Food Peeves; Pan Grilled Chicken

Quick Look

  • Main IngredientsChicken Breasts and Thighs, Onions, Garlic, Salt, Curry Powder, Dried Thyme, Adobo Seasoning, Poultry Seasoning, Allspice Seasoning
  • CuisineNigerian
  • CourseMain
  • Level Of CookingEasy

Nutrition Facts

Food Peeves Series; Pan Grilled Chicken

  • Prepairation Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Category: Food Pet Peeves

 

Food Pet Peeves or should I say Food Peeves

I don’t know about you, but I have some serious Food Pet Peeves. Sometimes they get to me more than usual, especially when I’m really hungry.

For instance, I go out to eat in a restaurant, and the Chef knows little or nothing about cooking Chicken, or Shrimp, or whatever it is I ordered, I get upset and almost start feeling like he/she is out to get me. of course I don’t go into a fit, or start throwing tantrums, but I never pretend that I enjoyed the food. I don’t know how to pretend when it comes to food.

So when the waiter/waitress walks up to me and asks “did you enjoy your food madam?” or “why didn’t you eat the chicken?” It’s like they opened the Pandora’s Box of adjectives that describe bad tasting food. I just pour my heart out. Politely, I explain to the waiter/waitress that I didn’t like what I ate and why, and this is done with a smile because the goal isn’t to break their spirits, but to make them understand that they can do better.

My Food Peeves and My City

 

I know that I’ve mentioned more than once, that I live in the City of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. It’s a great city, may not be as bubbly as Lagos, but it has its perks. Like every city in the world, Port Harcourt and the people that reside in it, have advantages and disadvantages. One of these disadvantages is that, a lot of people here find it easy to settle for mediocre, substandard, or flat-out bad services.

I’ve often wondered, is it that they are afraid to speak-out, or they simply do not know what the real deal looks and tastes like? I think the latter is the case, because I also realized that  a lot of people here, are easily intimidated by quality. They see quality food or service, or both, and their first instinct is to run in the opposite direction, for fear of how expensive they think it will be. So in a bid to go for something cheaper, they get ripped-off by fakes, and also get a stomach bug  like salmonella, as a souvenir.

Sometimes I get what I think are supposed to be complements like “ah, you know your cooking standard is high, I see your photos on Social media. It’s too high for me o.” And I give a plastic smile, but in my heart, I want to ask the person, “do you not like yourself? How is it that I care more about your taste buds, your stomach, and your health than you?”

Why settle for Bad Cooking?

A while back, hubby and I decided to go to a new restaurant for date night. This restaurant was recommended by a friend, and he raved about how classy it was, and how wonderful the food tasted. So we decided to try it. In my usual manner, whenever hubby and I make plans to eat out, I skip breakfast, or I might just have a fruit, because I plan to thoroughly enjoy my meal. So I carried out my food skipping ritual. If only I knew, I would’ve loaded up  before leaving for the so called classy restaurant.

Great Ambiance, Horrible Food

We got there and the ambiance was beautiful. Slow music, dim lights and all the works. The waiter that led us to our table was all smiles. I ordered Fried Rice, Grilled Lamb Chops, and something else that  I can’t quite remember. After waiting for about 30 minutes for our food to arrive, we got served. At first, when I saw the Lamb Chops, I thought my order got mixed up with the leftovers reserved for the dogs. The Lamb Chops looked like the Lamb had fallen on hard times towards the end of its life. All I had in my plate, was some lean, over dried meat, with a bone attached to it.

I didn’t want to ruin our date, so I decided to eat this thing in my plate. That was a wrong move. Firstly, I had trouble cutting the meat with my knife. When I finally cut a piece, it tasted like it had just stepped out of the Dead Sea, and into my plate. I suddenly understood how salt preserved fish or meat feels, because my mouth felt ‘preserved.’

The Fried Rice was an apology. Hubby couldn’t touch his food. I was hungry, the restaurant had just ruined my long anticipated date, so I was in no mood to let things slide.

