I’m full and it was delicious. Guess what? I cooked.
The maid went home again. And sister was thinking take outs because she was too tired to cook. And so I opened my big mouth and volunteered “I’ll cook.” My announcement was met with blank stares and an eyebrow raised but I was not about to be discouraged. I brought out the chicken I’ve been reserving for the occasion. Defrosted it for a few hours. Then I called out a friend for her special fried chicken recipe, making sure I write it down with long discussions of how much is a kilo of chicken and how much is a teaspoon of salt. Does a teaspoon mean heaped over or is it leveled off? I know expert cooks don’t ask stuff like these but hey, I want everything done right because I have a reputation to save. My friend asked if she should come over just in case. I, of course, assured her that I will be fine.
Never had so much fun crying over chopped onions. Or chopping garlic, and mixing them with vinegar, black pepper, salt and a bit of kalamansi juice. After marinating my chicken in the mix, I heated the frying pan, poured on cooking oil and when oil started bouncing off the pan, I started dropping chicken dipped in flour and pepper. So far so good. Was so happy to be cooking, I took a picture of everything to commemorate my success. Watched over my chicken like an vulture would over a dying animal, until it turned golden brown. I then transferred them to a clean plate. My sister went to check on me, in case I had burned the kitchen. She assessed my situation, and declared that I needed to add more oil, and the insides of my chicken weren’t cooked.
Positive about the whole thing, I added more oil, dropped my golden brown chicken back on the pan until I the insides were cooked. Some of them got burnt in the process but most of them looked very delicious. Beads of sweat were already lining up on my forehead as I fought off jumping oil bubbles with the kettle cover. This is damn difficult. But I was determined to have good fried chicken. I certainly don’t have the pizzazz of Nigella but I was thinking that I was creating my own style. If Nigella was this sultry seductive cook, I’ll be the comedian.
After making the gravy mix, one of those packets where you just add hot water (hell, I’m in training so cut me some slack!), I arranged my friend chicken on plate with table napkins. I tasted it first. Hmmmm. Asked my sister to have some. Hmmmm. Then we called Afrique’s and ordered fettuccini and pizza.
Verdict: The chicken was well-cooked but without flavor. I should have covered it with salt before marinating. Or I should have added more salt while it was marinating. That they didn't tell me. Maybe it was common sense, but hey, this cooking is as foreign to me as Danish. Covered with gravy, it was edible and will fill the stomach. Was so glad that nobody laughed at my chicken even if it didn’t have any taste. They ate it all up with a lot of the gravy. I think my family was pretty happy to see me make an effort on cooking.
The whole time, I keep remembering Outburst commenting that to learn to cook is to keep on practicing. So I’m cooking again next week even if by that time, the maid would be home during the weekend.
And by the way, it was the pizza that was delicious.