This post is the first of its kind on Carbon Chic! I don’t know if it’ll be the last, it depends on the interest, I suppose. I also just wanted to be able to share the sort of things that I’ve been cooking and eating recently.
I’m a very fussy eater and it’s become quite a burden on my life. It always plagued me how hard I made it for my social life.. and my dating life. Before I go to a restaurant, I always have to check online to see what their menu is and if I can eat anything on it–If there was fancy garnishes or weird sauces, forget about it! Onions? Chilli? Seafood (that’s not out of a fish and chip shop)? Blerghhhhh. It complicates my life a lot, so I’m hoping to expand my palate by cooking for myself and experimenting with flavors until I can open myself up to something more complex.
Today, I’m going to show fellow fussy eaters (and just lovers of food in general) how to make my mother’s classic chicken and vegetables. Since I’m a novice cook, I’m going to make this super easy for you, too. Whether you’ve cooked one meal, a hundred meals, or burned boiling water before, you’ll know how to make this.
Get your ingredients and equipment prepared. You’ll need a large knife, a peeler and a chopping board. You’ll also need some plastic tongs, but I forgot to include them in this picture here, so just pretend they’re there, next to the carrot. For the first stage of this recipe, you’ll need a carrot, two potatoes, an onion (doesn’t matter what variety, red, brown, anything goes), and a clove of garlic.
You’ll want to peel your carrot and potatoes first. Chop the carrots roughly 1cm thick and the potatoes in rough pieces no bigger than a matchbox or they won’t cook, but not small enough that they fall apart in the pan. Just slice the onions into six or seven circles–it doesn’t really matter. Onions are icky as well so we won’t be eating them. (Unless you like onions, I guess.) Finely chop the garlic or use a garlic crusher or whatever.
We’re going to combine everything in a bowl and separate the onion rings. Now we take out two very important elements to this dish–olive oil and Vegeta. I don’t think it matters what variety of olive oil you use, whether it’s normal, virgin, or extra virgin (or super slutty). Put your large pan on the oven and turn it onto medium heat and add enough oil just to coat the bottom, but not enough so that the vegetables will be broiling in it when you add them, then go back to your bowl and add a dash of olive oil and sprinkle some Vegeta over the vegetables. You kind of have to do this by eye, there’s no exact measurement. Mix the ingredients around by hand or just use the bowl to toss the vegetables around if you’re good at that sort of thing. Add some more Vegeta if you think you need it, toss some more, and then toss into the pan.
Shuffle some stuff around with your tongs, make sure that there’s only one layer of vegetables sitting in the pan and all the potatoes and carrots have contact with the bottom of the pan. I move the onions to the top at this stage because I’ve found they always stick to the pan afterwards if I cook them underneath. At this stage, you’ll want to sprinkle your garlic above everything, put a closed lid on top of the vegetables, and turn the heat down to low. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
While that cooks, you’re going to want to prepare the rest of your vegetables and your chicken. Cut a breast piece lengthwise in two pieces and add some Vegeta on top for flavor. Slice up a few pieces of broccoli and 4 mushrooms. I know a lot of people don’t like mushrooms, but you haven’t tried them the way I make them. I didn’t like mushrooms either, but I’ve found a way to tolerate them quite well and actually enjoy eating them now.
Anyways, when your timer goes off, lift the lid and place your two chicken pieces in the middle of the pan, seasoning side down. Turn some of the potato and carrots if you feel so inclined, and add your broccoli wherever. Put the lid back on and put your timer on for 7 more minutes.
At the 7 minute mark, lift the lid, turn the chicken, turn up the heat a little bit to get a bit of a golden burny colour on your vegetables and a light sear on your chicken, and put the lid back on. At this stage, you’ll want to start making your mushrooms in a small, separate pan. Add some olive oil to the pan and set the stove to medium heat. If you’re not particularly health-conscious, a bit of butter tastes way better than olive oil for cooking mushrooms. As soon as the pan gets hot, throw your mushrooms on and sprinkle Vegeta over them. Just mix them around while you’re waiting for your timer to go off. When it does, everything should be ready! I sometimes turn up the heat at this stage while I’m unloading everything onto my plate because I like the little crispy bits on my potatoes (so I lift them out last), but it’s not necessary, they’re cooked through.
Voila! Dinner for one, for less than you’d pay for a Happy Meal. There’s quite a lot of potatoes here because, as Michael puts it, I eat like a horse, but if you can’t eat this much, you can easily lower the quantities of food.
I hope you enjoyed this rather unusual Carbon Chic post today, and I hope it inspires other fussy eaters as well! As for my other readers, don’t worry, we’ll be going back to the fashion-related posts in a snap.