Friday, January 14, 2011

Recipe: Roasted Peppers and Chicken Drumsticks

Confession: despite my adoration for chicken legs, I seriously detest the skin. It doesn't matter if it's the crispiest of all crispy skin, previously brushed with butter and flour to achieve that perfect golden look. Maybe it's something leftover from childhood, when I was allowed to peel off the skin, balance it on my fork, and reach across to deliver it to my dad's plate. I don't really know if fathers enjoy eating their kids chicken skin, or if they do it to be a good example, or a lesson on not wasting, because of, you know, 'the starving kids in the starving country', and so on. I would be very curious to hear the chicken-skin-eating father's perspective. To this day, I pick mine off. Now I do so before cooking it. Weird? Maybe. It doesn't take long, and then whatever the marinade of choice may be actually has a fighting chance of getting into the meat.

I am simply not at that stage where I can plan to marinate the meat the night before, and then to actually remember to carry out said plan before retiring for the evening. With everything lining up at the 'short-term memory' door, this one never gets through. So, I choose to slice away the skin, smear on my spices, stick the meat in the fridge while I get everything else prepped, and call my 30 minute marinade sufficient. Ginger and lime are both particularly suited to this method. The lime plays a tenderizing role (for beef at least), and the fresh ginger plays a, well, gingery role. Check out the recent drumsticks.

Gingered Drumsticks
(Adapted from Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking)

5-6 drumsticks
1 Tb grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground ginger (from a spice jar)
1 Tb brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
grated peel and juice from 2 limes

Mix all ingredients together and toss your chicken in (skin-free if you like!), stick in the fridge for half and hour (+/-). Bake in the oven 425° (220°) for 40 minutes or until you think it's done, according to your oven's temperament.

While looking to busy myself during the marinade time, I decided to roast some red and yellow bell peppers. I've tried this a few times in different ovens, and I've found the best way is to use a combo of a gas range and an oven.

Jar-Free Roasted Peppers
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
oven and range
longish tongs

Put your gas flame on high, hold one of the peppers between the tongs, hold in hand with a pot-holder or thick towel, and roast over the flame (yes, you can do marshmallows afterwards). Turn four times, so there are some blackened spots, or until your hand grows heavy. Put in a small pan, and throw under the broiler for 5 minutes or so, and get started on the second pepper. By staggering the process on the two peppers, the timing works out nicely in the end. After the broiler, take pepper out (put 2nd one in) and place in a brown paper bag, or newspaper. Tightly roll up, and allow the pepper to steam off its skin. After 10 minutes in the bag, take out the first one, and get to work on a cutting board with a spoon and butter knife and teach yourself to scrape off the skin. First, cut down the middle, and slice the core/seeds out. Lay pepper flat, and slice into 3 big pieces. After this it is much easier to scrape away the skins.

It does take a bit of effort, but if you've got some putzy time in the kitchen, it is 100% worth it. Just imagine, warm, freshly fire roasted peppers on a goat-cheese covered baguette. Mmmmmm... But that'll have to be the leftovers. Considering we had the chicken prepped, we chopped up the peppers and mixed with rice.

Black Bean and Roasted Pepper Rice
1 1/2 cup of uncooked white rice
1 peppers worth of roasted strips, cut in pieces
1 can of black or red beans
2/3 cup corn
1 green onion
1 shallot
5 slices jalapeno pepper, chopped (from a jar...not so spicy)
squeeze of lime juice

Get your rice cooking (add nearly twice as much water as rice, bring to a boil, simmer with a lid 20 minutes). When it's almost done, add in the rest of the items, and let sit 10 min on very low or no heat, with lid.

 Dobrou Chut'/ Enjoy! 
-- Jo

1 comment:

  1. YUM, looks delicous Josie. Nice to read your blog posts :)


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