I asked our smiling waiter to call the manager. When the manager arrived, I politely but sternly explained to him that our food wasn’t good enough to be served to humans, especially since their prices were quite exorbitant. The manager was polite and humble, he apologized profusely, and asked to get us something else to eat, but I couldn’t stomach the sight of another awful meal, and  I felt bad for him, so I decided to channel my annoyance towards the chef. I explained to the manager that the chef was going to cost them some good business, and in a city that has so many restaurants, they could lose all their customers in a short time.

We had to pay the exorbitant charge for the terrible food, I just kept telling myself that I paid for the ambiance, not the food. Well, it’s been 3 years, and they’re still standing, so it’s either people kept patronizing them and never complained about their bad cooking or they got a new and better chef. Either way, I never went back to find out.

 

How do we fix this?

In my experience as a foodie/chef, I have come to realize that people can never get a recipe right, if they don’t know what the real deal tastes like.

In conclusion, Port Harcourt city people, don’t be intimidated by quality food and service. You should seek for it, because you deserve it. If you can’t afford it, then don’t despise it, because their’s really is no substitute for quality. To everyone else, let’s learn to treat food with the respect it deserves, when cooking it. Then and only then, would we get the best out of it.

Let’s get Cooking

Lastly, from time to time, I will be sharing some of my Food Peeves with you. I’ll also show you the right way to do it.

So today, I will be showing you how to make delicious Chicken Broth (stock), and still have juicy, melt-off-the-bone Pan Grilled Chicken. For this recipe, I’ll be using Chicken Thighs and Breasts, because I want to show you that it is possible tO Grill Chicken Breasts without drying it out.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 Fresh Chicken Thighs and 2 Breasts
  • 1 large Onion (sliced in rings)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil (just to grease the pan)
  • 1 tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Curry Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon Allspice seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Adobo Seasoning
  • 2 stock cubes (knorr chicken)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Water

First Things First

  • A lot of people do not know that chicken is not supposed to be dry and difficult to chew. I attend weddings, and sometimes notice that the meat is paper dry. I just know that the caterer, in a bid to get some stock from the chicken, first boiled it in seasoned water, and then fried it, because you can’t serve boiled chicken to guests at a wedding. In the end, the chicken or beef becomes wood dry, and you need a glass of water to wash down every piece you chew and swallow.Well, I have a perfect solution for you. This method will give you the stock or broth you need, and keep you meat juicy, soft, and delicious.

Preparation

  • The number rule of cooking any kind of protein (beef, fish, chicken etc) is, DO NOT LET IT DRY OUT. Unless you’re making Beef jerky (Kilishi), or Dried Fish, on no occasion is it okay for your meat to be mistaken for firewood, or chewing stick. Firstly, you lose a lot of the great nutrients. It’s not as tasty as it ought to be, and it’s just downright disrespectful to the meat. I mean, if an animal is going to give it’s life so you can enjoy it’s meat, the least you can do is cook it the right way. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business.
  • You’ll need two important equipment for this cooking process; a Pressure Cooker and a Grill pan. You can also use any pot that has a good Steamer Plate, but I used my Pressure Pot.

Food Peeves; Pan Grilled Chicken

 

  • Place some water in the pot, about three cups, but make sure it’s not enough to come through the lead. You don’t need the water to cook the chicken, what you need is the steam. Insert the Steamer plate, and place the chicken thighs and breasts on it.
  • Season the chicken, and gently rub the seasoning into the chicken with your hands. so every part is properly seasoned. Add the onion slices and Garlic. Cover the pot with the lid, and let it steam for 30 minutes.

 

Food Peeves; Pan Grilled Chicken

  • Place the oil in a grill pan. Heat the pan for a few minutes. Remove the steamed chicken from the pot and place in the hot grill pan, skin side down. Grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until it’s as brown and crisp as you like it.

Food Peeves; Pan Grilled Chicken

  • Take out the steamer plate to reveal your delicious chicken broth. I like to call this ‘Liquid Gold’. A good broth can serve as a base for a wide variety of dishes. I like to always have broth stored in my freezer. I learned that like wine, the longer it stays., the better it tastes. Don’t leave it for too long though.Food Peeves; Pan Grilled Chicken

 

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