Friday, April 19, 2013

Garlic: what dreams are made of

Oh, no! A cooking post? This challenge involves cooking? Oh dread! Oh despair!

Oh, fine; I'll admit it. I love to cook. I'm quite domesticated. For a liberal, liberated woman, I can still get down with the stereotypical gender roles. And I'm fine with that. Cooking makes me happy. Baking, however, makes me stabby; that's a post for another, day however.
Today is the last day of the Oklahoma Women Blogger's Challenge & it's all about the garlic.

In honor of this week's challenge, I dusted off a tried-and-true recipe that I stole from a friend, years ago. I've adapted it over the years and have made it on the stove top and in the crock pot. It's delicious--no, wait! It's beyond delicious; it's yummy.

Start with a package of simple, virtually flavorless supermarket boneless skinless chicken breasts--the brilliant invention that quickly became the bane of the home cook looking for flavor-filled food. It's near impossible to impart good flavor into these white meat bits. But if you are bold with your cooking, it can be done.

It's an easy recipe, done in an hour or so on the stove, or simmer it in the crock pot and take your time. The chicken will absorb the goodness of the onion and the garlic and the soy and the vinegar, and you are left with a dish best served over simple rice or noodles, a nice bit of green veg on the side.

Left: the ingredients. Everybody in the pool!
Right: after simmering for about an hour. Yummy, yummy yumminess.

So, without further ado, and just in time for the impending spring chill next week, I give you Chicken a la Laura:

1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3-4, on average)
3 yellow onions (not sweet), sliced
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
fresh pepper

Cut chicken into large chunks, trimming & discarding fat.
Layer chicken and onions into large, deep skillet, Dutch oven or crock pot.
Sprinkle garlic over top.
Add liquids.
Sprinkle black pepper over top.

I find that additional salt is not needed.
If you plan to make this in a crock pot, you could use frozen chicken, you may want to chunk it up ahead of time and freeze it. Turn your crock pot on high for about 4 hours.
If you make it on the stove top, simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally to make sure that everything gets to simmer in the liquid and the onions get nice and melty.
If you prefer the sauce to be more gravy-like, make a slurry with 1 part water or cooking liquid and 2 parts cornstarch to thicken it.

This is a good meal to cook if you are in need of hugs. My family loves it and I usually have to beat them off with sticks after I make it because they are so happy.

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