Phew! I don’t think I can keep up on the one-post-a-day marathon. Haha… That said, 2012 is coming to an end in a short few days! Didn’t it just begin, like, last week?
It’s amazing how days fleet by and time rushes on, waiting for no man. It’s been a very eventful year. I’ve seen people coming into my life, people moving away, tears shed, smiles created. I’ve experienced joy, sadness, hope, encouragement, disappointment. I’ve heard good news, bad news. But through it all, the constant in my life is the God. He is never changing but ever faithful and that is what keeps me thankful for each day on this Earth. Even when I fail (and I do), He remains gracious. My husband always reminds me, when I’m discouraged, that in the end the only thing that matters is what God thinks.
I have many things to be thankful for. The Lord Jesus Christ. My husband aka my best friend. Family. Both in Christ and in flesh. Health. Food. etc etc etc. Have a blessed 2013!
And so, it seems like hubs and I will be spending the 31st of Dec with each other at home again. I am excited to say the least because a quiet night in with my best friend and some good comfort food is the best!
Seeing that the chicken needs about 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook, we’ll start with that first. We will need:
Chicken Thighs, Blackened Cajun Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Yellow Onion & Garlic Cloves
Before piling the spice mix onto the chicken thighs, peel and slice the onions and lay then at the bottom of your pan first. I made the mistake before of seasoning my chicken before laying on my onion base and then created a whole mess.
My chicken was already dry brined ie I always season my chicken with salt and pepper before freezing them. Hence, they are already sorta seasoned but I made sure the spice seasoning had sufficient salt. As they always say, when you feel you already have enough of salt, add in a little more. The salt runs out with the juices so add a touch more. Don’t fret
After some oven love, the house smells just warm and cosy. And it took me all of 10 minutes of active prep and the rest of the time I can curl on the sofa with a good book while the dish perfumes the entire house.
For the very simple pasta dish that accompanies this, you can easily prepare it during the last 15 minutes of the chicken roasting time. I would have had more pictures but I was so so hungry that night preparing this pasta dish (just thinking about pasta now is making my stomach growl!).
First, you obviously need to get the pasta boiled in salty water. While that happens, the tomatoes, garlic, olives and ham gets a choppety chop. The Italian sausage is then seared. Garlic, tomatoes, ham and olive gets thrown in just so it all softens down and becomes nice and syrupy. Once the pasta is al dente, just dunk the drained pasta into the fresh tomato and sausage sauce. Add a splash or two of pasta cooking water if needed and done!
For a nice refreshing drink, I like to have something cool and tangy. And this is something very adaptable to your own taste, depending on what citrus you have in hand, kinds of sweeteners you like and herby undertones you enjoy.
Syrup in second… then water.
So we have it, a simple dinner that takes barely any active cooking time. Have a blessed new year and savour the last few days of 2012. See you next year! (unless I get the itches to post something later. ha!)
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Cajun Spice Chicken Thighs
2 whole Chicken Thighs, cleaned and thoroughly dried
2 tbsp Blackened Cajun Seasoning (can be reduced if preferred)
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground Black pepper
2 Yellow Onions, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rings
1 bulb Garlic, root end lobbed off & cloves separated but unpeeled
2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 200C (400F)
- Mix Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
- Arrange peeled and sliced onion at the base of an 8×8 inch pan.
- Season chicken pieces, flesh side first then lay it skin side up.
- Strategically place garlic cloves in and around chicken thighs.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast in the oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pricked.
- Serve with pasta or rice!
Fresh Tomato Sausage Pasta
serves 2 (with plenty of leftovers for lunch)
1/2 lbs (about 220gm) Spaghetti (or any pasta you prefer)
2 Italian Sausages (casing removed)
2 cloves Garlic, peeled & minced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 slices leftover ham (optional)
10 pitted Olives (I used dry-cured soft black olives)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil with plenty of salt. Once water boils, add in pasta and cook until al dente.
- While the pasta cooks, sear sausages in a separate pan with some heated olive oil on HIGH heat. Break it up as you go.
- Add garlic and stir for about 1 minute.
- Scatter in diced tomatoes and ham. Cook until tomatoes have released juices and softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Toss in the olives to heat through.
- By now, the pasta should be done. Just use a tong and grab the cooked pasta from the pot of water and toss into the tomato sauce. The pasta water that clings to the pasta strands are required to loosen the sauce.
- Add more pasta water if required.
- Sprinkle on freshly cracked black pepper and serve!
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar (or preferred sweetener)
juice of 4 Limes, cut into wedges
3-4 sprigs Lemon-Thyme
to serve, 1 Lime cut into wedges
springs of Lemon-Thyme
- *To make simple syrup, bring water,sugar and lemon-thyme to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
- **In a jug, mix lime juice and simple syrup with enough water to come to the top.
- In individual glasses, add a cube of ice each and pour limeade!
- For pretty presentation, stick a wedge of lime on the rim and adorn the glass with a sprig of lemon-thyme.
* Simple syrup can be made and stored in the refrigerator for later use or for single serving.
** My personal favourite ratio for lime juice to syrup is 1:2 because I love it tart. You can adjust to your own preference.