Fresh Ontario Lettuce! (with Chicken and Rice)

Ontario lettuce is in the markets!  Seeing lettuce on sale at Sobey’s, Metro, and No Frills   (about $1.50/head at all three) confirms that things are growing, despite the wet and chilly spring.  Yes, I always knew that, and I even have lettuce in my own garden, but I realize that a part of me wasn’t quite sure if this was going to be a “normal” springtime or not.  Well, it is, at least, “normal”, if not normal.

This week, I am going to be unconventional in two ways:  I am going to give recipes for a whole meal, and I am going to suggest chicken again, even though Michelle just provided a chicken recipe last week.  Here’s the deal.

This is a very economical and easy-to-cook menu.  I suggest chicken, with rice, and lettuce salad.  Using Michelle’s Crispy Chicken Thighs recipe (which I am going to try!) or my very simple alternative, whole chicken legs are on sale at No Frills for .88/lb.  (There is some back attached, but I suggest cutting that off and making chicken stock.  You will want some nice chicken soup on the next “normal” rainy day, right?)  Fancier legs without the back are $2.50/lb at Metro.

My basic oven roasted chicken parts recipe

Preheat oven to 400F

Cut chicken into legs and thighs (other parts if you have them).  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in a baking tray or roasting pan.  A little olive oil optional.

Cook about 35-40 minutes.  Juice should run clear when pierced with a fork or knife.

Simplest green salad  Note:  I love this very simple dressing.  Try it, but have your greens how you like them – they are good for you!

Wash a head of lettuce for about 4 people, or less for fewer people.

Tear leaves into a bowl.

Add about a tablespoon or two olive oil (on sale at Metro, $4.99/500ml), salt and pepper to taste, and toss.

Just before serving, toss in juice of 1/2 lemon (on sale at No Frills, 4/$1.88).

Rice  Note:  This is cooked “latin style”, but feel free to cook rice your favourite way.

Add 1 tablespoon olive or other oil to a small saucepan over medium heat.

For a small group (2-3), add 1 cup rice, a cup and a half for a larger family.

Stir the rice and oil until some kernels begin to brown, about 3 min.

Add two parts water for every part rice (two cups for one cup).

Bring to a boil, cook over low heat (simmering) for 20 minutes.

There is it, a simple, healthy, balanced meal.  Don’t forget to make chicken stock out of those back parts.  Simply put them in a large pot with several liters water, some onion, carrots, celery if you can afford it (pricey lately, eh?), and a bay leaf, and simmer for an hour.  Refrigerate until needed

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