Tag Archives: onion

Sheet pan chicken

22 Jan

Cooking seems to be equal parts high art and necessary chore. Sometimes I would be perfectly content to putter around the kitchen all day long. Other times, I just want to toss something in the oven and just forget about it.

dinner is served

This dish would be perfect for those easy dinner days. You literally toss together whatever sounds good or whatever you have in your fridge, put some chicken thighs on top of it all and toss it in the oven. And you pull out the most delicious, nutritious dinner you could imagine!

nutritious dinner

This is not so much a recipe, but more of a guideline for a delicious meal. This is how I make mine…you can use other vegetables that you prefer, making sure to choose ones that roast well like root vegetables. You can also swap out the protein; to keep it simple, select something that roasts in the same time as the vegetables, such as pork chops or sausages. Fish would also work here, but you’d have to roast the vegetables for a while on their own before adding the fish for a shorter amount of roasting time. Half the fun is experimenting and making this dish your own – let your imagination run wild!!

So first, I cut up the vegetables I’m going to use.

raw vegetables

Some of my favorites are onions, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli. So let’s start with those, cut up into bite sized pieces. And since I still have some rutabaga left over from the pasties, I’ll chop that up and add it to the mix. Along with a buttercup squash that I’ve had around for quite a while.

vegetables in bag

I cut them all up and place them into a plastic bag, drizzle with olive oil, add crushed garlic, salt and pepper and any other seasonings that you like and toss together to coat all the vegetables completely and evenly with the oil and seasonings. If you have any fresh rosemary or fresh thyme, add them to this mix. They add quite a nice flavor to the dish.

Then pour all the vegetables onto a heavy baking sheet pan.

vegetables on pan

Go ahead and dry the chicken thighs. I love to use chicken thighs with the skin on and bone in because the meat is so tender and flavorful and never dries out. And the skin crisps up so nicely!

You could season the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder or go nuts and use jerk seasoning or garam masala or curry powder. Other seasonings that are fantastic are anything by Chef Earl, a local fixture at the St Paul farmers market. Every time I make this dish, I use something different to season the chicken and I have yet to find a seasoning that I don’t like here. Today, I used a little Arisco, some paprika that my brother brought me from his trip to Hungary and some fresh cracked pepper.

Place the chicken thighs atop the vegetables and place into preheated oven for 45 minutes.

chicken ready for oven

Check the vegetables at 45 minutes and if they don’t seem done, leave them in another 15 minutes. Sometimes, I like to have the vegetables nice and browned, other times just having them be soft and cooked all the way through is good. You can check the potatoes and carrots for doneness by sticking a fork in them. If they are soft enough, the fork will  slide right in. If they are still hard, roast them for longer.

I’ve never had any issues with the chicken not being cooked all the way through, but if that’s a concern for  you, put a meat thermometer into the largest piece of the chicken and make sure it measures at least 165F/74C.

Look at the crispy skin on this piece!

crispy skin

Sheet pan chicken

Ingredients:

6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 bunch of broccoli, broken into florets
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 8oz package of mushrooms, halved
1 pound of baby red potatoes, chopped in large pieces
4-6 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped in large pieces
1 onion, chopped in large pieces
1/2 rutabaga, peeled and chopped in large pieces
1/2 buttercup squash, peeled and chopped in large pieces
4 garlic cloves, pressed
2-3 tablespoons of seasoning
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
cracked pepper
salt
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 425F/220C.

Peel and chop the vegetables. Make the harder, longer cooking vegetables slightly smaller and make the softer, faster cooking vegetables larger. Place in large plastic bag or large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, add seasoning, pressed garlic and salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat all the vegetables evenly. Add fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs.

Pour onto heavy baking sheet pan.

Dry chicken thighs well with paper towels. Rub the thighs really well with seasoning of  choice. Place atop the vegetables on the sheet pan.

Roast for 45 minutes, then check vegetables and chicken for doneness. If not done, return to oven for another 15 minutes or until done.

You can easily double the quantity of ingredients and make two pans at the same time. That way you’ll have lunches for the rest of the week. You’re welcome!

There are lots of variations on this dish here and here and here. Enjoy!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Apple Chutney

23 Dec

Winter is in full bloom in Minnesota, although this dinner was cooked and eaten when it was still officially fall. My apologies for taking a full season to update this blog with a new post!

When the colder seasons make their appearance, I like nothing better than to turn on my oven and bask in the smells and warmth of baking warm comforting food and sharing it with friends.

