I’m happy to announce that I have successfully memorized the process of cooking Pasta + Meat Sauce, including a 2nd version with no tomato (Beef Stroganoff).
I’m currently documenting the strategy I used to memorize it (it’s nothing special, but I’ll share it anyway). The real test will be when I try to make it from memory in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’m starting to learn my next dish…
Lots of people say that roasting a chicken is one of the things that everybody should know how to do. Roasting a whole chicken sounded really intimidating to me, so I figured I’d work my way there and start with just the thighs. Several sources say that thighs are more forgiving (harder to mess up) than breasts.1
My next decision was whether to roast in a pan or oven. My homie Larry said “oven”, so I went with that…
I found this recipe on The Kitchn, and was able to make it in about 45 minutes (forgot to set my timer), spending only $1.97 per serving!
- 1 pound (450 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Sauce (optional):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum Foil
- Heat your oven to 425°F
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. The most basic seasoning that this meat really needs is salt and pepper. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the meat too, to help it brown well in the oven.
- Make a baking sauce (optional). Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, dijon mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes (see quantities above).
- Toss the chicken with the sauce.
- Spread the chicken on the baking dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F. Boneless, skinless thighs cook quickly. Check after 20 minutes, and if they are not quite up to temperature, put back in the oven and continue cooking and checking the temperature in 5-minute increments.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and rest the meat, covered, for 10 minutes. Cover the baking dish with foil and let the chicken rest. This will help it be more tender. Eat and enjoy!
1. My chicken turned out nice and juicy, but it was missing the crispy texture that I like on the outside. 😕
Now I understand why people start their chicken in a pan and finish in the oven:
“What’s the secret to chicken thighs with nicely crisped skin? Sear them, skin side down, on the stovetop and then roast in a hot oven.” –Williams Sonoma.
Next time I’ll try the pan-to-oven method.
2. Also, I should start checking the temperature of my chicken a little earlier. Maybe it’s because my oven is strong, but after 20 minutes of roasting the chicken was already at 174 degrees and climbing (165 was the temperature I was looking for).
Looking forward to making some progress with this one. See ya next time!
OTHER POSTS IN THE 100-DAY CHALLENGE SERIES
Day 1: Intro to Me & My Goal
Day 4: “Why Learn?” and My Cooking Background
Day 7: What Should I Learn to Cook FIRST?
Day 10: Pasta + Meat Sauce (Tomato Bolognese)
Day 21: Pasta + Meat Sauce (less Tomato)
Day 28: Pasta + Meat Sauce (Beef Stroganoff)
Day 35: Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs
Day 42: Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs
Day 49: Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs (coated with flour)
Day 56: Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts
Day 63: Miso Glazed Baked Salmon
Day 70: Miso Glazed Baked Salmon II
Day 77: Miso Glazed Baked Salmon III
Day 84: Final Exam
Day 95: What’s Next?
Day 100: Final Thoughts