Today I’m responsible for feeding 200 people. Monday I shopped like it wasn’t my money, Tuesday I prepped like I was actually going to benefit from it, and today all that food disappears into (hopefully) smiling faces. I won’t know because I have to leave as soon as it’s set up to write an exam on the cheery subject of massive human rights violations. It’s been a week…can it really only be Wednesday?!
And after the exam, and the following clean up from the 200-person luncheon? Eeeet’s time for dinner. Again.
Dinner, you heartless, ever-present, looming beast.
Have I mentioned I don’t like making dinner?
Correction: I like making dinner when I know what we’re having, I’m excited about what we’re having, I’m the only person in the kitchen, and there’s a-plenty of time before anyone gets hungry.
So, any guesses as to how often I enjoy making dinner?
Breakfast and lunch? I am ALL over those. I love basically everything about those meals – the thinking about, the making, and the eating most especially. And snacks? Um, silly question.
So dinner. Every day it comes, and somehow I seem to be the one expected to get it on the table, despite me having no recollection of a conversation regarding my duty in that regard, but every day I do it, and sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so much, and with 3 little kids you can pretty much bet that at least one person is complaining.
Enter chicken. No matter what happens to be on the side, chicken is something we can all agree upon (except the 1-year-old, but he never complains about the sides, so we’re even). Chicken is the only meat I basically always have on hand, and we eat it at least half of the nights of the week. I am always interested in new, easy ways to prepare it, and when I saw this Basque Chicken Drumsticks recipe in 125 Best Chicken Recipes I knew I had to try it.
The orange in there intrigued me, as I looove oranges but rarely get to involve them in dinner. They add a bright freshness to the peppers and tomatoes and I thought the whole combo was a fun mix of chicken with a light stew. Admittedly, some kids only ate the peppers while others dug for the oranges, but overall there was something for everyone and us adults liked the whole works. I served this over plain rice with crusty bread to round it out and sop up the liquid, as recommended.
That’s one of the best things about this cookbook: every recipe has a little menu plan suggestion beside it to round out the meals because, as amazing as chicken is, it’s not really a complete meal.If you feel like you’re stuck in a chicken dinner rut, this book can lend some fresh inspiration – I’m hoping to try the Chicken and Summer Fruit Kabobs, Honey Sage Grilled Chicken, and Chicken Breasts with Rhubarb Sauce all this summer. The book is balanced with a few recipes for appetizers and desserts as well, because we can’t always eat chicken :)
Tell me, what do you do about dinner every night? Do you have something you eat every week, or more than once a week? How often do you try new recipes? How often do you eat out or order in? I need some serious dinner-making enthusiasm, so anything you think might help would be more than appreciated. Freezer meals would also be great – I’ve yet to really wrap my head around the fact that a baby is coming in 10 weeks, but I better get organized for that sooner than later…
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 drumsticks
- Salt and pepper
- 2 onions, thickly sliced
- 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
- 2 red or yellow bell peppers, sliced
- 1 cup coarsely chopped prosciutto or ham (optional)
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1 orange
- In a deep skillet or large shallow saucepan, heat oil. Add chicken once pan is hot and sauté until browned on all sides. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Add onions to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, peppers, prosciutto/ham, garlic, thyme, paprika and hot pepper flakes.
- Add chicken back in along with any juices on the plate. Bring to a boil, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom. Grate zest from orange into stew. Peel orange and coarsely chop fruit; add to stew.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.
*I received a copy of 125 Best Chicken Recipes for review. I was not otherwise compensated for this post and all opinions are, as always, my own.