Monday came around again and it was Master Logan James’ time to make dinner. What started perhaps as a non-preferred task has morphed into a a young man speaking to me the night before to discuss the meal and the time he’s going to get started. Today I asked him to do something with chicken thighs.
First, Logan washed and boiled the rice. He ran down to our overflow pantry and grabbed a can of black beans or sometimes they are called Turtle beans. He drained and rinsed them and added them to the rice pot. He put in a dash of oregano, pepper sauce a la Trinidad (every Trini has a bottle of home made pepper sauce in their fridge but you could use Franks or Tabasco or whatever you have on hand). He added some paprika and a little olive oil to the pot so that the rice would be nice and moist without being clumpy.
While the rice and beans were boiling down, he seasoned the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper and some Frank’s Red Hot with a bit of Worcestershire sauce.
He decided he wanted the chicken crispy but not deep fried. He is very aware of saturated fat and prefers to eat food that is baked or air fried. So, to help him achieve what he wanted I showed him how to combine mustard (usually I use Dijon mustard for this but I didn’t have any) and a little maple syrup. Once the meat was seasoned I told him to pour the mixture over the pieces and let it marinate for about 10 minutes.
Maple Mustard glaze on seasoned chicken lightly frying in olive oil
Logan turning chicken pieces occasionally to get the skin to the crisp and colour he wants.
Fry chicken on medium heat turning occasionally until it stops bleeding and when it attains a golden brown colour. Next, take the time to check your phone for updates and send a quick one word or emoji response. Maybe send a snap. If you are not 12 through 30, put the phone down because this is a skill you cannot do well. Once your message has been sent, lightly moisten a sheet of foil and place on a baking dish
Check your phone again while the next set of chicken thighs brown. Do not miss anything. Also, inform your mother of the latest news headline on Covid-19, to prove to her that your phone is vital to you for more than just staying in touch with friends. Physical newspapers are a thing of the past and too hard to hold. Also, today’s man can multi-task. Mic drop.
The chicken should cook in the olive oil for no more than 10-12 minutes on medium high heat. Place in foil lined baking dish and tent with another piece of foil to finish the cooking process and keep the crisp without burning the chicken skin.
Plate your meal, serve and enjoy. Cooking time an hour if prepping everything from scratch (that is seasoning meat, washing and boiling rice) This rice recipe can be done with left over rice as well. I would suggest using the seasonings Logan used for the rice dish with the beans (which you can cook separately) and fold in once beans are cooked. Stay home, Stay safe. Wash your hands and take precautions when going out shopping. Teach your teen/kid to cook. I am LOVING this time with Logan and while we are happy to share this with you and your family, I take comfort knowing that he can refer to this blog any time in the future should he need help making any of these meals. It also gives him a chance to read the mini stories that go along with them and it will hopefully keep these special moments alive for him for years to come. ~ Daniella and family.