The Adventure Starts Here: Exhibit A - Why I Shouldn't Cook

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Exhibit A - Why I Shouldn't Cook

So honestly, I'm usually not bad in the kitchen.  I can follow instructions and I am not horrible when it comes to using a knife.  That being said, I have started to rely on a few recipes that are simple and that don't require a cookbook.  I thought that it would be fun to try some new recipes, so I got Jessica Seinfeld's "The Can't Cook Book".  About 10 days ago, I decided to try making this Skillet-Roasted Potatoes & Chicken recipe.

Skillet-Roasted Potatoes & Chicken

Work Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 4

1 yellow onion
1/2 cup water
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1 tablespoon e.v. olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves (about 2 sprigs)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 lbs total)
4 chicken drumsticks (about 1 lb total)
1 tablespoon ground coriander

1. Heat the oven (with the oven rack in the low position) to 425 degrees.  Dust off your large ovenproof skillet.

2.  Thinly slice the onion (she teaches you how to do that too!) and scatter over the bottom of the skillet; add the water.  Wash the potatoes (no need to peel) and slice them into about 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Lay them over the onions, overlapping as necessary.  Drizzle with the oil.  Wash and dry the rosemary sprigs, then pull the leaves from their sprigs and sprinkle over the potatoes, along with 1 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper (about 12 turns on the pepper mill).  

3.  Wash the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  In a small bowl, combine the coriander and the remaining salt and pepper.   Using your fingers, rub the spices into both sides of the chicken.  Lay the chicken, skin side up, over the potatoes.  Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 1 hour.

I loved how she made the instructions super easy to follow and really spells it out for us non cooks.  I followed the instructions but didn't add the coriander (because we didn't have any and Chris said he wouldn't miss it).  I had no issues cutting the onion, potatoes, or prepping the chicken... yay I was doing well!  I then put it in the oven for the hour like it said, and it was ready for when Chris got home from work.  This is when the problems began (which is why I don't have a picture of the final product!)!

I used a pot holder to take the skillet out of the oven and placed it on top of the stove.  I then went to scoop the chicken out onto our plates.  I'm honestly not used to putting skillets/frying pans in the oven, so I totally forgot that the handle would be hot.  Well I go to grab the handle so the pan wouldn't move while I'm serving the food, and shocker... I burn my hand!  At first it didn't seem so bad.  I cursed, but then continued to serve out the meal.  That's when it really started to hurt so I ran my hand under cold water.  Chris started to feed Noah and I asked if he could cut up my chicken so I could eat with one hand while the other was under the sink faucet.  Long story short, for the rest of the night my hand was throbbing unless it was under the faucet or resting on a cold compress.  I took some tylenol and went to bed.  Thankfully Noah only got up once that night, so I got a decent night's rest.  It felt a lot better when I woke up, but still hurt to touch it and when I gripped things.

To top it all off, Chris and I both thought the dish was just meh :/  The potatoes were a little undercooked in my opinion and in general it was a little bland (and I usually don't mind bland!).  Maybe we really did need that coriander.  But honestly, that wouldn't have helped the potatoes.  So while I have not given up on this cookbook, I doubt I'll be making this dish again!

So should I take this as a sign to stop cooking???

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