Making delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated. Actually, I’d say that the simplest dishes are the tastiest. Think back on your mom’s cooking and I'll bet you only have positive and comforting memories. Except for the times she would make you eat raw vegetables because they were “healthy”. Yeah right, Ma! We saw through your lies! (Except that I love raw vegetables now... so thanks?)
Anyway, the point is, simple recipes tend to be the best because they rely on respecting the ingredients. Cook pasta right and it’s delicious, but cook it too long and you’ve got nasty slop. Cook chicken right and you’ll have a moist, juicy and flavourful experience. Cook it wrong? You might as well go to Swiss Chalet and eat their chicken jerky. If you want to be successful in the kitchen then you must focus on cooking and seasoning ingredients properly.
I’ll admit I’m guilty as charged when making food too complicated. Just look at my Duck Confit Ravioli recipe from last year. I don’t think anyone will ever make that, me included. There’s too many steps to make it. When a recipe is complicated it means more things could go wrong. This won’t do for an average cook, especially when you’re trying to get dinner on the table!
Food affects me. I hate to admit that, but it does. I was in my first year of cooking school sitting around a huge table with all my peers and Chefs. It was the end of the lab and it was time for us to try our dishes. This was my favourite part of the week because it was an opportunity to eat something other than peanut butter and honey sandwiches. One can only eat so many before you develop a twitch. For real. On this particular night we were learning about soups and my group was tasked with making a cream of carrot soup with a turnip puree. I thought that it sounded pretty boring, since carrots and turnips were staples for me growing up. I was wrong. It was the simplest dish, but it was one of the most tastiest dishes I’ve ever made. Once I put a spoon of it in my mouth I could feel tears forming in my eyes, and I began to cry. Lame, I know.
Fortunately, for me, it was just one or two tears and I was able to conceal them, saving myself from embarrassment. I learned an important lesson that cool October night. Simple is better.
Remember, respect the ingredients you use and treat them simply. You, your friends, and your family will thank you. Happy Crying! :)
Roasted Chicken Legs
2 Chicken legs with Thighs Attached
1 Tablespoon, Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic, Mashed
1/2 Red Pepper, Large Diced
6 Peril Onions, Peeled
1 Sprig of Rosemary
1/2 Cup White Wine
Salt and Pepper too taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously season chicken legs with salt and pepper. In a medium size sauté pan, that can go into an oven, put in tablespoon of Olive oil and sear meat skin side down until golden brown. Your pan has to be hot or the skin will stick. Once the meat pulls away from the pan, flip until the other side is golden brown. Remove meat from pan onto a plate for later.
Return pan to heat and place onions, garlic, and red peppers into pan and quickly sauté. Deglaze pan with white wine, making sure to lift all sticky bits off the bottom of the pan. Place sprig of rosemary into pan and place chicken back on.
Put pan into oven and cook for 15 to 20 min, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve with roasted carrots and turnips, squash puree and the vegetables roasted with the chicken. the wine should have reduced nicely and made a sauce. Spoon it over the chicken and you’ll have a delicious meal you won’t soon forget!
*In the pictures I also made apple croutons but they aren’t necessary.