When leaving home and attending college, a step is taken in a direction that leads one to be more independent and self-sufficient. Part of this growth means handling your own meals and cooking for yourself. I remember my first time cooking; it was an intimidating but surprisingly easier than expected experience. Once the ingredients are gathered the rest just involves mixing ingredients and placing them into a container to be cooked.
One of my best dishes is a tomato-garlic chicken. It takes longer to cook, but it is a very delicious dish that is worth the wait. To start, I mix the ingredients into a container that can be placed in the oven. This involves me taking grape tomatoes and cutting them into pieces, after which I soak them in olive oil with chopped garlic added in there. Additionally, for seasoning, I sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano into the mix. While preparing the seasoning for the chicken I also preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is preheated I put the tomato and garlic seasoning (without the chicken) into the oven to be cooked for 20 minutes.
While the mixed ingredients are being cooked I begin to prepare the chicken breasts. I do this by mixing a small bowl of butter, garlic and olive oil together to be spread onto the chicken. After the ingredients in the oven have been cooked and the chicken has been marinated with the butter, garlic spread I place the chicken breasts into the original mixed ingredients from the oven. I also like to make sure to spread the mix all over the chicken to ensure it is well marinated while cooking.
Now comes the easiest part – waiting! I now place the marinated chicken into the oven, still set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, to be cooked for 45 minutes. During this time I set the table, prepare side foods to go with the chicken (I chose green beans and white rice), clean up my mess from making the food, and then if I still have some time left I just relax. In total, this dish will usually take me about an hour just to make, but it is very much worth the extra time. I can also experiment with different seasonings and ingredients to create new tastes and flavors – that’s the most exciting part of cooking. The possibilities are practically endless.
What you need: oven, baking dish, mixing bowl, spoons, sharp knife, cutting board
Ingredients: chicken breasts, grape tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, butter, garlic
What to do: preheat oven; assemble and cook marinade; cook chicken with marinade
Story and photography by: Alexander Belli, senior
Double major, advertising and public relations