Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Morning in the Kitchen

Cooking is therapy. Especially in a house that's empty. With a teenager and two tween girls, empty means quiet and peaceful. This translates into productivity.

It's been a long time since I've spent a morning in the kitchen, and, oh, how I've made up for lost time. Don't get me wrong, I cook dinner most every night. The difference is that after I get home from work and try to tackle cooking while directing three kids who are doing their best to skirt their mother, chores, and homework, it's not the most pleasant part of my day. Know what I mean? Hey, just keepin' it real around here.

But this morning, after I ran an errand or two, I was home by 9:30, and in two and a half hours, I had tonight's dinner, tomorrow night's dinner and a cake singing three part-harmony with the tunes coming from pandora. And I have the sinkful of dishes to prove it.



Yes, I licked the spatula

Okay, the cake was a box mix, but it was a spontaneous addition to the choir, and it's a small effort for the delight I get from my kids when they see it and devour it.



So who's coming for dinner? Here's what's making my house smell scrumptious right now:

Roasted Chicken Cubanita

What you'll need:
Whole chicken
Salt
Olive Oil
Mojo
White wine
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Oregano
Carrots
Potatoes
Adobo
Sazón
Onion
Bacon

Wash chicken inside and out. Place in a casserole dish that's been sprinkled with olive oil. Take all your frustrations out on the chicken by stabbing it all over with a sharp knife so seasonings can penetrate the meat more easily. Rub inside and out with salt, sprinkle Mojo over chicken until bottom of dish is puddled with liquid. Splash on a little cooking wine.

Sorry I don't have amounts here, but this one is just done by eye and taste. I don't measure a thing in this dish. But be brave -- you can do it, I know you can. Your taste buds will thank you.

Sprinkle top and bottom sides plus inside the cavity of chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. Settle the bird breast-side up in the center of the dish. Sometimes I truss the chicken so it looks prettier after it's been cooked (that means tying him up with kitchen twine. If you enjoyed the stabbing, you might like the tying up, too.) Today I couldn't find my twine, so he'll just be all sprawled out and falling off the bone when the oven gets done with him.

Chop carrots and potatoes and add around chicken. Sprinkle the vegetables with adobo. Lightly sprinkle olive oil and sazón over everything. Cover chicken with uncooked bacon slices and onion rings. Cover and bake in 350 oven for two hours. Sometimes I baste once or twice if I remember to. If you forget, no worries.





Serve with brown rice and green beans. My kids love hot rolls to soak up the juices.

I love sitting down to food that's been cooked enjoyably and ahead of time. Bon Appetite!
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