Dinner With Parents #MangoEats
As any self-respecting, young, Naija lady knows; cooking for your parents is more than just a sign of respect, it's a way of honoring them. My parents are especially fond of this gesture from me, and I'm not talking "home" food either. They like to consider themselves "adventurous" and willing to try new things. I assure you, they are not. I don't cook for them as often as I probably should, my own busy life getting in the way of things most times, but when I do, I have to be careful of what I prepare to avoid questions asked in a particularly disturbed tone "Ki le le?" (what is this). Or comments said in especially Yoruba condescending manner such as "o da bi ijekuje" (it looks like junk food). How lovely it is to have parents over for dinner.
My father is of what I like to call "an advanced age" to make fun of him and my mother, well, her favorite line is "Anything you prepare, I'll eat." This is, of course, a lie. My parents do not eat pork, certain fresh vegetables, anything with alcohol, nor do they partake in exotic meats such as lamb or veal. Yes, I said exotic. I tend to prepare fish or chicken dishes for them, I did make a pot roast they loved once, perhaps I should share that recipe too.
They were recently over for dinner and I prepared chicken. Chicken in the most fantastic, yet simple and easily recognizable way possible. I culled and revamped the recipe from a single ladies site similar to the ones I talk trash about. Below you'll find my recipe for
Lemon Herb Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Broccolini
. I need to mention that when I cook for my parents I can't NOT cook for my baby brother, this recipe feeds 6, also I cannot emphasize my adoration of cast iron skillets. My sister gifted me one many years ago and admittedly I had the slightest clue what to do with it. A few YouTube videos and some cooking shows later, my skillet is well seasoned and ready for any hearty or sweet dish!
This meal was consumed in its entirety by both parents, a lot of it was my father taking the broc from my mother's plate. They do that sometimes. And they feed each other. Yea. I know.
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (you can also do chicken breasts if you prefer white meat, just adjust the cooking time)
- 1½ lb fingerling and/or baby potatoes (halved or third, no less)
- 1 bunch broccolini
- 3 lemons
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1½ tablespoon dijon mustard
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is glistening. Add chicken to the pan, skin-side down, and cook for about five minutes, until the skin is golden brown. Turn off the heat, remove chicken thighs from the pan with tongs and set aside on a plate to drain.
- Add cooked potatoes to pan and toss with a little extra olive oil, pan juices, salt and pepper to season, and another squeeze of lemon juice. Nestle chicken pieces in with the potatoes, skin side up this time, add the squeezed lemon halves, and put the entire pan in the oven for another 25-30 minutes.
- Trim the end off the broccolini and mince the remaining clove of garlic. When there’s about 10 minutes left of cooking time for the chicken, take the pan out of the over, flip the potatoes, and then add the broccolini on top of them. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the florets and season with salt and pepper. Put back in the oven to finish cooking.
- When the cooking time is up, remove the pan from the oven, give everything another squeeze of lemon and let the chicken rest for five minutes before serving.
Voila! Here's your final dish! Please excuse my dirty stove, you see...I use my kitchen, every part of it.
*Your broccolini will wither down and shrink, be aware of this if you want to add more to the beginning to balance our your veggies, otherwise you'll have far more potatoes than broccolini. I would suggest 2 full bunches.
**This meal actually kept very well so you can add more for a fancy take to work lunch the next day, just adjust the ingredients as needed.
***FRESHNESS. Try to keep your herbs fresh! The parentals actually noticed and enjoyed the rosemary because of this.