I am admittedly a self-confessed chicken lover (the meat, not the animal). When I’m out eating with the mister, I tend to end my meal by saying “Okay, I’m done”, which could mean either of two things;– one, I can’t finish up my food, or two, I can’t finish up my food because I’ve already eaten up all the chicken pieces I can find in it. Most of the time, it would be the latter.
And then there were those years of growing up when I would either find chicken on my plate, or a slice of fish fried to an immaculately crisp perfection that it could pass off as fried chicken, failing which, I would be left either pushing my food about in the plate, or simply taking a very long time to finish my meal. You could say I was a picky eater, or just simply a chicken-or-anything-disguised-as-chicken eater.
I remember visiting my grandmother, hearing her taunting me over and over again by saying that one day, all the chickens in the world would go on strike and simply disappear. And that I would be left with nothing to eat but vegetables. Though that obviously scared me to no end, it inadvertently only made me appreciate and cherish my chicken more.
Preparing this dish has made me realised that even after all these years, my love for chicken has not faltered even one bit. How can it possibly, when the mister sneakily passes me his crispy chicken skin onto my plate when I’m not looking, even after I’ve recounted stories of a friend whose boyfriend forbade her from eating the skin lest she grows fat. How can it possibly, when the parents remove their fried chicken each time they have their packet of nasi lemak breakfast, placing it on a side plate, reserving it to go with either my non-chicken breakfast or lunch. How can it possibly, when the grandmother used to place a whole plate of ginormous freshly-out-of-the-pan chicken before me for every Eid, insisting I eat more.
No complaints on my part, that’s for sure.
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms
(adapted from here)
5-6 chicken thighs with skin on
2 tsp grounded black pepper
1 tsp chicken seasoning powder (or salt to taste)
1-2 tbsp oil
button mushrooms, halved
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- With a paper towel, wipe the surface of the chicken dry. This helps the skin to be crispy later.
- Rub the seasoning (or salt) and black pepper on both sides of the chicken.
- Place an oven-proof skillet on the stove over medium heat. Drizzle the pan with oil, and place the chicken thighs skin-side down. Cook for about 5 mins, until the skin crisps.
- Throw in the mushrooms, and stir around to lightly coat the mushrooms with leftover seasoning, then transfer the whole skillet into the hot oven for 15-20mins, until the chicken is fully cooked.