Thanks, I feel pale.


Having a head cold is possibly one of the crappiest things to have on a weekend. Weekends are meant to be full of fun, cocktails, shopping, something entirely more fun than ‘Do I want to wear flannel jammies and those slippers today, or fleece jammies and these slippers?’ I felt this most recent cold coming on at about Wednesday of last week and knew it would ruin my weekend. I have to admit, though, that I was thankful I didn’t get sick during the work week because I had entirely too much to do and feel terrible when I stay home sick and my tasks burden my coworkers.

I spent the majority of yesterday making Christmas gifts and watching Westerns on TV. The commercials were a welcome respite to get off the sofa and blow my nose (sad). Keeping a thought together was one of the most daunting things I dealt with yesterday, to only be outdone by a trip to the grocery store, which almost sent me overboard. I try to avoid the store on the weekends anyway, but the weekend before Thanksgiving and with a head cold should have been enough to deter me. I was very obviously under the weather to make such a poor decision. My favorite moment: while picking out Brussels sprouts in the produce department (and yes, I swabbed myself with Antibac gel to the elbows before diving in), an older grandmotherly type with a cart piled so high with groceries that you could barely see her blue hair poking over the top, took the time to stop and touch my arm and say ‘honey are you alright? You look awfully pale.’ Thanks, ma’am, I feel pale. I threw my sprouts in the cart and weaved off to get the rest of my stuff.

Dinner should have been takeout last night, but I’m so damn stubborn that I refused to break down, and nothing from anywhere else sounded good anyway. Nothing sounded good period, actually, but the hubster insisted that I eat something so I could better fight this cold (that and I’m sure part of it was that he didn’t want to starve, either). Had I not accidentally blown my brains into my handkerchief prior to that trip to the store I’d have picked something up, but getting out alive and unscathed was at the top of my list.

Anyway. I had a package of chicken legs in the freezer and was thinking of crockpotting them somehow. The weather was bitter cold yesterday for the first time this season so it seemed more prudent to turn on the stove or the oven instead. Whatever we were eating, it needed to have buttered rice involved, because that’s what I decided I really wanted. Hot buttered rice with lots of salt and pepper.

I dug around the web, I tried to read a couple of cookbooks, and nothing. Nothing sounded good, everything sounded weird and I couldn’t find a way to make it not seemingly taste nasty in my head. So I riffed. I smashed together a couple of different recipes and came up with Sweet and Sour Chicken Legs. It worked, and we ate all of it.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Legs (can also be made with thighs)
Adapted from this recipe at the Food Network

Serves 3-4

1 package of chicken legs (mine had about 5 in it)
1 8 oz. can of pineapple, drained and juice reserved
An orange
Half of a red bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
Half of a yellow bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
2 T. chopped fresh ginger
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 T. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. of soy sauce
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 t. red chile flakes
1 T. cornstarch
Canola oil

Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan with a fitting lid over medium high heat.

In 2 cup measuring cup, measure in your pineapple juice and add enough fresh squeezed orange juice to make 2/3 cup. Removed one tablespoon of the juice mixture to a ramekin or small bowl. Add in your brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chile flakes, garlic and ginger and stir together.

Sear the chicken parts for a total of 5-6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove them to a plate and saute the peppers and onions for about two minutes, then lower the heat to medium low. Add the chicken back in and pour the sauce over the top. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn the chicken parts over, and add in the pineapple. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Stir the cornstarch into the reserved juice, and whisk into the sauce in the pan, it should thicken a bit in a minute or two. Nestle the chicken pieces back in, and serve with plenty of hot rice (white or brown, your choice, and the butter and salt and pepper are optional).

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