Wow, this is my 200th post, and in a few weeks it will be two years since I started writing this blog.
Time sure flies when you're having fun.
So what should I write about? Why not another recipe?
I've been thinking about using my solar cooker. While it's been nice and sunny, it's been a bit windy so I have yet to get it out for the season. I'm sure the cooker would work fine in the full sun, even with the wind, but I'm a wimp and like my warmth.
That said, I'm always on the lookout for recipes I can convert for the solar cooker.
I came across an Italian Chicken recipe that sounded good, and perfect for the solar cooker. But since I wouldn't be using the solar cooker, I figured I could just make it in the oven. The recipe looked good, if a bit too tomatoey.
Tomatoey, is that a word?
Tomatoey: definition tasting too much of tomatoes.
So, I looked at this recipe. Knowing that we were a bit short of fresh veggies (and being too lazy to go to the store) I figured I could just wing it.
I started with chicken thighs, since that's what I had on hand. Lately we've been eating a lot of chicken thighs, rather than breasts. I like how moist and meaty they are.
So I plopped the thighs, generously salted and peppered, into an oven proof casserole dish.
The recipe started with canned tomatoes and tomato puree. As I've already stated, this didn't really appeal to me. I dug through the cupboards and found some sun dried tomatoes and covered the thighs with about a cup of these, oil and all. At this point I also added some spices. Basil, a hit of fennel seed, oregano and a teensy bit of rosemary.
Then I added thinly sliced onions and a head of garlic. Now that's a lot of garlic but that's what we like so that's what I used. I peeled the garlic but threw them in the dish whole. I love finding bites of sweet roasted garlic in just about any dish I eat.
Next the recipe called for fresh bell peppers and fresh mushrooms, neither of which we had. What to do? Back to the never ending cupboard. . .
I found a can of roasted red peppers, and added these to the dish (minus their juice). I also found about a half a jar of marinated mushrooms, so in they went.
Normally I'd be inclined to use fresh everything, but I was cooking by the seat of my pants. Besides, I had a feeling that all these marinated veggies might make for a deeper, more interesting flavor.
Next I looked in the fridge where I found a half jar of capers and threw those in with the mix. Finally, way in the back of the fridge I found a jar of green olives stuffed with garlic and jalapenos. What the hell, they went in also.
Then I covered it all with foil and put it in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. The idea was not only to cook the chicken but give enough heat and time for all the flavors to blend.
Wowee Zowee, was this ever tasty! I just wish I would have taken some pictures to share!
The next time I make this (and believe me, there will be a next time) I'll add some Asiago cheese at the end. I think if I let it melt it's goodness all over the dish it will add another layer of flavor.
Then I'll serve the whole thing over a nice fettuccine.
And don't forget some nice crusty bread to mop up all the yummy juice.
This is now going to be a staple at our house.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I love cooking!