Butternut Squash Soup

I got together with a few of my friends at the house of Kyle (the photographer of the professional looking photos on this post–thanks, Kyle!!), we had a lovely dinner and as always, fun conversation and a great time together.

We enjoyed the Bear’s Den (aka Kyle’s garage) and the great company. We had butternut squash soup with curried apple chutney (recipes posted below), potato leek soup with bacon jam (recipes will be posted at a later date), grilled cheese sandwiches, purple cabbage salad and brats with onion jam, topped off by apple crisp with ice cream and salted caramel sauce (recipe taken from the caramel here with sea salt added).

Purple cabbage salad

Purple cabbage salad

Laura loosening the sauerkraut lid

Laura loosening the sauerkraut lid

John got it open!

John got it open!

Apple Crisp with ice cream and salted caramel sauce

Apple Crisp with ice cream and salted caramel sauce

But back to the recipes…butternut squash is a favorite of mine. It’s fantastic cut up and roasted, is delicious roasted and mashed as a side dish and it makes a beautifully creamy soup. As a shortcut to prevent cutting off your own extremities, roast the squash first, then simply scoop the softened flesh out of peel, rather than struggling with cutting and peeling the slippery, solid whole squash.

Butternut Squash roasted

Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with melted butter, then salt and pepper and pop right into the oven.

onion and apple

While the squash is roasting, finely chop an onion and an apple (aren’t they just so pretty?)

apple and onion

Saute the chopped onions and apple along with some sliced fresh sage and salt and pepper in a large pan over medium heat.

Butternut Squash Soup 027

Once the squash is soft and fully roasted, scoop it out of the peel and add it to the soup pot along with the chicken stock and water and let it simmer.

Butternut Squash Soup 038

Once everything is soft and well cooked, blend it well. You can put it in your blender in batches – carefully so you don’t burn yourself or blow the top off your blender – or with an immersion/hand blender. I love my immersion blender as it makes tasks like this so easy! Mine has a plastic blender base, so I can use it with my enamel cookware without fear of damage to the pots.

Butternut Squash Soup 048

I served this soup with curried apple chutney (the one in the middle), which was a snap to mix up and let cook for a few hours on the back of the stove.

Onion Jam, Curried Apple Chutney and Bacon Jam

Onion Jam, Curried Apple Chutney and Bacon Jam

Curried Apple Chutney 006

Just add all the ingredients to the pan and cook. Really. It’s that easy.

Curried Apple Chutney 002

1-Curried Apple Chutney 013

Cook until the apples are soft and it’s all cooked into even more of a browny-beige color (if that is even possible).

1-Curried Apple Chutney 018

This recipe made three jars of this chutney and was an excellent addition to the soup.

1-Curried Apple Chutney 026

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 
adapted from Chow

Ingredients
4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
1/2 medium yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream

Instructions
Heat the oven to 425°F/220°C and arrange a rack in the middle.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.

Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.

Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Curried Apple Chutney
recipe from West Coast Mama – adapted from the Well Preserved Cookbook

Ingredients
9 cups peeled, chopped and diced apple
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups golden raisins
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon each of ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom and ginger

Instructions
Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until thickened, stirring often. Stir almost constantly during the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time to prevent scorching.

Remove from heat. Ladle into jars and store in the fridge for up to 30 days. If you wish to be able to preserve them outside the refrigerator, you will need to follow the instructions below and learn about canning here.

If canning or preserving, then prepare the preserving jars.
Ladle the chutney into hot, sterilized jar leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rims clean. Seal and process jars.

Sautéed Cabbage with Tomato

14 Jan

Let’s continue on this roll (hehe) with more cabbage! After seeing Alice’s last dish, I was so hungry for cabbage that I went to the store and made my go-to comfort food cabbage dish – sauteed cabbage with tomato.

Cabbage plated

This is a dish that I grew up eating on a regular basis. We had a huge garden and grew a lot of cabbage and had it for lunch and dinner quite often. It’s a simple dish that is great as a main vegetarian dish, perfect as a side dish with meatloaf or roast chicken or Brazilian beans and rice and delicious heated up and topped with a poached egg for a filling weeknight dinner in a flash. If you happen to be on a veggie kick, it’s right up your alley. The only non-vegetable ingredient is the olive oil used in the pan for sauteing purposes.

Ingredients

First, chop up your onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger

chopped ingredients

Slice your cabbage as thin as you can, by first cutting the cabbage in half

Cabbage_2

Then slicing each half very finely.

chopped cabbage

Heat up oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven.

