Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Necessity, who is the mother of invention.

When I was in college I had an illegal hot plate in my dorm room.  I will admit it now, because I am pretty sure the statute of limitations is expired on that. My roommate and I would always bring food back from break and we would share the awesome things our Moms would make for us.  We each had a favorite of the other person's Mom's cooking.  She loved my mom's fried rice (and my mom would make it with shrimp so she could eat it and still be Halal) and I could not get enough of her mom's chicken.  To this day I have no idea what it was called nor do I have the recipe for it.  And, since 'necessity, who is the mother of invention' demanded I attempt to make it, I "invented" something my husband and I call "Chicken Nartaya." It is not really too close to the original chicken dish, but I liked it so I kept making it.   Chicken Nartaya is one of the hubby's all time favorite meals and something that tastes like you slaved all day making (but you actually didn't).  There is a lot of chopping involved, but once the stuff gets cooking, I usually pretend I am busy ---- and watch a tv show on Hulu.... shhh, don't tell!

I don't really cook with recipes unless I am uncertain of the dish is made or if I am baking (because baking requires you to be a little more precise).  I'm a "little of this, pinch of that" type of cook.  Basically Chicken Nartaya goes something like this.... dice jalapenos (1-2), bell peppers (1 large or 2 small), yellow onions (1), garlic (2 cloves) and tomatoes (about 4). 

Chop up a bunch of cilantro.

Sweat the onions and then brown the chicken

Toss everything (garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno, bell pepper, cilantro) on top of the chicken and cook down until chicken is done. Season with a pinch of salt.

The finished product. We like to serve it with rice... because we love rice!

And a glass of wine (of course).  Viola, Chicken Nartaya.

When I decided that I wanted to start a garden in the spring, the hubby added jalapenos and bell peppers to the list of items I was growing, his request --- "I'd like chicken nartaya with vegetables from the garden."  Well, it didn't quite work out this year with the timing of the peppers and tomatoes, but maybe next summer! 

Did I mention it's even better as leftovers? Happy gardening!


  1. I was going to make a chicken dish like that tonight! There is a restaurant down the street from us that makes this spanish chicken dish with a tomato type sauce like yours shown. I have to experiment and make it!!

  2. How did your experiment turn out?