Monday, December 29, 2008

"Momma's" sticky baked chicken

So this isn't my Momma's sticky chicken. This is my kids' Momma's sticky chicken. That actual might be called in other places as Chicken Marbella. I have used whole chicken cut up, only thighs, only breasts, bone in and bone out, wings, mixed and matched legs, breasts, thighs, skinless, skin on. Basically any way you want to get your chicken.

I always wash my chicken until the water gets clear and then stick it in a bowl of salty water. This is just what I was told to do. I always do this first and then move on to other things leaving the chicken there as short or as long as it takes for me to do whatever has to be done. I mentioned this to a friend asking her if this is "normal" and her response was ... duh, it is "kosherizing" it. Who knew I was kosherizing anything?

Marinade: You want me to measure? Aint gonna happen. I make more marinade than any recipe calls for. All my cook books and magazines have the skimpiest amounts of marinades. I like my chicken to soak in a bath of marinade. Mmmm'mmm

Real Recipe is below but sometimes my variations on the theme include:
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Bay leaves
Dried basil (rubbed)
Dried oregano (rubbed)
Smashed up garlic (peel paper and get the cloves mangled a bit)
Onion powder
Garlic powder if I feel my smashed garlic is weak

Mix. Taste. Needs to be "stronger" than you think to really get the chicken flavorful. So usually I need more something...

I've been known to add
lemon juice
dry mustard powder

Taste. Well, don't it taste like a strong Italian salad dressing? I guess I could have just used Newman's Italian Dressing. Okay - so I've been known to do that and "doctor it up" a bit with more herbs.

Shake off water from chicken and put in big zip lock bag and pour marinade.

Leave in frig over night. Or on counter for a few hours.

Dump it all out into a large glass lasgna style pan.

If I forget to add to the marinade, I add to the pan:
dried apricots
pitted green olives
capers ( a little of the yummy, salty caper juice)

Sprinkly brown sugar on top. Not alot. We aren't making sweet and sour for goodness sakes. This just gets some chicken some color (lovely brown) and the "sticky" that is essential for finger linkin' goodness.

Bake at 350 for a while.

Serve with rice.
Store excess in frig with sauce. Great for warming up the next day, slicing the chicken for sandwiches, picking at it with the door of the frig open - just to steal an apricot - to pick at a wing - dontcha know.

Real Recipe Sticky Baked Chicken Marbella
4 chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
4 chicken wings

6 to 8 to whole head of garlic peeled and smashed
1/4 cup dried oregano rubbed in the palms (Or less and add dried basil too)
1/8 cup dried onion powder
1/8 cup of dried mustard powder
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
6 bay leaves
(Sometimes I forget to put these in the marinade and they go in later)
1 cup dried apricots (or 1/2 apricot and 1/2 prunes or 1 cup prunes)
1/2 cup pitted green olives (with or without pimentos)
1/2 cup capers and some of the juice

Last touches:
1/2 brown sugar
optional cup of white wine

Rinse chicken.
Combine marinade and pour to cover chicken
Let marinate for at least 3 or so hours on counter or overnight in frig

Put chicken in single layer in a shallow baking pan (or two depending on your size pan). Pour marinade over. Tuck dried fruit and olives underneath chicken or deep in marinade to insure they don't burn.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and add wine if seems it needs more liquid.

Bake for an hour at 350. Basting every 15 minutes or so.

Store leftovers separate from sauce or combines. Good at room temperature the next day.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Staying home

I love staying home. I guess working full time, mothering full time, wife-ing full time - eventually just staying home and doing nothing is allowed. I realized today as I walked to the co-op up the street for some fixin's for a salad for dinner that I hadn't been out of the house in quite a while. And, well, that was fine with me.

Some people get "antsy" with a bit of cabin fever. What would be the opposite of that - just shy of diagnosable as a psychosis?

I just like being home. Futzying around with this and that and doing a whole lot of nothing. I guess I would eventually get bored. And I might have actually  gotten officially bored today. But I was happy being bored!

The difference I guess is that I COULD go out if I WANTED to go out but chose not to go out. If I could NOT go out, then I wonder if I would be one of those antsy people?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chick Pea Stew (Peanut Butter style)

I've been asked to share my stew recipe. It is a shame that I just don't know exactly what I did!

So, lets say that I started by sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil. That is how I usually begin everything. I was trying to get rid of chick peas. Husband and son say it is "too hard" to make hummus and prefer to buy the stuff. This drives me crazy since it is so easy to make hummus. I empty a giant can of chick peas into the pot grumbling to myself. Probably gave it a stir.

Canned tomatoes chopped up (or squeezed apart as I'm known to do when I'm mumbling about how silly it is to buy hummus) and the juice. Still seemed dry. Can of plain canned tomato sauce. (Made the mistake once of buying canned tomato sauce that had ... stuff... in it. YUCK) Broth that I had (probably beef but could have been chicken of veggie... who knows!). I probably just added some of the "box" thinking I'd save the rest. And, as usual, I slowly added the whole container. Taste. Stir. Let simmer. Taste. Verdict: Bland.