First add your onions to the hot pan and let them cook for two to three minutes, stirring regularly, until they are softened slightly.

sauteed onions

Then add the garlic and ginger and stir before adding the tomatoes to the pan.

sauteed tomatoes

Add salt and pepper, or Arisco if you are lucky enough to have some. Arisco is a Brazilian seasoning consisting of salt, pepper, onion and garlic which adds a wonderful flavor to most savory dishes.

Arisco

When the tomatoes have softened a little – about three minutes – add a cup of water and all the cabbage.

Lots and lots of cabbage

You may want to make sure your pan is large enough…mine almost wasn’t.

Lots of cabbage

Cover the pan for about five minutes, until the cabbage has softened a bit and is reduced

covered pan

Stir for a few more minutes while it continues to cook.

sauteed cabbage

When the cabbage is cooked, but still has a little bit of a crunch, serve.

Cabbage

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a good helper like I do.

Hattie helping

If you like a little spice, feel free to add some pepper sauce.

plated_2

Alice, are you going to continue the cabbage roll?

Sautéed Cabbage with Tomato
Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a side

1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the onions in the hot oil until softened, about two to three minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir frequently before adding the tomatoes. Continue to stir until the tomatoes are softened, about three minutes. Add one cup of hot water to the pan and stir before adding all of the cabbage to the pan.

Cover pan for five minutes then remove cover and resume sautéing while stirring regularly until cabbage is softened, but still a bit crunchy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

plated_5

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread)

2 Mar

I have been enjoying our exploration of Brazilian food for the past few weeks. My Mom happened to have a few pounds of oxtail in her freezer but didn’t have a recipe for making any of the dishes we used to eat in Brazil, so Alice’s recipe is very timely. Thanks, Alice!

I decided to try my hand at one of my favorite snacks, pão de queijo, which translates to “cheese bread”. It’s made with tapioca flour or in Portuguese, povilho which has the consistency of cornstarch, sort of squeaky and super fine. It’s more like a powder than flour.

In Brazil, you can get sweet or sour povilho and it’s the sour povilho that is used for this delicious snack. Here in the United States you can buy tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch) in the gluten-free areas of most grocery stores. This is the equivalent of povilho doce or the sweet flour and it will work in a pinch. You may have to look in specialty stores. In my local store, I was able to find the tapioca flour as well as a ready made mix.

I’ve attempted pão de queijo from scratch about three times in my life and have never been able to make them as well as I’d like. Of course, my Mom once made this cheese bread and forgot to add the cheese, so maybe it’s a genetic thing.

On this attempt, I adapted a recipe that I saw on the foodie photography blog What Katie Ate. It called for the addition of a boiled, mashed potato, which I’d never heard of before in this cheese bread. It had a good flavor, but my first batch was over baked and quite crunchy, rather than being a bit soft and gooey in the middle. When I baked my second batch, I followed the directions on the recipe (duh) and added a bowl of water to the oven to help keep the little treasures from drying out so much. And what do you know? It helped! That’ll teach me to skim over a recipe.

This is a fairly simple method. Boil the potato and mash it up so it’s smooth.

Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer if you have one, as it goes much faster that way. Combine everything until it becomes a smooth dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry. Add a teaspoon or two of milk if it seems too dry to hold together nicely.

Next, roll the dough into balls. I usually make them bite sized, but you can also make them into large bun sized balls and use them for sandwiches.

Bake them for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size you make them. Don’t forget to add an oven proof bowl filled with water to the oven before you start baking them.
Once they are lightly browned on the bottom, they are done.

I love to eat these cheese breads topped with vinaigrette (vee-nah-grechy) which is a sort of Brazilian fresh salsa made with vinegar, olive oil, chopped onions, tomatoes and green peppers. I know Alice can’t eat green peppers, so she’s allowed to leave them out. Something else green would be good in it instead, maybe celery or chopped cilantro leaves.

Chop the onions, green pepper and tomatoes to a fine chop, you don’t want large chunks of anything in this vinaigrette.

Mix together in a bowl with the olive oil and red wine vinegar, adding salt and pepper to taste. This, like most things I cook, is very adaptable to your preference. You can add other ingredients as variations if you want to be creative. Sometimes I add corn and black beans and use lime juice instead of the vinegar and eat it as a salad or a tortilla chip dip. Go crazy with this.

