Sunday, July 20, 2014

Parsley sage rosemary & thyme: they’re what’s for dinner (oh, and this chicken)

 

You’d think that a single 52 year old man like myself would know how to cook a chicken—but I don’t.  Oh, I’ve done some things with a boneless, skinless chicken breast but actual chicken parts?  Bone-in pieces of skin, drumsticks and thighs?  When it comes to such parts, I’m more chicken than they are.

But a couple days ago when I was at the market, Kuhn’s had a display of “Amish Chicken, Pick of the Chic’ Paks”—two breasts, 2 thighs & 2 legs for $4.99, and I knew it was too good a deal to pass up.  (Besides, I was craving a good, old-fashioned roast chicken dinner, the kind that didn’t come out of a KFC bucket or from a Hungry Man Frozen Chicken dinner box.) 

FYI, if you’re any type of cook—go ahead, roll your eyes!  But for guys like myself who have never done this sort of thing, have patience—there’s a first time for everything y’know!

ApacheDug’s Herbalicious Roast Chicken & Potatoes 

Assemble these ingredients:

  • 3 lb. pack of assorted chicken parts (wirh skin)
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Morton Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1-2 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Chop up the potato, onion and green pepper into one inch chunks.  (I left the skin on the potatoes.)  Get a large glass bowl (I used my Pasta Serving bowl from IKEA) and throw in the chicken parts, chopped potatoes, onion & green pepper.   

3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over everything, then cover the top with something, I used Cling-Wrap.  (My Cling-Wrap is red, because it’s Holiday Cling-Wrap that was on sale in the Clearance bin for 50% off!) 

Once it’s on there good & tight, shake that bowl up and down to ensure everything has a light coating of oil.

4.  Peel back the Cling-Wrap, sprinkle everything with one teaspoon of Sea Salt & the 1-2 tablespoons of dried Italian seasoning.  Close it back up, toss it up & down some more to ensure everything is flecked with the herbs.

5.  Line a metal baking pan with tin-foil (I used the Heavy Duty foil, but I still had to wash the pan afterwards, dammit).  Spray it with Pan Oilive Oil Cooking Spray. 

ready to cook

Place the chicken (skin side down) in one half of the pan, and the vegetables in the other half. 

6.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 425F.  Turn over the chicken parts, stir the chopped veggies & pop it back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes.   (I only used 1/2 bell pepper, but next time I’ll use a whole one—those roasted pepper chunks are good!)

That’s all there is to it--why didn’t I do this sooner!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One step closer to cutting those strings (from more than just my cable company, too)

 

A couple months ago I wrote about the possibilities of “cutting the cable cord” by getting one of those indoor hi-def antennas.  I hated that I was paying $119.00 a month for dozens of nonsense channels I only saw in passing on my way to the few I actually watch.  And it kills me that I’m charged extra for the hi-def channels that are broadcast over-the-air for free!

So I bought a Mohu Leaf (a thin white square with a rubbery texture, $39.99) to try out.  (If you look to the right of my tv in the picture above, you’ll see it hanging on the wall.  It’s a lot more obvious in this photo, in person it’s nearly invisible.)  

Anyway, I’ve been “testing” it off & on for a couple weeks.  I’ve hesitated talking about it, when I first mentioned my plan at the office, my friend Kathy mumbled something that sounded like “damn penny pincher” (I know she loves me) and when I told my friend Danielle about a girl at the eye doctor’s who I thought was cute, she said “hey baby, come up to my place & check out my tv with one channel!” 

Well I wasn’t going to settle for one channel—if I was going to do this I still wanted CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, CW & Fox as good as I got now, and the folks at tvfool.com supplied me with this list of channels I SHOULD pull in with an indoor antenna, based on my zip code:

So when the Mohu antenna arrived, I promptly hung it up behind the tv.  I got everything I wanted EXCEPT for ABC & PBS, a real bummer.  I spent the next couple days hangiing it higher, testing it in different locations but still no luck, until it hit me to hang it on the side.  (I like it there even better, I’m planning on painting the wall behind my television a kilim-beige soon, but that side-wall will remain white.)  Hooray, it worked!  Well, SORT OF.  I was getitng PBS now, but only after dark, and to get ABC I had to reposition the leaf (losing PBS again) & STEER CLEAR OF MY COUCH.  I’m not kidding, the minute I took a seat, ABC became “Channel not available”. 

I finally decided I wasn’t ready for high-maintenance television, and packed up the Mohu Leaf to send back; I’d probably remain Comcast’s bitch.

UPDATE:   After doing some additional reading from other cord-cutters, I discovered that for some that had issues with the Mohu Leaf, the Mohu Curve (same size and shape as the leaf—but is rigid, and sits on a shelf or table near the tv) is better.  I exchanged the Leaf for the Curve—and they’re right!

009

The Mohu Curve is now getting all channels with no issues—it sits atop my bookcase & stereo, right beside the tv

Now I’ve got to give this a few more days; if my luck holds out, I’m going to buy that Tivo Roamio (over-the-air dvr) and have OVER AN EXTRA HUNDRED BUCKS in my early retirement budget every month! 

Will I miss those endless repeats of Honey Boo-Boo & her clan on TLC?  Sure!  Nothing beats watching them bob for weiners in a washtub full of eggnog or eating armpit fudge—but I can’t help thinking it will help make me a better person!

 

Oh Comcast—you were always pricey but you hiked your rates like 30 percent in the last few years!  You brought this on yourselves!   

To be continued…  Smile

old school

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