I love to cook.
The first thing I ever made was noodles, and I was seven years old. I remember I sneaked into the kitchen, dumped noodles into cold water, and placed the pot onto a hot stove-top. By the time my mother realized what I had done, the noodles had already cooked. I told her, “I made these for you.” That, of course, completely melted her heart, so I DID NOT get in trouble, and she even ate the sticky noodles, proclaiming that they were, “Delicious!”
Fast-forward twelve years.
I live with my father and brother, while my mom resides in Russia. I miss her food terribly, and for the last year I’ve really had to roll up my sleeves and get dirty in the kitchen. Today for dinner I made baked chicken, rice and spinach pilaf, with a side of a house salad. It turned out, according to my brother, very well, and so I am excited to share my meal with you.
1.) Four chicken leg quarters
2.) 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup of olive oil
3.) 1.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper
4.) 1.5 teaspoons of salt
5.) 1 teaspoon of Chile powder
Cut up the chicken legs into thighs and drumsticks. In a large bowl, combine the chicken parts with 1/2 cup of olive oil, pepper, salt, and Chile powder. Cover and let it marinate in the fridge. I do this before going to bed, and let it marinate all night long. If you are very short on time, this step can be skipped.
When you’re ready to bake the chicken, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a casserole dish, lay out your chicken. Drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until the chicken has thoroughly cooked (I check by slicing in the middle of a chicken thigh with a knife and pulling it apart with a fork).
Remove the aluminum foil, blast the oven onto broil, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken has nicely browned.
RICE AND SPINACH PILAF
1.) 4 cups of rice, cooked
2.) 2, 10 oz. packages of frozen spinach
3.) 1/2 of a medium onion, peeled and chopped
4) 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
5.) a drizzle of olive oil
6.) 2 tablespoons of butter
7.) 1.5 teaspoons of salt
Drizzle olive oil into a heated saucepan. Toss in the chopped onion, cook until it is a golden brown color, and then toss in the garlic. Place the frozen spinach into the saucepan, and on medium heat, cover the saucepan and let the spinach defrost. After the spinach has floated throughout the saucepan, remove the lid, and let the water evaporate. Combine the spinach mix, salt, and rice. Toss in the butter. Mix thoroughly.
(simple, but delicious!)
1.) Four tomatoes, sliced
2.) 1/2 of an onion, peeled and sliced
3.) Dressing of your choice (I used Italian)
4.) 1 teaspoon of salt
Toss everything together! I decorated with lemons 🙂
It was a great meal! My favorite part was the rice and spinach pilaf.
Dinner is a great time to bond and make memories, and I hope you decide to whip up this meal for your family and friends.
All my love,