I use Arisco as my all purpose seasoning. It’s just salt, pepper, onion and garlic, but the combination is not something that is easily replicated. I use it for everything. It is wonderful in meat marinates, added to my black beans or to my balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing – the sky’s the limit. You can usually get it at Brazilian stores or latin markets. If you are fortunate enough to be able to find it, BUY SOME! You will thank me later.

When the little pão de queijo is done, cut one open, spoon the sauce in it and enjoy. You’ll be back for more.

I have found a couple of good pão de queijo mixes at the Brazilian store and the mix shown at the top of the page was at my local grocery store. The mixes are usually quite good, especially if you add fresh grated cheese to them. So in this case, I am going against everything I normally would do and am recommending using a mix. So if you can find one, use it with my blessing.

Pão de Queijo

4 cups (500 gr) tapioca flour (starch)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (250 gr) grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup (50 gr) grated parmesan
4 tablespoons oil
1 cup boiled mashed potato
4 tablespoons butter
1-3 teaspoons of milk, only if necessary

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place an oven safe bowl full of water on the top rack of the oven. This will help keep the rolls from drying out. Chop the potato and boil it in a medium saucepan of water. When it is soft, drain it and mash it with a fork until it is smooth.
Measure all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, preferably in the bowl of an electric mixer if you have one. Combine the ingredients well until a soft dough has formed. If the dough seems too dry, add one teaspoon of milk and mix again. You can add up to three teaspoons of milk if necessary. The longer you mix it, the smoother the dough will be, so don’t skimp on the mixing.
Roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet. I rolled mine into the size of a golf ball, but you can go as large as the size of your fist. They won’t puff too much, so you can bake them fairly close together.
For the golf ball sized rolls, bake for 15 minutes, then check to see if the bottoms are light brown. For larger rolls, increase the baking time by 10-20 minutes. If you aren’t sure that they are done, pull one out and cut it open. Watch out for the hot steam – don’t burn yourself! If the outside is a little crispy and the inside is slightly gooey, then they are done.
Cut open, top with the vinaigrette and enjoy.

Vinaigrette

½ medium onion, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
½ green pepper, chopped finely
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper or Arisco to taste

Combine all the ingredients and taste. Adjust the vinegar or salt and pepper quantities to taste.
Serve on pão de queijo. This is also good atop grilled fish, as an accompaniment to beans and rice, a dip for tortilla chips or… just use your imagination. And please let me know how you’ve adapted it.

Black Beans and Rice with Oven Fried Chicken

18 Feb

Alice’s last post looked utterly delicious! Black beans have so much flavor and make for such a satisfying meal.

I grew up eating beans every day. They are high in protein and in fiber. In other words, they are good for you. They are also very inexpensive, especially if you buy the dried beans and cook them yourself.

The Brazilian beans I ate every day were a little different from these, but I took inspiration from them. Our beans were brown and not quite as flavorful as black beans. We didn’t typically add vegetables to them either. It was just onions, garlic and maybe the odd bit of meat for flavoring. The black beans were eaten more frequently in Curitiba and areas near the southern coast of Brazil, where we vacationed each year. They were also used for feijoada, the national Brazilian dish of beans and many different sorts of meats cooked together into an amazingly rich goodness. This combination of things meant that to me, black beans were special occasion food. I enjoy eating them all the time now, without having to wait for a special occasion.

To make these every day special occasion beans, first chop up some onion and tomatoes, press garlic through a garlic press and mix it with some salt until it becomes a paste. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, drizzle enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. Toss in the onions, let them saute until they are soft, add the garlic paste and let cook for about a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook them until softened and starting to release a little of their juice, about five minutes.

Then toss in a can of rinsed, drained black beans,

stir well to combine, season with salt, fresh ground pepper and some cumin.

Use the empty bean can to fill with hot water and add that to the pan.

Let this cook until thickened, add a dash of hot sauce and serve over rice.

The rice starts off in much the same manner. Saute the onion in a heavy bottomed pan and once it has begun to soften, about five minutes, add the garlic paste and let that cook for a minute or two.

In the meantime, rinse your rice until the water runs clear, then drain it. When the onions and garlic are softened and have sufficiently scented your kitchen (remember to BREATHE in this heavenly aroma)

add the rice and stir it around in the pan. Let it combine with the onion mixture and even fry a bit.

After about five minutes of frying the rice,

pour in the boiling water.

You should use nearly double the amount of water as rice. Stir it well, making sure to scrape the rice off the edges of the pan. Taste the water to check the flavor, adjusting the salt to taste.

