25 Minute Meals: Garlic Oregano Fried Chicken, Stir Fried Veggies, and Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf...Move Aside Rachel Ray!

Let me tellll you.. I have never cooked a full meal..( protein, carb, veg) in under 25 minutes.. like ever... This was an amazing feat and I really did shock myself..and yeah, I shocked T too.

And so it happened like this... We were on our way home from a full day of running errands.... Went to the tyre store, watched Kung Fu Panda 2.. LOVED IT! I love PO! he's so adorable as a wee baby panda.. awww... oh then went back to the tyre store, then costco. Picked up a whole bunch of things.. 6 pack of chicken thighs.. like 24 pieces of chicken.. (watch for chicken pot pie coming up!!) and a big huge tub of cashews..hah! and other goods of course.. and so on the way home.. T told me he was starting to get hungry and he knew better.. I'm like the slowest cook in the world.. well I always want to put 110% on my cooking okay... and he never understands! he just lets his tummy grumble.. anywhooo... I actually shut him up telling him I needed 5 minutes to think and create a menu in my mind on the way home. I flew out of the car as we pulled in and boy was I on fire. I ran into the house, pummeling through the 2 black furry bodies jumping on me. And about a minute later I flung a saute pan, and 2 pots onto the stove. I slid dollops of butter and a splash of olive oil onto the smoking pan, seasoned my chicken thighs and listened for the searing sizzles as the skin popped melodically onto the pan. With the butt of my palm I crushed 4 cloves of garlic (skin on) and dropped 8 twigs of oregano. I kept the heat at medium high, I then began basting the chicken with 2 cloves of garlic and 4 twigs of oregano on each thigh. With a spoon I sploshed the chicken with the hot fragrant butter continuously until the meat was sealed and juices remained. With each baste the fragrance and sharpness of the garlic was transferred and the oils of oregano perfumed the whole room. I continued to baste for a solid 10 minutes or so, 5 minutes a side, the result was an extra crisp skinned chicken flavorful and fragrant, tender and so juicy.. Meanwhile.. while the chicken was a sizzling the two pots were filled with water and brought to a boil.. I chopped a few carrots and trimmed broccoli and threw them into the salty water. In the other pot I poured rice in to make the pilaf. Once the chicken was cooked I placed them in the oven to keep warm, and when the veggies were tender I drained them and sliced leaves of onions for the stir-fry. I heated up the saute pan and drizzled fragrant leftover oil from the chicken, once it was sizzling I threw in the onions on high heat to let it caramelize, seasoned it and once it was slight translucent I threw in the veggies...I seasoned it again and once it had a slight char I poured in beef stock and reduced it to a simmer. To finish it all off I slid a knob of butter and tasted it for final seasoning...it was silky and divine! The pilaf had steamed to a lovely fluff mound, tossed in the toasted almonds and everything was set to go.

To put everything together I piled up the rice, slid veggies to the plate and placed a chicken thigh each...T had set the table waiting eagerly and even poured me a glass of pinot grigio..and milk for himself. We dug in, he started of with the broccoli, then carrot, then onion..mmm good he said..tender and sweet..then stabbed his fork into the chicken and sliced through it.. I could hear the snap of the crisp skin and saw the gleaming juice oozing out.. He took a bite ...and for someone who doesn't like chicken.. well T was speechless...(and...i think for the fact that I managed to cook this meal in 25 mins!)

Now..if chicken is ever on the menu.. this would be the first recipe I'll think of.. only because I know he'll drool over it!


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