Friday, April 30, 2010

Solar-Oven Chicken and Rice

Pretty, huh? The chicken was delicious, moist and fall off the bone tender. The rice however was a mushy mess. I probably need to use a sturdier rice grain next time. I used plain old short grain white rice this time (not quick cook, we don't even own any quick cook rice). I also sliced up two zucchini and they were just okay. The chicken was definitely the star of this dish.

Solar Oven Chicken and Rice

3 chicken thighs, 3 chicken legs
salt, pepper, paprika, garlic salt, Lawry's seasoning
1 cup rice
1 cup water
2 sliced zucchini

Put rice and water at the bottom of a covered baking dish. Arrange sliced zucchini over the top of rice. Arrange chicken pieces over the zucchini and season. Cover and place in solar oven.

Cooking time will vary. I put this out in the solar oven at about 11 am and pointed the oven at where the sun would be at 2-3pm. When I got home at 5, I reoriented the oven (it was still at ~225F) and let it heat back up to 300. I used a clear glass baking dish and covered it with a dark dishtowel to help minimize heat reflection out of the oven.

This was my first time at purchasing 'humanely raised, organic, hand cut' chicken from a local store. Most of the time we buy the big bags of pre-frozen chicken breasts from Sams (with sodium broth-and who knows what else-added), or we use fresh chicken which we have butchered ourselves--kind of a leap from one to the other right? I have found that with our home butchered and organic chicken from sprouts, I have to add a lot more salt to get the meat to taste right. I'm guessing it will take some time to re-calibrate my taste buds from being used to broth infused chicken breast to all natural chicken.

The most amazing part is that this meal cooked with zero electricity, gas, or other fuel which requires a monthly bill. This whole meal was cooked in my solar oven, using only the heat of the spring time sunshine. How great is that?

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