Let it boil for a minute or two, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. It should barely simmer for about 20 minutes. DO NOT stir the rice while it is cooking. You will end up with a glob of mush and will incur the wrath of every Brazilian grandmother there ever was! Check the pan after about 15 minutes, looking for little holes in the top of the cooked rice and take a taste to see if the rice is soft. You should poke a spoon down to the bottom of the pan to make sure the water has not all boiled off, as you don’t want to burn your rice. If the bottom of the pan is dry and the rice is still not done, add a little more boiling water and keep covered.

You will end up with a slightly crispier crust of rice at the bottom of the pan when you are done. This is a favorite treat among most rice eaters, at least in my family.

Top the rice with the beans and you’ve got yourself a delicious, satisfying, inexpensive meal.

I decided to add my Mom’s oven “fried” chicken to this meal. It is baked in the oven, but tastes crispy, as if it had been fried. You couldn’t ask for an easier way to prepare chicken.

Sprinkle the chicken with some salt and pepper.

Place a cup of flour in a zip lock bag or any clean plastic bag. Add the seasoning of your choice to the flour. Be generous with your spice.

I used a Cajun spice this time, along with some garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Drop the chicken in the bag of seasoned flour and shake until it’s completely coated.

Place it, skin side down, in a baking pan that has been drizzled with a little bit of oil and a couple of dabs of butter. Repeat for all the pieces. Pop the pan into a 375F degree oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes. Pull the pan out, flip over all the pieces and put it back into the oven for another 20 minutes. If it’s not brown and crispy enough for you yet, let it go another 10 minutes, then check again.

When the chicken is brown and crispy, pull out of the oven and serve. With the beans and rice, of course.

And I’m happy to report that the chicken is just as good eaten cold the next day. Yum!

Beans

1 can of black beans
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A few shakes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Crush garlic, then add to a small bowl with a teaspoon of salt and mix together with a spoon until it becomes a paste. Set aside.

Open can of beans (or cook them from dry), rinse beans and set aside.

In medium saucepan or large skillet, heat enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. Saute the onion until soft, about five minutes. Then add the garlic paste and the green pepper, if using. Cook a minute or two longer, then add the tomato. Once the tomatoes have softened and begun to release their juice, about five minutes, pour the drained beans into the pan and mix in the cumin. Then fill the empty bean can with hot water and pour into the mixture. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the water has thickened a bit. Crush some of the beans with the back of your spoon to thicken as well. Add a few shakes of hot sauce and serve.

This is the vegetarian version. You can include bacon to the saute process or add a ham hock for a meaty smoky flavor. Chorizo or other smoked sausages add extra richness to the dish.

Rice

1 cup of long grain rice, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of salt
1-2 tablespoons of oil
scant 2 cups of boiling water

Rinse rice until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

Chop onion.

Crush garlic, then mix in a small bowl with a teaspoon of salt until it becomes a paste. Set aside.

In a medium heavy bottomed pan, heat enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and saute until soft, about five minutes, then add the garlic paste and cook a minute or two longer. The rice can be added and fried in the onion and garlic mixture for about five minutes. Pour boiling water in the pan, enough to cover the rice by about 1/2 an inch (2 cm), or a little less than two cups.

Stir it well, making sure to scrape the rice off the edges of the pan. Taste the water for proper seasoning to your taste.

Let it boil for a minute or two, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Let it simmer on low without stirring for about 20 minutes. Check the pan after about 15 minutes, look for little holes in the top of the cooked rice and take a little taste to see if it’s soft. Also, poke a spoon down to the bottom of the pan to make sure the water has not all boiled off, as you don’t want to burn your rice. If the bottom of the pan is dry and the rice is still not done, add more boiling water to the pan and keep covered. Once the rice is softened, turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, for about 10 minutes before serving.

Bernice’s* Oven “Fried” Chicken

4 chicken breasts, skin on and bone in, or use whatever pieces you prefer
1 cup white flour
2 tablespoons powdered seasoning. I used Cajun, but you can use Jerk seasoning, a combination of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, Mrs Dash or any other premixed seasoning
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Salt and pepper the chicken. Place the flour and seasonings of your choice in a plastic bag, mix well. Drop the chicken in the bag of seasoned flour and shake to coat.

Place all the chicken pieces skin side down in a baking pan drizzled with some oil and some dabs of butter. Bake for 20 minutes, pull out and turn the chicken pieces over and return to oven for another 20 minutes, or until it is as crispy as you prefer. Eat.

*Bernice is my Mom

Hey Alice. Are you enjoying this tour of South America? What do you have for us now?

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