One of the 30 things I want to do before I turn 30 is perfect my mom's chicken and rice, which is really a misnomer because it's actually an awesome Colombian chicken stew-type dish that must be served with white rice. It was my favorite dish growing up and I've only made it a couple of times as an adult. Last time was 4 years ago, and let's just say that night was
So, without further ado.... #3: Perfect my mom's chicken & rice: LIVE-BLOG FORMAT!!!
3:15 - I walk to Whole Foods feeling totally blessed to live only a block and a half from Whole Foods Market. With weather this cold, it's awesome that a trip to the store is just a skip, hop and jump away.
3:25 - After spending $8.38 on hydroponic tomatoes (p.s. wtf are hydroponic tomatoes??) I feel slightly less blessed by WFM.
3:30 - Sidestepping vomit in the alley on the walk home, I just want to be back inside.
3:40 - To E (the dog): "Let's live-blog this biatch!"
3:51 - Trying out the Emeril dutch oven for the first time. Had been waiting to season it, but I just decided it must have come "pre-seasoned" because this is the only pot big enough to hold 10 thighs and 5 drumsticks. Yes, that's way too much chicken. I don't care. I only make this every 4 years!
4:00 - Chicken is cooking in dutch oven on medium heat, covered, liberally sprinkled with salt. One chopped up large yellow onion and two chopped up large tomatoes are stewing in with it. Also added 2 T. of olive oil. I can hear the juices stirring. Sidenote: "sudado" means "sweaty" which is exactly how the chicken cooks - in its own sweat. Yum!
4:02 - Last time I cooked this dish, I was dancing around the kitchen to bachata. Not much room to kitchen-dance in this place:
But I can still sing along to K95 country. "Hell yeah! Turn it up!"
4:13 - Emergency phone call to Mom: "Do you peel the potatoes?" Mom says yes. Damn. I guess striving for perfection has its costs.
4:23 - All in! Roll call: 12 thighs, 6 drumsticks, 4 yukon gold potatoes, 6 carrots, 3 tomatoes, 1 onion (should I add more, I wonder?)... and 2 T. of olive oil. Now to let cook, covered, on medium heat for 30 minutes or so, before I stir it some more...
4:29 - What's worse than your dad nagging you to clean up? Your husband nagging you to clean up. What's worse than your husband nagging you to clean up? Your husband adopting your dad's catch-phrases to nag you to clean up. What's worse than all of the above? Hearing your husband and your dad nag you (in unison!) to clean up when you are completely alone in the house. "Clean as you go!" they nag. I know, I know...
4:41 - Panicked and added another half an onion. E apparently took advantage of the crisis to sneak a chunk of potato from the kitchen to his spot in the living room. Then decided it wasn't cooked enough for his tastes. What a snob.
4:42 - Back to work on my immigration paper. Good-bye, country music.
4:47 - Nevermind. Dog is whining. Can I take the dog outside while the chicken is cooking without burning down my entire building, I wonder? Or if I feed him, will he leave me alone so I can write?
5:06 - Dog let me feed him and left me alone. I've written 375 words. A 2,000-word limit is a lot less than I thought. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, the smell of that chicken is making it harrrrrrrd to concentrate.
5:45 - Chanced a trip outside with the dog while the chicken simmered on the stove.
5:49 - Returned to find the apartment happily still in tact.
5:50 - Started the rice. Listen people, this is how you make good rice:
- Put a pot on the stove and dump in a little oil (1/2 - 1 T is probably enough).
- Heat up the oil on medium-high
- Put in the rice - say 1 cup.
- Shake the rice around a bunch until its coated with the oil.
- Add twice the amount of water as rice - in this case, 2 cups.
- Shake salt into pot
- Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat (or high, if you like a little burned rice on the bottom of your pot, like my dad).
- Let it cook, UNCOVERED, until the water is boiled down to the point where you can't see it and there are holes in the surface of the rice.
- Reduce heat to low and cover the pot.
- Cook 20 minutes or until fluffy/done.
6:02 - Just tried the chicken it is AMAZING. Added more salt. Per mom's instructions, I am now letting the chicken cook uncovered for the last 20 minutes, to allow the sauce to thicken up.
6:07 - How the hell am I going to get 7 blocks on foot with a giant dutch oven full of chicken, a pot of rice and Taboo? Is this one of those tricks with the fox, the chicken and the bag of corn?
6:17 - Uh oh. Here's something I didn't expect. I'm falling asleep...