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
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)
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.