My good friend, Sammia, came to visit me from Germany. She and I have been friends for a long time, but have not seen each other in years. She has two kids, one who is practicing basketball for the German Olympics. Her other son, who is also my friend, lives in Northern California. Sammia and I always have a good time together, and that was why I wanted to make something special for her.
This Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake is very simple to make, yet flavorful. Just saute the vegetables and the chicken, put it over rice and saffron and mushroom soup, then just put it in the oven to finish cooking. How simple is that? You can make it, and go enjoy yourself with your family or guests. Asparagus is a good accompaniment, with a nice white wine, perhaps Chardonnay.
Don’t be afraid of saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. You can usually buy saffron at gourmet stores, or Mediterranean stores, or Amazon has a good selection.
Every Thanksgiving, The Good Plate goes crazy with people wanting to know how to roast a perfect turkey in a Nesco oven. Since I wrote the first article in 2009, I have made some significant changes to the preparation of the bird, mostly to cut down on time, but also to increase flavor and crispness of the skin. This year, in 2015, my bird was truly perfect, and everyone exclaimed about how much they don’t like breast meat because it’s too dry, but loved mine because it was nice and moist. If you want the older recipe with the liquid brine, please visit How to Make a Perfect Turkey in a Nesco Roaster Oven.
This recipe is courtesy of Spane’s father, Douglas. When we were dating, before Spane was born, he came by and offered to fix dinner for us. He went to the store and bought everything he needed, except the spices. He knew I had myriad spices and that I would have just what he wanted.
I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this was. I thought of it this weekend and made it, but I reduced the amounts for just Spane and I. Spane was hungry, he got three thighs! Actually, with a salad, or other side dishes, this could easily make enough for 12 people, if each person is allocated one chicken thigh.
Most Buffalo wings are made with a Louisiana hot sauce, quite often Franks. It’s good, but, I wanted to experiment a little. There is a nice Southern company, Glory Foods, that makes wonderful canned Butter Beans. I love ’em. When I was at the market buying wings, I saw that they also make Spicy Vidalia Hot Sauce. Spicy and slightly sweet, I thought that would make an interesting change from the usual Louisiana style hot sauces associated with this dish. I was right, that sauce was perfect, and it has not become my favorite hot sauce.
In the summer, even though it’s hot, I still think about fried chicken, and I’m not talking about that stuff at Kentucky Fried that tastes like a salt lick either. I’m talking about fried chicken like my Grandmother, Grace Boswell, used to make. She came from Texas, and she made the best friend chicken in the world, well in my opinion. Now, it’s my turn to pass on a tradition.
No Instructions, Experimentation Necessary
My Nana did not like to share her recipes, and really didn’t want anyone in the kitchen when she was cooking. She just wanted, and got, the accolades when the finished dish was on the table. The only time I saw the chicken before it got to the dining room was when there was a pan of it already fried, waiting to go to the table, which was too late. So, I’ve had to do some experimenting to get it right.
So, it’s just the two of us. We have a lot to be thankful for today. As a work-at-home Mom, I’ve been busy as a one armed paper-hanger. That’s great for my pocketbook, but for spending time with my wonderful son, not so good. Today, we’re going to cook together, play the Monopoly game we started last night (he’s winning), watch a movie, enjoy our meal, and just enjoy our time together.
When I went to the market looking for our feast, I had a bit of a problem. Since it is just going to be the two of us, I couldn’t see the sense in purchasing a whole turkey, it’s just too much food. All I’m concerned with is The Sandwich the next day. I don’t want to have to eat left over turkey until I start gobbling. I looked at a breast, because it’s smaller, but neither one of us likes breast meat, and I wanted something we both like. I said to Spane, “Gee, I wish turkeys came with just thighs and wings!” He said, “Mom, don’t they have parts? Why not just get parts?” I love my son! He is so smart! Sure enough, there was a nice package with two large thighs, and those were the ones I took home. Hurray!