My oldest boy loves to cook, which is fantastic, because occasionally I need him to start dinner while I’m picking up the younger girl from school. He is happy to do it — he often says he wants to be a chef like his dad. He will suggest a meal from time to time, but usually asks what I would like. This results in a flurry of texts between us. Occasionally, those texts are misunderstood, which can result in some, er, interesting meals. Even more occasionally, those meals turn out to be better than what I’d originally planned.
Last night, for example, I decided to pick up a rotisserie chicken, cheese and tomatoes so that we could make tacos. Since I knew we had it at home, I asked the boy to chop up some lettuce. Then I gave him an off-the-cuff recipe for a simple vinaigrette to put over some shredded carrots, so we would have another vegetable in the dinner. However, he misunderstood that I wanted two separate things — and mistook the cabbage for a head of iceberg. So he shredded both cabbage and carrots together, then put them in the vinaigrette. The result? Surprisingly delicious.
Crunchy, crispy and tangy, this little pickle turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken and lettuce wraps. It was so tasty, I had it for breakfast again this morning. It’s basically a cole slaw, but even better because it’s faster than my usual version.
I’m pretty excited to have an inventive little partner in crime. Here’s to more happy accidents in the kitchen.
- 1/2 cabbage, shredded
- 2 fat carrots, shredded
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir thoroughly. Allow flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes; serve immediately.
When I was a kid, I loved having chicken for dinner, because the drumsticks were mine. There was something so perfect and satisfying about them. They were just the right serving size, and even had a convenient handle built in. Let other people have the thighs, wings or the often-dry and boring chicken breasts: I was all about the legs.
As an adult, I have reluctantly ceded the drumsticks to our children. I do find I appreciate the other parts more — a nicely roasted chicken thigh is a thing of culinary beauty, but sometimes, I find that I miss them. Fortunately, I can usually find packs of them on sale. When I do, I am happy to scoop them up.
This particular recipe is almost too simple (i.e., perfect for a weeknight). A hot oven and a dash of a few quick spices take hardly any time at all. Curries come in such variety that it’s impossible to say which is my favorite. This Madras-style spice blend is a good one that I’m enjoying of late. It is perfect with all kinds of meat, and if you are near a spice shop, it’s very easy to find a good one. (I like this one from The cooking is pretty much hands off; the eating, happily, is the exact opposite.
Curried Oven-Fried Chicken
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds chicken (I used only drumsticks, but a cut-up chicken would also work)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon madras-style curry powder
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pour half of the olive oil onto a baking sheet, with a basting brush, coat the entire sheet.
- Wash and pat dry the chicken, placing it on the baking sheet. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and curry powder; drizzle the remaining olive oil over the meat.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until flesh is firm, skin is brown and the juices run clear. Remove from oven; serve promptly.