armadillas



The Forbidden Question

You see that? That’s a chicken. A very lovely chicken if I do say so myself. I’m rather fond of chicken. It dominates the meat selection in my fridge. But we’ll get back to her in a moment. I have a story to tell first!

Not so long ago, an acquaintance of mine proceeded to ask me what my favorite food was. I’m not one for exaggerations, but I’m pretty sure the whole room quieted and stared at her. It was like a scene from a movie. Sharp intakes of breath were gasped all around us. Then all those faces turned to me expectantly. Suddenly, I was in the Old West, gun poised to defend my honor. Sweat trickled down my brow as I waited for the town clock to strike, or at least for the gears in my brain to turn and impossibly narrow down a single piece of food to be my favorite. Somehow, as if watching from afar, my mouth opened and I managed to squeak out a choice for my audience. A girl next to me applauded my selection and then the duel was over.

Goodness gracious! Never, never ask a cook such a horrid question. As someone who appreciates food with a good portion of my soul, I find it impossible to select a single item and declare it to be my favorite food. I’d much prefer to hand you a list. Naturally, I have a favorite something within a given category. I have a favorite ice cream flavor (vanilla or pistachio) and I have a favorite soda (ginger ale) and I have a favorite berry (blackberries). But to choose a  number one is quite unreasonable. Perhaps I could manage a top ten…if I was being forced onto a deserted island. Food is like music. It’s a mood thing. Depending on your mood, you might prefer jazz to rap one day and indie to classical on another. I might seriously be digging some artichoke dip for lunch one day. Then by the time dinner rolls around all I want is lo mein.

I do have a weakness for Chinese food, it’s true. Well, I have a weakness for most Asian cuisines really. My father may be Italian and instilled in me a deep passion for Italian cooking (which comprises my personal best dishes), but he also shared his love for take out with me, the result being that fried rice, pork dumplings, and soy are never far from my mind. In fact, it was kimbap that I chose as my favorite food that day. My Korean aunt introduced kimbap to me several+ years ago and I became instantly addicted to it. It’s a rice dish that, in my opinion,  resembles a Califronia roll…only much tastier. My favorite filling consists of rice, carrots, cucumbers, artificial crab meat, pickled radish (yummy yummy danmuji) and spinach all wrapped up in seaweed. I need to find a Korean bakery or restaurant around here. It’s been awhile!

As much as I love Asian cuisine, I”m not very good at preparing it. I’ve attempted to make kimbap three times now, each of which led to disaster. My fried rice is a hit or miss. My pho ga was thrown out almost immediately. I think the only thing I’ve engineered successfully to date is lumpia (an entry just dying to be posted). But I haven’t given up the fight, as proven by this:

Please, don’t stop drooling on my account. I’m right there with you! This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I shall call Chinese Black Chicken. Ah man, it was good. It was ambrosial. It was, without doubt, a winner! I mean, just look at it. Look at that caramelized color. Notice the browns and the reds and the blacks. You’re staring at a work of art. And it was so juicy! I’m going to have to make it all over again right now if I keep going on like this.

Breathe. Focus. Continue.

Chinese Black Chicken is very easy to make. After a little marination, you pretty much let her do her own thing and go on about your business. There’s some extra interaction involved half way through, but other than that this is a perfect meal to cook when you don’t feel like hovering over the stove for half the night. Even the most ardent chef likes to step away from time to time. I’m also sure it would impress anyone you’re trying to impress. Parents, friends, in-laws, love interests. Feel free to let chickie here use her powers of persuasion.

Ingredients:

  • A relatively small whole chicken, 4 lbs depending on how many you want to feed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs garlic
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 4 tbs oyster sauce

Whenever handling raw chicken from the store, I always wash it in cold water first. Helps me sleep better. So take your whole chicken and give her a good rinse down. Don’t forget to remove the innards. I discarded mine, but do with them what you will. Pat your chickie dry with some paper towels. Isn’t she a beaut?

Place your chicken in a container or bowl large enough to marinate her in and give her a s&p (that’s salt and pepper) spa treatment, inside and out. Rub, rub, rub! Then mix all other ingredients together in a separate bowl. If you’re trying to take pictures like I was, put the rest of the ingredients on a plate. Or you could just dump them directly on your chicken. Your choice

Now that your marinade has been well photographed, your chickie would appreciate you to get on with the spa treatment. Rub her down real good, taking special care to get some of the marinade inside the cavity as well

This is one happy girl! Let her luxuriate for a few hours. The longer she marinates, the tastier she will become. Buuuuut, I stuck her in the oven after only an hour and a half. It was a lazy day. I didn’t even start the marinade until 3. Oops! Anyway…once you’re ready to roast your bird, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (that’s right, a cookie sheet!). Gently, as not to slop marinade all over your kitchen, place your chicken onto the cookie sheet. There is probably some left over sauce in your bowl. Douse her with it. Don’t waste good flavor!

Alright, roast that chicken! After 20 minutes, turn your oven down to 375 degrees and pull your rack out halfway. See all that juice on the bottom of your cookie sheet? Brush it back onto your chicken. This, my friends, is called love. You gotta love your chicken if you want her to love you back. She will dress to impress with a little bit of extra love

Roast your chicken for another 45 minutes. The skin is going to be nice and crispy on the outside yet super juicy on the inside. It’s like magic. Let’s not neglect to dote upon her lovely coloring

I give you a 10! An A++

Do you know what else would impress? A salad with homemade Sesame dressing! I love making my own vinaigrettes. It’s so simple and only takes a couple minutes. Go ahead! Try it for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbs sugar
  • A bit of fresh or powdered ginger

Pour everything into a jar. Shake jar vigorously. Put jar in fridge for a spell. Serve with your greens! I love a good sour, tangy vinaigrette, so I do equal parts oil and vinegar. But make this to your own tastes preferences. Experiment! Just please make sure to taste it before you decide to pour the whole thing on your salad. Also, these measurements make a decent amount of salad dressing so feel free to downsize a wee bit. Note: the chicken tastes quite fabulous dunked in this vinaigrette as well.  Mmmmm

I wish I had more veggies for my salad…

Tijuana

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  1. Pinterest and timeline finally got me! « armadillas pingbacked on 5 years, 2 months ago

Comments

  1. * Ruth says:

    I totally agree with you about the “favorite” question. Many a time someone has asked about my favorite book or cookie (or somesuch), and I never have an answer, because it is a ridiculous thing to ask!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 4 months ago
    • * BMos says:

      S’right! Don’t ask me my favorite music or my favorite food; I’ll ask ‘what day is today?’

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 4 months ago


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