My dad brought a cool titanium pot when he came home from the States. It's a pretty thing, and functional too. It takes only a small flame to heat it up so menos gastos sa gas. My dad claims food cooked in it tastes better too. But that's my dad, the infomercial believer, talking. I still think it's the chef factor (but, of course).
Anyway, in my quest to discover healthy but tasty dishes for my poor, bloated tummy, I experimented with a chicken and potatoes recipe that turned out great. Now, I know I always say that the recipes I create in my humble kitchen are awesome. But that's only because it's true, they are awesome. And as an amateur cook, I'm pretty skilled. (And modest too!).
So, again, here's another recipe from the ever expanding menu of Bogchi ni Bochog. Again, amounts are arbitrary. Cooking is an art, not a science. Or, it's an inexact science. Depends on the perspective you take regarding the methodological distinctions between art and science (but that's neither here nor there).
CHICKEN AND POTATOES
1 chicken, whole or cut into parts
1 cup olive oil
2 medium-sized heads of garlic, minced
1 medium head of garlic, in cloves
1 medium onion, halved
3 medium tomatoes, halved
juice of 4 calamansi
dry basil, crushed pepper flakes, chili powder, salt, pepper, and other spices (all to taste)
6 medium potatoes, quartered
For the gravy: butter, cornstarch, chicken stock, salt and pepper
1. Mix 3/4 of the olive oil, calamansi juice, minced garlic, and all spices. Marinade chicken in the mixture for at least an hour.
2. Coat bottom of pot with the remaining olive oil. Put the chicken along with the potatoes, garlic cloves, onion halves, and tomato halves. (When using whole chicken, stuff the garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes into the chicken cavity. Place the potatoes along the sides of the pot, surrounding the chicken).
3. Put pot on low heat. Cook for 40 minutes.
4. After cooking, transfer the chicken (which by this time is flaky, the meat falling off the bones) and potatoes onto a serving bowl or dish.
5. To make the chicken stock, get the aromatic veggies along with bones and meat that have stuck to the bottom of the pot and put them in another pot. Pour 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To make the gravy, add 2 pats of butter and some cornstarch to the drippings in the pot where the chicken and potatoes cooked. Add the chicken stock and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
A note about the gravy: Uh... it's not healthy. It actually defeats the whole purpose of not frying the chicken and letting the fat and drippings run out. But then, one cannot reasonably expect gravy which, by definition, is made from drippings, to be healthy. Right? So, for health buffs, the chicken and potatoes taste good enough. The gravy is an option. A very heavenly option that spells the difference between joy and ecstasy.