Chicken with Rice [Recipe]

Being a mother of two active toddlers with a full-time job makes cooking dinner a very difficult task to do.  Even though my mom cooks for us several nights a week, we still have to fend for ourselves the rest of the time.  Cooking dinner on a week night is especially challenging because I get home late.  So I am making it my mission to find simple and healthy recipes that require minimum prep and cooking time.

Here’s something I tried on Monday which I was able to finish in 50 minutes.

 

 Chicken with Rice (adapted from Mark Bittman‘s recipe)

Time: About 50 minutes;  Makes: 4 servings

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 organic chicken drum sticks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onions, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1.25 cups short-grain white rice

2 cups organic chicken stock

2 cups chopped fresh vegetables

2 tablespoon miso paste (optional)

Direction:

1. Wash chicken pieces under running water and pat dry with paper towel

2. Put the oil in a medium size skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken, skin side down.  Turn and rotate to another side after 5 to 7 minutes, make sure the heat is low enough so the chicken doesn’t burn. Remove them from the pan.

3.  Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, vegetables, and rice; cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy and coated with oil.

4. Return the chicken to the pan, add chicken broth and miso, and stir gently and thoroughly to dissolve miso and combine everything. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat so it bubbles gently but steadily. Cover the skillet and cook, undisturbed, for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let skillet sit undisturbed for another 5 minutes, then season and serve.

 

The dish came out looking great and Mario enjoyed his plate very much.  It was my first attempt so I did spend some time on indecision.  Nevertheless, I was able to prepare it in 25 minutes, plus 20 minutes of cooking time and 5 minute waiting time, I was able to bring dinner onto my dinning table in 50 minutes.

Some notes about this recipe:

1. I took the chicken out earlier that day so it didn’t have to spend any time on defrosting when I arrived home.

2. I put the chicken in the skillet first, then used the time between checking on the chicken to washing and chopping onions and vegetables.

3.  As an alternate to miso paste, you can use various sauces or even curry paste.  I used bell pepper and celery for my vegetables but whatever you find in your refrigerator will work too.  Keep it flexible and fun.

 

-Flo.

Alone with the Kids… Bake Banana Bread [Recipe]

A couple of Saturdays ago, I made a banana bread.

Early that morning, Mario left for work and I was left taking care of the kids alone.  I wasn’t thrilled about it because we had plans and now they were broken.  Take care of the kids all by myself wasn’t going to be a walk in the park either.  I decided to distracted myself by making a banana bread.

As I was making it, I was surprised at how simple the recipe was.  It was definitely easier than making cupcakes.  I lined my baking pan with parchment paper by folded it to fit pan.  I left the extra length on the either side and called them “wings.”

This one is ready for the oven.

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It took an hour and fifteen minutes to bake, and it came out looking gorgeous.

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The wings came in handy.  I pulled the whole thing right out without any damage to the bread or pan.

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I was slightly concerned with the couple of char spots on the top side of the bread, but the bread turned out incredibly moist once I cut it open.  Though next time I will begin to check the bread at 1 hour into baking.  You can see where the mashed banana bits and nuts are from the cut section.  Yum!

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I am not going to lie, I ate the first piece within 5 minutes.  I didn’t even wait for it to cool.  Even though I loved it, Ravi only ate one (thick!) piece and Maxie turned his nose up and walked away.  It was really good, but I wasn’t interested in eating the whole thing all by myself.  A light bulb went off in my head, I should deliver this to Mario and his team!  That would be such a wifely thing to do.  The best part?  That’s at least half an hour with the kids securely buckled in their car seat, unable to cause anymore mayhem at home.

Mario came home that night and thanked me.  He told me it was still warm when they opened it and ate the whole thing in minutes.  Then he told me he had to go back to work on Sunday…

-Flo.