Some days are so tiring, busy and productive, and others so tiring they just plain suck, but for those nights when, for whatever the reason, you really just want to take it easy, here’s a tasty and user-friendly solution. You need to be able to anticipate a little ’cause you’ll want to have marinated a chicken the night before so that when you prepare it you just line a pan with aluminum foil and dump in the chicken (skin side up). Put it in the oven, baste it a few times and it’s a done deal.
That’s the simple part. Now for the healthy (and still pretty simple) bit: Quinoa, my new favorite grain, called the “Mother Grain” by the Aztecs and Mayans — OK, OK, those two civilizations are long gone, but while they were around they kicked butt, probably ’cause they ate this healthy staple! Yet quinoa (can you say KEEN-wah?) was a virtual cipher to the Western World until recently. It cooks up very simply like rice yet has more amino acids and vitamins and is super-digestible. On top of which, when you make it just right it is a delight for the senses, a kind of cross between rice, wheat berries and cous-cous.
What I did was cook it first with some bouillon cubes and set it aside while I sautéed some carrotfennel, and corn seasoned with some kosher salt and pepper. Then I simply tossed it all together in a sauté pan, got it just a little brown, which brought out the nutty flavors, and pulled it off the heat to wait on the back burner while I did the veggies! Which in this case was broccoli steamed with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon and some seasoned Adobo salt, and tossed gently, prior to serving. DELISH!!!
I enjoy being at the helm of my “boat,” the kitchen, for lengthy periods of time (like, all day and all night!!) creating and experimenting with flavors, battling the rough culinary surf. But that’s not for everybody, so for those of you who need an easy-breezy solution — and let’s face it, sometimes I do too — this is a go-to move packed with flavor and healthiness. So when you can anticipate one of “Those Days,” take this step the night before and you’ll be delighted you did!!!


The Marinade:

1/2 cup Fat Free Italian Dressing
1/4 cup Worchestershire
1 tsp. Adobo Seasoning
1 tsp. cajun seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 TBLS. paprika
1/2-1 tsp. hot sauce of choice

Wash and dry chicken parts, cut up in to separate pieces, any combo of whatever you like,
Put in a lg. Ziploc Bag and pour marinade over chicken in bag, smush around to make sure pieces are coated, put bag in a bowl, in case of leakage, and put in the fridge until the next night when ready to cook. Remove the chicken from the bag, (discard marinade), and place in a foil covered pan leaving room in between pieces for browning and sprinkle with some paprika and seasoning salt and black pepper. Bake at 375ºF for 1 hr or until done. Depending on what parts you are using, longer for dark meat shorter for white.

Simple Quinoa:

Cook as package directs and in a separate pan saute,
1 bulb Fennel chopped
3 med carrots chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 sweet onion chopped
2 cloves garlic pressed or chopped or grated,(add at the end right before you cover and place on the back burner.

And as always, Enjoy!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010