Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Welcome Chicken

Here in the apartments, slave is getting a new neighbor. So it is preparing a little “Welcome” dinner, since the guy may not have had the chance to fill a pantry. Now this is NOT considered as “charity” it is more of a “hello and glad to have you as a neighbor”. However the tenants move in on the first of the month. Buying food to cook on the last of the month can be a problem for many budgets. Slave doesn't worry so much that the ends don't meet. But it would be nice if they would at least texted each other!

So instead of roasting a whole chicken ($16) slave choose a “Pick of Chick” package ($6). This usually consists of 2 split breasts with ribs, 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs. This will make a small feast for the new (and single) guy. It will also give him left-overs and more time to make the grocery store trip. This simple and cheap meal with main dish and two green sides came in for under $20. Perfect for brightening up any neighbor of yours. Remember the elderly in this cold weather. This meal is also fairly safe as to any one's dietary restrictions you might not know about.

1 package Pick of Chick
1 lbs fresh broccoli
1 pkg frozen peas (or from a can)
3 slices bacon
¼ tsp. Herbes De Provence (or poultry seasonings)
olive oil

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Grate the garlic and rub this onto the pieces well. Let sit on counter to about 30 to 40 minutes to come to room temperature.
While you wait for this:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Fry up 3 pieces of bacon in a large skillet, until their grease is rendered. Remove bacon to paper towel, but leave grease in pan.

Cut the broccoli into flowerets and soak in a bath of cold water and ½ cup of white vinegar for about 5 minutes to clean them well. Rinse and drain in a colander.

If using a can of peas, drain and let them soak in water and 1 tbs. Baking soda for about 5 minutes, then rinse and drain well. (slave does this to remove any taste from the tin can, you can skip this if using an expensive brand).

By now, the chicken is ready. Heat the bacon grease to medium high and add 1 tbs. Olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces, skin side down. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes. You want this nice and crispy but not fully cooked. You are only doing one side.
While this browns, line two rimed baking pan, with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Put the broccoli in a large bowl with 2 Tbs of olive oil and stir it around until well coated. Pour this out onto one of the trays and spread around evenly. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Sprinkle the other pan with a tiny bit of either poultry seasoning or Herbs De Provence. - go very lightly with this. (Otherwise you not only waste the seasonings, they will tend to burn). Place the pieces of chicken on this as they come out of the pan.

Slide both baking pans into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, Rotate each pan about halfway through the roasting time. Check with an instant read thermometer for an internal temperature of 165. Remove from oven and lay a piece of foil on top. Let chicken rest for 10 full minutes.

While these are roasting, put the peas in a microwave dish. If using frozen, follow package directions. If using canned, follow directions on label. Usually the peas wont take much more than 5 minutes either way, so time this to start when the chicken is removed from oven. 
About roasting chicken: the old rule was to cook until the juices ran clear! This still works today. However after repeatedly poking holes to check the juice, it all runs out and you get a dry chicken. Not a mouth full of happy!
White meat will cook faster than dark. Therefor equal parts of breast meat will be done quicker than thigh or leg meat. However as Proof that God loves us, He made the breast meat much thicker – that slows the cooking time. Can slave get an “AMEN”?
If you cook the white meat to much, it becomes dry and tough. Chicken is not intended to be chewy! Thigh meat is forgiving, even if overcooked. In fact, it becomes more tender when cooked to at least 160°. So let's shoot for 165° degrees.
Next, the step of letting the chicken rest is very important. This time allows residual cooking and lets the meat reabsorb the juices. Lets just remember we all want a juicy chicken!
Now instead of plating up this great meal we wrap it up to deliver!

Two great sides of green vegetables: Garden peas and roasted broccoli that is just starting to caramelize.

Now when our new neighbor makes his last trip to his new home, when he arrives from the snow storm outside (up to 7 inches).

Here at his door will be a hot, home cooked healthy meal. There will be plenty of left overs. What's more he will feel that the whole building is welcoming him to his new home.
You have friends:

What a joyful task my Master gave me to do this. How wonderful slave feels.
Thank You Master Indy!


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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