If you know me, you know that I do a lot of cooking. I don’t really have much choice. Feeding the monkeys is a full time job in and of itself, especially monkey #1, who, if there isn’t a homemade meal readily available, will alternate between the fridge and pantry, and proclaim,
There’s no FOOD around here!
Even though there is food; it’s just not prepared. God forbid they feed themselves. Just kidding – they’re getting better – it’s all a learning process, right? When I was 19, all I knew how to cook was Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese and cold cereal. Besides I’m happy that they’d rather have my cooking.
So why don’t I do more cooking posts? Good question. Mostly the reason is, when I’m cooking, I’m rocking & rolling, and don’t think to take pictures until after everything is finished. Plus, I don’t have a very photogenic kitchen and a super-duper camera like some people. I use my iPhone in my grungy old kitchen with the fluorescent lights from hell. (You know, one bulb is always flickering, and they do that weird humming noise until you bang on the ceiling?)
So, if you, my viewing public, don’t mind some yellow-ish photos, I will be happy to share more recipes. My cooking style is mostly homemade, using as few packaged products as possible. Usually I have a long version, and a shortcut version of what I’m making, depending on how much time I have, what I have on hand, and the status of the growling coming from the Monkeys. I use sugar, I use butter, I use gluten (whatever the FUCK that is anyway), I use meat, so if you are looking for some specialty diet, this ain’t the place for you. BUT I do try to make everything as fresh and (relatively) healthy as possible; i.e., while I do use butter, I use olive oil more.
If you like it, great if not, too bad. Around here,
You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.
Heat oven to 350°
- 1 ½ – 2 Roasting chickens, cut into pieces or halves
- Kosher salt
- ½ Onion, sliced lengthwise
- 1-2 whole cloves garlic, no need to peel
- olive oil
- squeeze of lemon
(optional side dishes – baked sweet potato, and sautéed broccoli rabe; see below)
Sprinkle salt on chicken, and place on a rack in a baking pan (I used a cooling rack on a cookie sheet – see picture). Spread pieces of onion and cloves of garlic all around the pieces of chicken. No need for perfection – you just want to get some flavor in there. Then drizzle olive oil over the top, and squeeze a wedge or two of lemon over everything. You can just leave the lemon wedges in the pan, as the flavor and aroma will mix in while everything is cooking. If you want to, and you have it available, you can add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme too, but I didn’t do that this time. This was just a quick n’ dirty throw-it-in-the-oven type of dinner.
When your chicken is seasoned, add about ¾ cup of water to the pan, cover the whole thing tightly with foil, and stick in the oven. Leave it for about an hour and a half, more or less. (The longer it cooks, the more tender your chicken will be, but too long and it will fall apart. Really too long and it will turn to charcoal and your house will burn down. So think about and hour – hour and a half.)
(Super secret tip! This is also how I make melt-in-your-mouth BBQ ribs! Only you cook those for about 3 hours.)
After I got the chicken in the oven, I scrubbed & dried some sweet potatoes, schmeared them with olive oil & sprinkled with Kosher salt. I placed these on a piece of foil (because they drip when cooking) right on the bottom rack of the oven.
Do some laundry, sweep the front patio or go on Pinterest for awhile.
Wash & trim your broccoli rabe. I didn’t take this picture, but it looks like this (click for source):
Now you might be saying to yourself, “Ew, it’s all green, and leafy; I’m not going to eat that!”
Oh yes, you will eat it, mister, and you will like it!
This stuff is loaded with vitamins, and even though it looks gross to you non-veggie eaters out there, it is really quite delicious, especially when prepared right. AND it’s the perfect compliment to your BBQ so quit yer bitchin and make it already! It cooks pretty fast, and it tastes best when eaten right away, so you can wait until your chicken is almost done to start it.
Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
Put a large pot of water on to boil. When boiling, add a generous amount of salt (a handful). Throw in the broccoli rabe and let cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until the stalks are just tender enough when pierced with a fork or knife.
While the broccoli rabe is cooking, chop 2 cloves of garlic.
Drain broccoli rabe in colander and dump out the water. Put the pot back on the stove and heat up 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sautée the garlic just until translucent (about a minute or two on medium-high heat. Not too long or too hot, or it will burn. Hint: if you do burn garlic, toss it and start over. It won’t taste good). Then add the broccoli rabe back to the pan, and heat through. It will only take a couple of minutes. Squeeze lemon over the top, and you’re done! Super easy & good for you!
Now, back to your chicken.
Before removing the chicken from the oven, go outside and heat up your grill to about 400°. (If you don’t have one, I’m sure a grill pan or an indoor grill will work.) Make sure to spray the grill with non-stick spray or oil the grill racks with olive oil.
Remove the chicken from the oven and carefully drain the water from the pan. Get some BBQ sauce and a cold beer and take everything out to the grill.
Throw your chicken on the grill, then close the grill. Flip the chicken over back and forth, every 3-4 minutes or so. Spread the BBQ sauce on with a basting brush every time you move the chicken. Do this a few times, just until you have gotten a nice glaze of sauce and some nice crispy grill marks, to your taste. I like mine just a teeny bit burnt around the edges. But I’m weird. At any rate, you should only have the chicken on the grill for about 15 minutes (give or take) altogether. Otherwise it will get dried out.
Be sure to sip the cold beer while you are grilling. Don’t ask why. Just do it.
Then when you get the pan in the house, you want to test a chicken wing, just to check and see how it came out. And before you knew it you ate two chicken wings and forgot to take a picture.
Then you say to yourself:
holy shit that was the best BBQ chicken ever
Now go eat.