The holidays can be stressful. Here I am again, apologizing for an inability to post anything edible yesterday. I was supposed to share this recipe a few hours ago, but the holiday rush caught up with me and I was left out of breath.
At around 11 pm last night I finally filled all 60-ish cupcakes with peaches and strawberry jam for my mom’s office mates. This morning as soon as we got back from church, I perused one of my first ever cut-out recipe cookbooks (basically a drawing book with snippets of recipes from magazines to the back of a milk can) for simple buttercream frosting. Frosting a cupcake is murder on my self-esteem, since it’s always been a hit and miss with me and nicely piped frosting. I almost cried. No joke.
Then my friend R came over and brought her handmade gift boxes to put the little devils in. But as luck would have it, I forgot to tell her that I’ll frost the cupcakes so she didn’t take that into consideration when she made the dimensions (but still her boxes are really nice and I’ll probably post pictures next time). I can already imagine my mom’s officemates opening their boxes, and probably wondering why the top portion of the cupcakes are sticking to the lid.
Things like that happen. When you’re caught up with making sure everything’s perfect, most of the time it’s disappointing when you feel that the universe is against you. So this little project (“9 mornings”) didn’t really live up to the hype (that I just imagined in my head). But it’s not the end of the world (or is it?). Maybe if there’s something I got from this experience, it’s that you don’t have to force things to happen. Sure cooking involves patience, skill and technique, but without the love for all things edible, all you’re left with is a vapid, aseptic white plate.
This chicken recipe, which isn’t vapid at all, was made at the top of my head and I went along with whatever combination I was craving for. I was surprised at how good this was. The chicken meat practically fell of the bone and it was still tender and juicy. I’m definitely light-handed when it comes to seasoning with salt. The seasoning measurements aren’t really 100% spot-on but that’s why people invented liquid seasoning afterall.
Garlic, Pesto and Lemongrass Chicken (serves 6 – 8 )
- 5 chicken thighs
- 5 drumsticks
- 1 head of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 – 3 stalks lemongrass, chopped into 2 inch strips
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons bottled pesto
- 1/2 – 1 tablespoon rock salt
- a few dashes of freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- for seasoning the chicken: salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste
- Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F.
- Clean the chicken pieces well. Pat dry using a paper towel. Arrange pieces skin side up on an oven-proof dish. Season with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
- Make the paste: Combine garlic, lemongrass, pesto and olive oil in a bowl, making sure that everything is mixed well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Tuck the paste under the chicken’s skin and try to distribute the paste well. If there is leftover paste, rub it on the chicken pieces.
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or until chicken skin is browned. Flip the pieces over to brown the other side. Bake for another 10 – 20 minutes.
- When chicken is brown and tender, remove from the oven and serve hot with a steaming bowl of rice. Enjoy!