Home Cooking – Minestrone and Oven-Fried Chicken

I’m not a big fan of beans, but there was one bean dish that I ate once and really, really enjoyed, the Cassoulet with Duck Breast from Rue 216 in Taipei that I’d blogged about previously. For some reason the bean part of the dish has been on my mind recently, so I decided that I wanted to make a white bean-related dish, preferably a soup. Went on Food Network, of course, and after much reading and searching, finally found a dish that didn’t seem too difficult and sounded good, Winter Minestrone.

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I love soups!

Anyway, copied down the ingredients needed and headed off to Rouses. I wish I had a car … Super limited in what I can buy by how much I can carry (so sad).

I pretty much followed the recipe except skipped on the carrots (not a big fan of cooked carrots) and added in some mushrooms (love mushrooms!). For my greens I used baby kale and spinach instead of Swiss chard. I couldn’t find any fresh rosemary, so I went with the dried ones.

It turned out quite well, if I may say so. I borrowed a friend’s big pot. Best idea ever. Didn’t have to worry about overflowing leaves of veggies or soup. Yay! Now I get a big pot of soup to drink for many meals to come. Perfect for these semi-cold days.

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On Facebook, I subscribe to the Food Network FB page, and one day, a recipe for oven fried chicken popped up. I love fried chicken, but I would probably never fry anything myself. Do not like large pots of hot, boiling oil. Plus, the smell that ends up lingering in the apartment for days is not very pleasant. So when I saw that this was an oven-fried version, I knew I had to try it. It was quite an experience. I used this recipe that was different from the one I had seen originally because I realized I didn’t have all the ingredients even though I thought I had written them all down … oops (smart, Lisa).

So anyway, the hardest part of this dish was de-skinning the chicken drumsticks. I had no idea what I was doing … While I was trying to de-skin the chicken, a friend came by to talk, so that must have been a fun sight for my poor friend. I didn’t have any panko breadcrumbs, but I did have slices of bread, which I toasted in the oven for quite some time until it became dry and hard. And since I didn’t have a food processor, I mashed the toast into breadcrumbs by hand! Put them all in a zip lock bag and used the olive oil glass bottle for smashing. It was fun! Way to relieve some pent up anger! Just kidding, I have no pent up anger to release, but it was still fun. I also didn’t have lemon/lemon zest, but I did have some lemon and herb spice, so I added those in with the bread crumbs. And I skipped out on the Parmesan cheese as I didn’t have any.

It turned out pretty well! It was crunchy and juicy … By the time the chicken had finished baking in the oven, I had already filled myself up on the Minestrone, so I only managed to eat one drumstick. But I still very much enjoyed it. I didn’t have a rack to put the chicken on in the oven, so they have dark browned spots all over from where they were placed on the baking sheet. Maybe I should invest in a rack … I want to invest in so many things, including a food processor and crock pot. Maybe when I win the lottery. Sigh.

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