Cooking Adventures Pt. 6: Cooking with Coolio

First off I received this cookbook for Christmas and I love it. Not only are the recipes simple but they’re fun to read. I’m still amused to have a recipe call for a “dime-bag” of salt and pepper (apparently that’s about a tablespoon.) The first recipe I wanted to try was called “Night-night Chicken”. The problem was it required an oven safe dish with a lid that was also oven safe. I didn’t have this. I probably could have improvised but instead I tried other recipes and left it alone. But I finally got myself a new baking dish with a cover and it was time to try this one out. It’s kind of like a stew. The ingredients were a variety pack (mixed pieces) chicken, 4 red skin potatoes, 3 cups broccoli florets, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes, a tablespoon minced garlic, a can of cream of chicken, 1 cup beer or water (I used chicken broth instead), 1/4 cup milk, salt and pepper and cheddar.

To get an idea of how fun this cookbook is, here’s a few samples:

Chapter 1 is “How to become a kitchen pimp.” He tells you how to stock the “Pimptry”.

He also talks about how he learned to cook young and learned how to make tasty meals on the cheap because that’s what they had.

Chapter 2 is “The ten cool-mandments.” which teaches basic kitchen safety and etiquette.

Honestly, if you get a chance to check out this cookbook, do. It’s great fun and the recipes are both inexpensive and easy. Now back to the recipe.

I used boneless chicken breasts instead of the chicken variety pack he recommends (a bit pricier but bones are annoying) and sliced them up to make smaller pieces. After making this, next time I’ll cut it up into chunks to make it easier to portion out. There are precise amounts of veggies listed, but honestly, I tried to do a proportional amount and filled the dish I had. It feels like I could adjust this to fit any dish. I did leave the carrots out in the end, partially because my dish was full and partially because I forgot them. Gabe doesn’t like cooked carrots much anyways so I guess it’s fine. So meat in the bottom, season to taste, veggies on top (and garlic). Then I poured in the milk, broth, and cream of chicken. Then just pop on the lid and put it in the oven for an hour. It specifically mentions not to put hot dishes on the counter after that:

“Jarez Sez: If you burn your countertop and you still live at home with your parents, you might as well move out. They’re gonna chase you down like fat kids after an ice cream truck.”

Have I mentioned I like this cookbook? Anyways after an hour and a few minor spills on the floor of my oven (don’t overfill your dish, kids!) you take the lid off, put the cheddar on top, and pop it back in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. Since I was worried about more spills I just put the lid back on and let it melt that way.

The final results? I should have chopped the potatoes smaller as they were cooked but still a bit firm. Other than that it was creamy but not too heavy, the chicken was cooked (again should’ve made it smaller chunks) and I really loved the blend of flavors. I think next time I’ll do more broccoli as that was amazing, and leave out the tomatoes since I’m the only one who likes them and it leaves more room for broccoli. I’ll definitely make it again, with the lessons learned from it. A larger, shallower dish might also make it easier to portion out but I found mine worked just fine. There are more recipes from the book I want to try too. Fair warning, there is some casual swearing in the book so be forewarned if cooking with kids or if that offends you.

Now which recipe shall I try next? Peanut butter chicken love? I’m-gonna-slap-you-with-my-whisk tomato bisque? Maybe I should try something from chapter 3 “Appetizers for that ass”

Have I mentioned I really like this cookbook?

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