vegetables with Pesto

Makes for 4 people

Ingredients

4 Chicken drumsticks

2 large tomatoes, cubed

1 eggplant sliced

3/4 cup of basil pesto

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place chicken in a baking pan and cover all over with pesto.
  3. Place vegetables around the chicken and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Double wrap the baking pan with aluminium foil.
  6. Bake chicken and vegetables for 40 minutes or until the juices from the chicken run clear when pierced with a skewer.

Tips

  1. To prepare eggplant, wash and slice up the eggplant.  Then rub salt into the cut parts of the eggplant and leave to stand for 30 minutes.  Then rinse well.  Dry with a paper towel before cooking.  This takes away the bitter taste of older egg plants.
  2. You can use a cast iron pot with a lid instead.
  3. The sauce goes well with spaghetti.

Documented experiment #1 – Baked Chicken

25 Oct

Ever since I flipped the switch to the oven on, I’ve been finding out how advantageous cooking with the oven can be.  The initial plan was to try this recipe from Home Cooking Rocks but I ended up having to improvise as the jam I thought I had was almost finished!

So what does a woman with less than an hour to prepare dinner have to do?  Wing it!  So I ended up making do with what I had in the pantry.

I’m not a fan of using whole chickens.  Mainly because I have to chop them up and very few people in my family actually savor breast meat.  So a packet of chicken cutlets went into the pan to brown.  It was a very fatty lot of meat!  No oil was added since I had a non stick pan, but I got a centimetre deep of oil with a lot of splatter!  So much for reducing the cleaning up with baking!

I poured away most of the oil and used a teaspoon of the chicken oil to fry some sliced garlic and then added some fresh shitake mushrooms I got from the market.  It was very nicely fragranced. And yes, a tad unhealthy but I’m not one that chases the healthy notion too closely.  We only live once!

Then the chicken cutlets went onto the baking tray with red onion shreds sprinkled over it along with some oregano and lemon juice with it’s zest.  My sister-in-law does a mean baked potato which I tried to replicate (from my head) and failed.  So no recipe for that – yet.

Dinner came out of the over very nicely flavored without any salt used on the chickens and everything got cleaned up!  A success in my books!

Baked Chicken
Serves 4

Ingredients
8 pieces of chicken cutlets
1/2 a large red onion
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp Oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree celsius.
2. Sear the chicken cutlets to seal in the juices.  Place on the baking tray.
3. Chop up the large red onion and sprinkle over the chicken cutlets.
4. Pour the juice and zest of the chicken, followed by oregano sprinklings over.
5. Bake chicken for 40 minutes

Panfried shitake mushrooms
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbs olive oil (I used the chicken oil in smaller amounts so I didn’t have to wash)
400g Shitake mushrooms
1 clove of garlic finely sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
1. Heat the oil up until just starting to bubble a little.
2. Add the garlic slices (beware not to have the pan too hot – the garlic will burn) and fry till a golden crips.
3. Add the mushrooms and fry until wilted.
4. Salt and pepper to taste

I also tried baking the garlic cloves and I think that deserves a completely separate post, considering how much I don’t like the taste of garlic! Yes.  I’m slowly becoming a convert!

Not many photos as I was in a rush and the light was getting low.  But am thinking of how to bake the chicken without the searing (and splatter).  I reckon greaseproof paper may be the answer.  Will let you know how it turns out!