The Newbie Cook
- 16,713 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
If you live in Saudi Arabia, you surely know that arugula (aka rocket or gerger) is best partnered with chicken. Given the number of local kabsa restaurants, you’re probably sick of the combination by now. But then again maybe not. Kabsa – the local roast chicken – is boldly spiced and extremely delicious. And the sharp taste of arugula complements it.
Back to the chicken. The breasts were frozen solid and I had to quickly defrost them by leaving them under cold running water for around 10-15 minutes. Never use warm water as it might cause bacteria to grow. Next, I did the usual salt-exfoliation before seasoning.
They turned out quite well. While the chicken was in the oven, I also made pumpkin rice (check this recipe, with the pumpkin pureed and minus the spinach) with shallots while the chicken was cooking to match since we Filipinos just cannot eat a meal without rice.
First, let me apologize about the photos. My dSLR’s battery ran out of energy and I left the charger in Apartment #1. Of course, I was crushed when I saw the little flashing red light. I had to take pictures using my cellphone and if you’re used to clear, bright photos, cellphones will always let you down. It’s a good thing that my luck held when it came to dinner because the chicken didn’t fail me.
Or rather, Smitten Kitchen’s Zuni Cafe Chicken didn’t fail me. I just love this woman and her recipes. My mother was also on Skype and shared the useful trick about covering the chicken. She said that this will allow the chicken to cook fully without drying. I had to use dried herbs since I stopped buying them fresh for the time being. Whenever I buy fresh ones I never get to use them all and find it painful to throw a big bunch of parsley or thyme away. Good thing rosemary keeps its flavor even when dried.
I had to cook dinner for nine women and decided to serve the chickens whole in the same pan where I baked them. And because I made orange chocolate cake for dessert, I had so much orange juice that I didn’t want to waste so I just made easy soy-orange sauce based on a recipe I found on Cooks.
Okay, I’ll start yapping and just give you the recipe. 🙂