A fast dinner with an Asian inspiration
Chicken Dinner for Busy Days, anyone?
This year just hit the ground running! Did it happen to you too?
Here we are in February, THE month of romance, Carnival and also of being sick and tired of Winter!
QUICK AND EASY RECIPES: YES PLEASE!
This time of year and in this mood, all I want is to uncomplicate things.
Uncomplicate – is that a word??
I’m not sure but the whole concept does exist, and it has invaded my cooking!
When I get to the evening in no mood to create, my “rabbit out of the hat” is usually a tray dinner… an oven tray 🙂
“What’s that all about?” you ask.
Very simple: an oven tray in which I place a few pieces of lean meat or fish fillets together with one or two vegetables as a side, and season it all with one of my life-saving, super fast, marinades.
DINNER READY IN 20 MINUTES
Then, I just place it in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on what exactly I’m cooking.
Isn’t the thought appealing?
It’s even better than Jamie’s 15 Minutes Meals because there is less work involved!
COOK FOR 1, COOK FOR 6
And more, this way of cooking is easily scalable.
It’s about the same effort to cook for 1 or to cook for 6; you just have to multiply the ingredients.
In this context, today I’ll be sharing one of my best recipes.
It involves chicken thighs that I buy in packets. Chicken thighs are delicious and cook well in the oven.
I never eat the chicken’s skin, although I sometimes keep it on for cooking. This time, not even that.
You might also think the side vegetables to be too dull. Bear with me. The key to straightforward healthy eating is, most of the times, you’ll be cooking and eating very affordable yet nutritious ingredients.
And, if you still think this is work intensive, please feel free to purchase ground ginger and lemongrass pastes from your supermarket. I won’t fool you; the taste will be less zesty but still excellent.
GINGER AND LEMONGRASS CHICKEN
The Oriental inspiration of this dish makes you forget how quick and easy it is to prepare. It takes one bite for you’ll to feel transported to exotic places, with lovely greenery against the blue of the sea.
The quantities in this recipe are very easy to adapt to larger parties, as you’ll only have to multiply by the number of people you’ll be feeding. I also suggest you add one or two extra chicken thighs, thinking about next day’s lunch.
for one person
- One medium to large chicken thigh (make it two if they are small)
- Two medium carrots
- Three baby white onions
- One teaspoon minced ginger root
- One teaspoon minced lemongrass (1 stalk)
- One minced garlic clove or 1/2 teaspoon of powdered garlic
- One tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- The juice of half a lemon (or lime)
For the tray
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Optional: 2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- Start by pre-heating the oven to 180ºC (350º F).
- Prepare the marinade by mixing all ingredients with a spoon, in a small bowl.
- Prepare the vegetables:
- Peel both the carrots and onions.
- Cut the carrots into broad sticks, about thumb-size long.
- Cut the onions in two or four parts, lengthwise.
- Arrange the chicken and vegetables on the tray.
- Season everything with the marinade – use your hands or two spoons to make sure it’s all well coated.
- If you’re using it, place the thyme over the chicken. Squeeze a little more lemon juice over the meat and the veggies and place in the oven.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
To make sure it’s well cooked, look at the meat close to the bone: red means it’s still raw, white and brown means it’s ready.
Eat with a green salad, that you’ll season with lemon juice and a bit of salt and extra virgin olive oil.
Photography: Ana Pereira da Costa