Thursday, February 10, 2011

Domesticity: Part 2.

Continuing with my cooking adventures... tonight I experienced a couple of firsts: we ate my first attempt at a 'freezer meal', and I cut up a whole chicken for the first time ever.

The 'freezer meal' we had for dinner tonight was a pan of beef enchiladas I made about a month ago. When I first made it, I had simply made too big of a batch of enchiladas to cook at one time in our tiny oven. Oh yeah... I probably haven't mentioned it before, but we don't actually have an oven. Our kitchen just literally did not have an oven when we moved into our house, and we still haven't gotten around to really finding one that will fit/work with the existing gas and lack of adequate electricity as well as space. So my mom bought me a small countertop convection oven for my birthday last year, and that's what we use. For two people, it's usually more than sufficient (except when I make way too many enchiladas). So I froze the extra enchiladas and we ate them for dinner tonight, about a month later... and I am happy to report that they came out quite tasty. I must do this more often for nights like this when it gets too late to cook a real meal.

The chicken situation was... interesting. I've always been much too intimidated by the thought of butchering a whole chicken to even try. (Plus, like I said, we don't actually have a real oven so I've never been sure if my kitchen could even actually handle cooking an entire chicken at one time.) During my last big grocery shopping trip, I bought a 5+ lb whole chicken marked down for quick sale to a little more than $2. I couldn't pass up a deal like that, so I bought it and stuck it in the freezer, thinking I would one day summon the confidence to tackle that bird. And tonight was the night. I came across a yummy sounding recipe for Tandoori baked chicken and thought this chicken would be perfect. So, I sharpened my knife (a scary task in itself), rolled up my sleeves, and found a very helpful Pampered Chef video tutorial on YouTube. I felt a lot like Amy Adams in Julie and Julia. And once I started, I actually enjoyed it. It was so satisfying that I wondered if I should be worried about latent maniacal tendencies. The chicken pieces were then put into a mixture of Greek yogurt and exotic spices to marinate overnight, which tomorrow night will hopefully become a somewhat edible version of Indian Tandoori-baked chicken, whipped up by the whitest girl you know.

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