Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy Cooking 101: Spiced Baked Chicken with Onions

Here's another example of practical everyday cooking that is quick, easy, organic, healthy, cheap and delicious. It's definitely not sexy enough to make the morning news programs, but that's so not the point.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice an onion or two (or 14!) and put in an oven-proof baking dish that you've drizzled a little olive in. The dish should be large enough to hold the organic chicken pieces you just bought in a single layer. Sprinkle some spices—I recently used cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper, but anything(!) works—on the chicken and put the dish in the oven.

Total cooking time depends on the thickness of your chicken pieces and if you are using white or dark meat (dark meat takes a little longer), but approximately halfway through cooking time turn the chicken over, kind of mix the onions around a little and sprinkle some more of the spices on the newly-exposed. unseasoned chicken sides. Put the dish back in the oven and cook until it is about 95 percent done (slight pinkness).

Take the dish out of the oven, turn the chicken back over, mix the onions with all the great fat and juices and spices and let carryover cooking finish the chicken, out of the oven. There is enough residual heat in the chicken and in the dish for this to happen.

I used normal-sized, bone-in, with-the-skin, organic chicken thighs and cooking time was about 30 minutes. Time will vary, though, and depends on your oven, size of chicken pieces, how cold the chicken was when you started cooking it, etc.

Organic thighs and drumsticks (with bone and skin) are not that expensive. Add organic brown rice, quinoa or bulgur and some organic string beans and dinner for a family of four will cost about $10. Boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts are a fortune and even if I won the lottery, I wouldn't buy them. I think dark meat is more tender and flavorful and it has more nutrients than white meat. Plus, I want the healthy fats (and flavor) from the skin and I want to chew out the marrow (more nutrition) from the bones.

My belief? Organic chicken skin isn't making us fat; sandwiches of toxic chicken breasts, low-fat mayonnaise and refined wheat bread are.

1 comment:

Nimura said...

I'm so bad at cooking, you wouldn't believe, especially when it comes to chicken, the only thing I can cook decently is the chicken wings in Wingeria (cooking game). but I'll have to start somewhere :)