You are a corporate foodie like me. You have a corporate career in the pipeline and you love to cook but you are having one of those low kitchen moments where you don’t want to cook and neither are your taste buds tempting you to try out something new. You are glad that for once in a long time you left the office before 6pm and you deliberately switch off your phone so that you can catch up with your books, Bible & family within the 5 or so hours deadline to sleep. So, you knock off your heels, throw your handbag to the corner and you sleep on the bed facing the fan and it feels good….no, it feels awesome. You get carried away and for a moment, you close your eyes to savor the moment & drift off to a blank, happy box at the back of your mind.
When you open your eyes, it is quarter to seven. Your appetite & all desire to cook is still amiss but the hunger pangs are still present.
Begrudgingly, you pick yourself up and head to the kitchen. When you open the fridge, the fridge light reminds you of a deadline that you missed that very day & all joy is somehow short lived. What next? Drive back to the office and hit the deadline so as to fit in your corporate definition of under-promise and over-deliver or should you let it slide?.….’I am human at the end of the day’….you console yourself. The cold air from the fridge feels so refreshing with this equinox drama that is making Mombasa heat feel as if you are wearing a suit in a sauna & this thought brings you back to the reality that your tummy still needs something for the night. All that is present in the fridge is uncooked whole chicken, leftover rice, milk, butter and bread.
An ‘aha’ moment kicks in. A new quick fix recipe has been born………………..….
Ingredients (cook time 1hr)
Rice boiled with clove & cardamom (leftovers from the fridge)
Raisins, a handful
1-2 cardamom pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
3- 4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 medium sized beetroot, diced
3 tomatoes, whole
2 onions, quartered
Preheat the oven to 200C.
As the oven heats up, rub the paprika, salt (a pinch), herbs, black pepper and butter mix inside & out of the chicken evenly.
Mix the raisins & cardamom with the leftover rice and stuff it inside the chicken.
Line a baking tray with foil and place the tomatoes, beetroot, onion and potatoes to make a bed for the chicken to rest upon.
Lightly spread a pinch of salt and pepper over the potato bed, place the chicken on top & put it in the oven.
After 15 mins, reduce the temperature to 175C & let it bake for the remaining 45 mins.
After 50 mins of the total baking time, pierce the thigh, wing or somewhere next to the bone. If the juices run clear, your bird is ready.
Remove the chicken, place on a dish & cover with foil for 15-20 minutes to finish off the baking.
Serve the potato bed mix with the rice stuffing, and use the chicken juices as soup with the chicken.
Any leftover chicken can be shredded & used for salad or reheated for a repeat meal.