Hmmm jalapeno pepper chopped added some heat. Two giant heaping tablespoons of peanut butter. Stir. Tasting a bit better. Plus it got that nice creamy look and feel. Yummm. After chatting with a friend, chose cinnamon over ginger. Tomato paste to give it a bit more umph. Chopped okra and let it soak in white vinegar and water for a bit - drain and rinse (ALOT) and threw it in. Still need some thing. Found some yellow curry powder so threw that in. Sweet potato peeled and cubed. Maybe more chickpeas because I have so many of them. They love hummus. They eat it by the ton. You'd think they would be interested in making their own!

Cook. Taste. Adjust. Not too bad!

I think the order of the ingrediants needs to be adjusted so that the sweet potatoes cubes cook through. I like my okra to be a bit of a crunch. The chickpeas will fall apart if they are cooked toooo long. The jalapeno and other seasoning probably need to meld in their flavor sooner too.

Ingrediants that I think I used:

Two large cans of Chick Peas (drained)
Two small cans of tomatoes
One can of tomato sauce
Tablespoon of tomato paste
One container of broth (I'm agnostic on the kind)
One jalapeno
One medium yellow onion
Two cloves of garlic (ha, who am I kidding! More like four!)
Three ish tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup or so of smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons of curry powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
Hand full of okra (trimmed and soaked in vinegar/water bath for de-sliming)
Standard salt and pepper to taste if you think it needs it.

Serve with pasta or rice or maybe even over chicken. Or... add chicken for a non vegetarian version(?).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Strategic Planning - Some love it

Some take to strategic planning like fish to water.

Strategic planning shouldn't be hard; should it?

I'm finding it has its challenges. Lacking a crystal ball, the future is a big unknown so it is hard to prepared fully for it. So, strategically, planning should be light and flexible with overall goals of moving forward. Specifics will seem "quaint" and outdated when we look back - even if we are only looking back from about 2 weeks out!

Yet, without some concrete plans, the strategic planning seems like light hearted desires. Actions make the goals real.

Quandary: Keep it loose and light - or - give concrete steps and actions

More after this afternoons meeting!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Once in awhile, I post

So if I want to go to a Bloggers' Salon then I better blog.

Planning for the American Libraries Association Annual Conference in Anaheim has once again been more than I want to face. I have it on my to do list "plan conference" - I even am taking the approach of "booking myself" on my calendar to block out time to "plan conference" - and still I'm good at goofing off.

I've added the Bloggers' Salon - so that is one thing.

Now then... I guess I'll work my schedule out around it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Forcing Change in Copyright Law? - Google Scanning and Copyright Law

The part that hurt because it hit right on target: "I actually think that this is the job of libraries. ... [libraries] should have identified this as a major public need ... It's a sad commentary on our sort of state of information these days that it takes a daring and - for now, anyway - rich company to make these sort of inroads and stand up for a more flexible copyright system when in fact our public institutions should be doing this. But in this day and age, it's not very fashionable to believe that public institutions can actually do anything for us." -- Siva Vaidhyanathan.


NPR On The Media: Steal this Book

BOB GARFIELD: So if I understand this right, you're actually sympathetic with Google's view of how fair use and copyright law should be understood but you just think that they're rolling the dice and too likely to hit snake-eyes on this one.

SIVA VAIDHYANATHAN: Exactly. I see our copyright system right now as rather absurd and unworkable. And what does work is delicate. It's a delicate ecosystem, and I'm very worried about something so disruptive and so revolutionary really flattening out a lot of the nuances of copyright that have allowed for such amazing creativity in the Web world.

BOB GARFIELD: If not Google now, then who? And when? Who should be in charge of deciding which books get scanned?

SIVA VAIDHYANATHAN: Well, I actually think that this is the job of libraries. I think libraries should be doing this first and foremost. The Library of Congress should have identified this as a major public need and goal and pursued this sort of project years ago. Instead, they've outsourced it to a private corporation, and this corporation, as good as they like to make us think they are, is still operating by keeping us blind. Their technology is proprietary. Their algorithms for search are completely secret. We don't actually know what's going to generate a certain list of search results. They don't work for us.

BOB GARFIELD: You're suggesting this is a war that has to be fought. You just don't want Google to be the one doing the fighting.

SIVA VAIDHYANATHAN: Yeah. It's a sad commentary on our sort of state of information these days that it takes a daring and - for now, anyway - rich company to make these sort of inroads and stand up for a more flexible copyright system when in fact our public institutions should be doing this. But in this day and age, it's not very fashionable to believe that public institutions can actually do anything for us.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Attending a Blogger Salon Implies Blogging

Starting to feel guilty about attending the OCLC Bloggers Salon. Guess I should actually blog....