Sunday, July 20, 2008

A farewell to chicken skin

Tonight's Menu

  • herb-marinated chicken thighs
  • toasted rice
  • steamed broccoli
Hey, everyone! Sorry for the lack of posting. We've been busy, busy, busy over here and I've been falling back on some old standbys, meal-wise. Up until a few days ago, that is, because that's when the girl child got braces! And the boy is getting his on Friday! Yipes! Suddenly I've had to banish popcorn from the house and re-think things like corn on the cob and chicken drumsticks.

Soo, tonight's chicken was made with boneless, skinless thighs. I know, I KNOW, I always say that the skin is my favorite part of the chicken, but I'm here to tell you that these were really good even without it! All I did was dump the thighs into a big zipper bag. Then I mixed together some fresh lemon juice, EVOO, minced garlic, a TON of minced fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme -- maybe I should call this Scarborough Fair Chicken?), kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. I dumped the herb mixture over the chicken thighs, sealed the bag, and then sort of massaged it around so that all the thighs were coated. Then I popped it into the fridge for a couple of hours before grilling the thighs over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side. They were juicy and delicious, the girl was able to eat them without breaking a wire on her braces, and we hardly missed the skin, I SWEAR!

Okay, now for the rice. The girl recently insisted that I used to make a brown rice that she absolutely loved. Well, I can only remember making brown rice maybe TWICE before, and as I recall, everyone hated the texture of it. Then I remembered that before we got our current microwave, which has a "smart" setting for rice, I used to make it on the stovetop and I would toast the rice in a bit of butter before adding the water. This gave it a golden, nutty-brown appearance, and everyone DID love it that way. So I made it again tonight to see if maybe that was the dish that the girl remembered.

All I did was melt two tablespoons of unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat (you could use salted, but I didn't have any), then add a cup of uncooked long-grain white rice and toss it around until it was lightly toasted. This doesn't take very long and you have to watch it because it'll go from toasted to burnt REALLY fast. As soon as it turns golden brown and releases a nutty aroma, add two cups of water and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, cover and reduce to a low simmer. Then just leave it alone for about 20 minutes before taking it off the heat and letting it sit, covered, for 5 minutes or so. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and serve. I had forgotten how much I like rice cooked this way!

(Full disclosure: the girl said this wasn't QUITE what she remembered. She still insists it was BROWN rice. I have no memory of this whatsoever. Back to the drawing board, I guess.)

The broccoli was steamed in the microwave. I'm not cooking THAT on the stovetop unless it's in a stir-fry!


BabelBabe said...

i make a similar rice only i use chicken broth instead of water if I have it handy, and I mix in some toasted slivered almonds (cuz no one here is allergic, just picky). YUM.

Anonymous said...


Like babelbabe, that is my recipe for rice pilaf, except that I brown some chopped onions with the rice, then use chicken broth instead of water (chicken boullion cube in with the water).