Believe it or not, I didn't REALLY learn how to cook until I got married in 2006. I lived in NY with my parents up until a month before I got married. It's the traditional Pentecostal / Puerto Rican way of doing things. Plus I was spoiled. lol.
I watched mom cook several times, but never cared to learn. It's something she loved to do and I was just so used to her cooking. Maybe I was afraid to try being that she's such a great cook. I mean, I wasn't entirely oblivious to a pan and meat. I knew how to cook basic things. Breakfast was always my favorite and best meal. I did cook lots of pasta dishes. Stuffed shells, Manicotti, Lasagna, but never anything Spanish. However, common PRican dishes like white rice & beans was something that I had tried a few times to make and failed miserably.
[sidebar: My husband taught me how to cook beans. And they are the BEST I've ever had. I use the same key ingredients every time, and it always comes out so yummy!]
In December of 2006, I was literally thrown into a kitchen and learned hands on. After watching a few cooking shows on the Food Network for a few months, I started to feel more comfortable with experimenting with flavors. (Thanks Bobby Flay!!) I have mastered the 20-30 minute meals (hehe) and prefer those, being that I'm always so busy with everything else. But every once in a while I break out my fancy pots and get to cooking a real hearty meal.
Last week I posted a photo on my Instagram of our dinner.
I made white rice, Spanish beans and honey-garlic chicken. Sometimes I get asked for recipes of the food pix I share and I try to answer them ASAP, since I tend to forget the ingredients I use. [cuz I'm always winging it]. And last year I thought about posting some food blogs, but never really got around to doing it. I think I still have photos on my phone with "process" pix. It wasn't until the comments I received on this particular photo, that gave me the motivation to start blogging about my food.
Here's what prompted the push.
- jossiem4 Yum!
- ileanaceleste @latind0ll the chicken looks amazing. Will you share receipe?
- aartiachar Oooo lemme grab my plate!
- latind0ll @ileanaceleste sure. I'll do a blog about it. lol. It's nothing fancy. I just like to experiment with flavors.
- latind0ll @aartiachar lol
- pvmchugh I'm getting hungry just looking at this...
- chiaotan Yum!
The only problem I foresee in doing these food blogs is giving the exact measurements of ingredients. Because I don't measure anything and I don't really "TIME" anytime. I just go by what I think sounds & feels right. I hope that makes sense.
HONEY / GARLIC CHICKEN - [10 easy steps]
1 - Completely defrost meat. [Speed this up by putting under hot water.]
2 - Rinse/Clean the meat. [Make sure you soap up your hands and sink right after.]
3 - Place meat in a zip lock bag and sprinkle the dry ingredients first: Adobo, Sazon, Parsley, Garlic Powder & Pepper. [Get a stronger taste by mincing and adding freshly cut garlic].
4 - Close the bag and massage the meat, making sure the seasoning mixture covers all the meat.
5 - Open bag and add honey. Depending how sweet you want your chicken, is how much you add.
6 - Close the bag and massage again.
7 - At this point I would prefer you leave your meat to marinate overnight, but a couple of hours is fine. If you prep this in the morning, by the time you cook dinner the chicken should've soaked in all the flavor.
8 - Preheat oven to 400° and place meat on a pan with less than 1" of water. If your pan is thin don't let it overflow. [I use water so that the meat won't dry as it's cooking and so that the flavors are all blending together just incase 1 piece is seasoned more than another. I don't know why that makes sense to me, but it does... lol.]
9 - Cook for 45-55 mins (depending on the strength of your oven), at 375°.
10 - Take out and serve.
All the "hard" work gets done in prepping. If you're smart (like I try to be), I take out all the chicken we buy (as soon as we get back from the grocery store), and prep all the meat different ways. Put them in zip lock bags and freeze them. Tomorrow we might be having Honey/Curry Chicken. Which is basically the same ingredients, except I added Curry Powder to the dry rub.
Fun Tip: have people guess the ingredients. It's fun to see what the cooking tastes like to others.
Take care and I hope you try one of these 2 recipes. Hubby loves it!!
P.S. If you're interested in how we make our beans, let me know and I'll get on that for next week's food blog. And NO, I won't be doing a food blog every week, but since I'm very excited about this new "segment" [lol], I figured I would go with the momentum.
I am in no way, shape or form claiming to be a chef or a cook. I am just trying to share the recipes that I come up with as I come up with them on a daily/weekly basis. Any similarities to other copyrighted recipes is purely a coincidence. If you ask anyone, I suck at following recipes. lol. That's why I have to be spontaneous in the kitchen. [True Story!]
I also want to add, that if you think your chicken might still be even the slightest bit raw, please keep it in the oven another 10 - 15 minutes. Overcooked is better than undercooked.