While I get supper ready, listen to Nikolai Lugansky play this sweet, short but wistful Brahms Intermezzo - Opus 118, Number 2 in A major. Hmm. He's kinda cute, not quite my kind of mid-life crisis, though. Having said that, this particular intermezzo is my favorite piece to play. I used to watch my father play it when I was a little girl, as I secretly hid in the stairwell. Over and over and over, he played it. Though a jazzman by trade, his favorite composers were Chopin and Brahms. Currently, I am working on Brahms' Intermezzo in A minor, which is a deceptively easy-looking piece. But it is quite difficult to execute. Played well, it is very moving. The middle part of the song is so hauntingly delicate, the fingers must almost brush the keys, rather than press them. It requires more skill to barely play the than to play forte.
Tonight's meal is Arroz con Pollo with black beans. Served with warmed corn tortilla chips.
One of our family favorites, this is a good meal for cold days or rainy days. It is also good when you just want to assemble everything and put it into the oven and have a one pot meal.
6 whole legs with thighs
2 cups of jasmine rice
chicken stock, canned, boxed or home made
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped finely
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 box of frozen corn
2 cans of black beans, rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper, cumin, parsley, and cilantro, a really big dash of cayenne pepper
Saffron, which is optional
In a Dutch oven type of baking dish, sauté chicken in a little olive oil or butter, and when browned, remove to rest. Sauté onions and seasonings til transparent. Pour rice into the onion and drippings. I absolutely love jasmine rice, because it is now grown in America, and it is much cheaper now if you buy American, than if you buy Thai. It has a delicious smell and is neither too dry or sticky. It doesn't overwhelm the other dishes with its flavor, either, but rather compliments any dish, any cuisine. The only other rice I like is arborio, for risotto, but jasmine is good simply steamed with a little salt and butter. Add broth, corn, peppers, tomatoes, black beans and mix everything well. You can also add saffron if you would like a more yellow and earthy flavor to the rice. Add the chicken on the top, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bake for 40 minutes to an hour in a 375 degree oven. Remove the lid for another 20 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the meat is fully cooked. Mmmmm. Top with sour cream, chopped parsley and cilantro and maybe shredded cheese. Eat with corn chips. Easy, wasn't it!