Last week, I made the Dutch Oven Seafood Chowder, and I also blogged about it in my other blog, Mo' boy, when I talked about Church Food. It was kind of an overview of the LDS Church Welfare system from my perspective.
Well, yesterday, I did another dish of the same sort of thing. A frugal dish, made from staples, that tasted delicious.
One of the things that they do as you start to get food assistance, is they give you this recipe book. It's full of really good basic recipes of dishes you can make with a few simple ingredients. It's got a lot of good advice on just simple cooking skills. Like, if you're used to just pulling out the bisquick to make biscuits, then you can use this recipe book to mix up your own bisquick. Really good solid stuff. In other words, they don't just give you food, they also hope that you'll learn a bit more about how to cook it, so you're better prepared to take care of your family.
Anyway, I was flipping through this recipe book, and there's some really cool stuff in it. I came across this recipe for "Apple and Orange Pork Chops".
Well, it turns out that we didn't have any pork chops, but we did have chicken, so I redid it. I can never leave a recipe alone, of course, so there are some extra herbs and spices in it, too.
It was also a lot of fun because Brendon and his friend helped me prep the food and cook it.
Dutch Oven Apple and Orange Chicken
18-20 coals below, to start, then
8-9 coals below
16-18 coals above, to bake
~1 lb chicken, without bones, cubed
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1-2 Tbsp)
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup uncooked rice
2 cups water
1 large apple, peeled and diced
2 Oranges, peeled separated and diced
Zest of one orange
Your choice of herbs and spices. We used:
This is actually a very easy dish to make. You do it in two steps.
First, I partially thawed the chicken and lit up the coals. I think it's a little easier to slice and dice chicken when it's still partly frozen. That's just me... I had Brendon and his friend start on the chicken, while I sliced up the onions. One of these days I'll blog about the many ways I've seen to slice up onions.
They actually handled the knives pretty well. That would be another good topic for a blog posting. How to use a knife. There are a lot of good YouTube videos on that. That's how I learned.
I also showed them how to split open the garlic with the flat of the knife and they thought that was really cool. Mincing it by rocking the knife was fun, too.
Then we put the onions, the garlic, and the chicken in the open pot on the coals, and let that start to brown. It took a little while. I recommend using more coals rather than less. While it was browning, the young chefs took a break on the trampoline.
Then, as it was browning, it was time to work on the other ingredients. We zested, then peeled the oranges. We separated them and diced them. We peeled the apples, then sliced and diced them up.
Soon, the chicken and onions were ready. The onions were translucent, and getting a brown edge, and the chicken was cooked and brown. We put in the rice, the water, and the fruits, and stirred it all up. We pulled some coals from the bottom to put on top, and added more coals on top. I also had a side fire going to keep fresh coals for replenishing. Also, from this point on, we were cautious about opening up the lid. If you let too much moisture escape, then the rice doesn't cook as well.
Then we went inside and chose up some herbs and spices. I think we did a pretty good job, but I think in retrospect I would have gone with a different set. I might have gone for the more "sweet spices", like nutmeg with the cinnamon. And maybe just a touch of cayenne for some edge.
About 45 minutes later, it was done.
Brendon's friend said it had a really cool chinese taste. I think that was because of the oranges. It was both sweet and savory.
And the really sweet part was cooking with my son!