By Joel Horst
At age 26, I am a member of the Millennial generation. Like many other Millennials, I am busy. I don’t have a lot of cooking skills. I do want to eat healthy, and I don’t just want a TV dinner or a frozen pizza.
Fortunately, most of the time, I don’t have to cook. The three ladies of our home do a very excellent job of making hearty, healthy meals for our family. However, when Dad, Mom and the girls took a trip and left us guys to fend for ourselves in the kitchen, I got the job of seeing that my brothers had something to eat. Luckily, Mom left a menu with cooking directions for me to follow. Most of it was pretty simple, like wrapping egg burritos in parchment paper and tinfoil and sticking them in the oven. (Except that, after wrapping the burritos, I discovered that I needed another 35-45 minutes to heat them in the oven, so I stuck the burritos in the fridge till the next day.)
When Sunday rolled around, it would be my job to make a big Sunday dinner for four guys. Saturday night, I looked at my menu:
Get chicken out of freezer to thaw overnight.
The next morning, after caring for the laying hens, I prepared to make Sunday lunch. The menu stated:
Put 2 cups rice in deep casserole dish.
I finally managed to find a dish that would hold the 4 1/2 lb chicken and the rice, and added 2 cups of rice.
Add 4 cups water. Sprinkle with Lawry’s salt.
Take stuff out of inside of chicken. Cut off leg tuck flap.
Sprinkle chicken with Lawry’s, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.
I discovered that the onion powder had disappeared (it had gone on vacation with the rest of the family). I substituted minced onion, but I probably should have just skipped it altogether. Oh, well.
Place on rice.
Oops. The chicken was already in the dish. (Moral of the story: read all directions carefully before proceeding.)
Cover dish. Heat at 325o for 3 hours.
I turned the oven on and slid the casserole dish into the oven. Done! Only about 30 minutes (including 10 minutes spent trying to track down the dish, plus 5 minutes trying to find a photographer).
At lunchtime, I heated up a jar of homegrown green beans and pulled the chicken out of the oven.
It was, if I may say so myself, delicious. Without a whole lot of time in the kitchen, we enjoyed a hearty Sunday dinner, and had leftover chicken and rice to enjoy at a later date. Despite having raised chickens for 15 years, it was the first time I can remember roasting a chicken myself, and I was amazed at how easy it was. If I can do it, anyone can!
Want to try the recipe yourself? Here it is:
Chicken and Rice
Put 2 cups of brown rice in a deep casserole dish. Add 4 cups of water and sprinkle on Lawry’s salt.
Take heart, liver and neck out of the chicken. Cut off the flap of skin holding the legs of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with Lawry’s salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. (If you have other spices you would like to use, feel free to add or substitute them.)
Place chicken on rice. Cover dish. Bake at 325oF for three hours.