Our Little Secret, Lebanese Chicken And Potatoes - Four Things and a Chicken Blog at Allrecipes.com - 122921

Four Things and a Chicken

Our little Secret, Lebanese Chicken and Potatoes 
Sep. 7, 2009 9:10 pm 
Updated: Sep. 16, 2009 10:16 am
Sometimes a perfect recipe has nothing to it but four perfect things.

But I confess, I've changed how I look at a recipe since I found Allrecipes. I used to look at the ingredients, and think, all right, I love all that stuff, it must be good. Since coming here, though, I've learned to look at recipes through the eyes of: The Reviewers. That's right. They will tell you what to do.

Take this recipe, Lebanese Chicken and Potatoes. (thanks to submitter guyworldwide). http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lebanese-Chicken-and-Potatoes/Detail.aspx?prop31=1<

I only have four chicken thighs (more on that later). I notice that the reviewers love the recipe, but they change it a little bit, mostly by taking away a wee bit of the lemon juice and the olive oil and adding a few things. Well, my tendency is to make a recipe as stated the first time, but then change it. But now, I read the reviews, and make my changes.

Potatoes, chicken, lemon, garlic. What's not to love? But I made the changes suggested: I reduce the lemon to the juice of 1/2 a lemon, leave the garlic alone, reduce the olive oil by half, and marinate the chicken in the lemon-garlic mixture, which is the first change suggested by the reviewers. Then I proceed.

Result: fabulous. Four simple things, plus salt and pepper, and some chicken. Plus a truly intense step, a 30-minute bake at 475, which made the skin, I must admit, a little toasty. But man, this stuff was heaven.

My version uses chicken thighs. And I pray that nobody will ever invent a recipe like Buffalo Chicken Wings for chicken thighs. Remember when the wings were so tender, tasty, and incredibly cheap, back before the buffalo craze hit and drove the price of those wings sky high?

We who love the chicken thigh, which is juicy, cheap, flavorful, and bulletproof, can only hope that nobody else finds out our little secret.

In The Rough
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475 does a number on the chicken
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Looks Good Enough to Eat
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Umm, baby
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Sep. 7, 2009 9:57 pm
I am with you Nancy, I like to at least try to make a recipe as written the first time. I am funny about recipes tho, I see a recipe and immediately start trying to figure out how I can make it better, I haven't even made it the first time yet! This looks so very good, I am going to go hunt it down and make it this week too! Thanks very much for sharing!!Patty
Sep. 7, 2009 10:15 pm
Actually, I am one that reads through the reviews before I embark on the great adventure too. If I see a common theme running through them, I usually take the advise given and go with that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The thighs are my favorite chicken part too. I hope no one decides they need to be glamorized and the price skyrockets either.
Sep. 8, 2009 3:49 am
Hi, I found that if I don't reviews first I always regret it later. The real blessing of AR is having the input of so many cooks to help guide you through a new recipe. We also are thigh fans, always juicy and meaty. Yum
Sep. 8, 2009 9:34 am
Thanks, Avon and Argentina, for commenting. Gotta love those chicken thighs! No matter what I do to them, they're never dried out. The Reviewers represent the common sense wisdom of home cooks, and I respect it!
Sep. 8, 2009 2:14 pm
I am a lover of the thigh too! Although my huuby thinks he wont eat them, but he does every time I make Chicken & Dumplings Stew!!
Sep. 8, 2009 9:01 pm
I love reading the reviews first, too! That way if something is a bit off, I can learn through another's experience. Sometimes I get some wonderful ideas that way & much less chance of having a failure. AR rocks! I have leg quarters to cook tomorrow-thinking about putting them in a marinade for a few hours, then either grill or bake for dinner tomorrow.
Sep. 9, 2009 12:44 pm
This looks so good! I may have to go dig a few baby potatoes tonight and give it a try. The reviews are so helpful - I love the ideas I get from reviews, and I think cooking is all about thinking on your feet and making it yours!
Sep. 11, 2009 5:41 am
Okay, that's it! This is going to be on my table tonight. Like cheesemite, we have potatoes in the garden. Come on, six o'clock!
Sep. 11, 2009 5:52 am
Chicken thighs rule! They are juicier than breast. I always read the comments first of the reviewers and then make changes based on what they said and tailored to my family's taste. I am one of those cooks that never measures anything . . . just eyeballs it!
Sep. 11, 2009 8:25 am
I also am one to follow the advice of the reviewers. I return to this site frequently because of the reviews. My busy schedule doesn't allow much time for making a practice run when I am cooking, so even if I'm serving guests, I count on the reviewers to give me the heads up of where the recipe might need alterations.
Sep. 11, 2009 8:25 am
it is a wise cook who reads the recipe and ingredients list, makes sure they have everything the recipe calls for, and then reads the reviews to tweak the recipe for personal preferences and any dietary restrictions. Love the site and blogs!
Sep. 11, 2009 12:18 pm
I read the reviews first and sometimes take the advice, mostly if it says it needs more spices or is bland. Otherwise I think I look for things I might have tried that would have turned out gross! Or like someone else said to have suggestions for tweaking next time. But it has happened that I made it despite some strong opinions on the reviews and its been great and i'm left with "what were they talking about?"
Sep. 13, 2009 7:08 am
I just love the recipes like this that are super easy yet give off a wonderful flavor. Just saved this to my recipe box because we are chicken fans. Reading the reviews first make me more comfortable about reducing fat in recipes. Thanks for the blog!
Sep. 13, 2009 7:28 am
I used to do that also by trying recipe first, then make changes. Reading reviews first does help alot. I am making this dish tonite with Roasted Brussels Sprouts.(also on this site). So looking forward to it.
Sep. 13, 2009 11:07 am
I wanna say that this recipe looks a lot like my Mom's old recipe that always made for us in Indiana. We had a tradition that we would mix the hot noodle with mashed potatoes and lots of butter and salt. I loved them... Lunakat
Sep. 14, 2009 2:41 pm
That's an interesting way to make recipes! I read the reviews after I have made a recipe, to see if others thought of the same approach I tried!
Sep. 16, 2009 10:16 am
Thanks, all you commenters. I really love to get everybody's perspective on a recipe before I jump in. My next go-round with this chicken recipe will be to precook the potatoes a little in the microwave, because one or two were still a little crunchy. I've (almost) given up my bad habit of buying every cookbook I see, because these recipes are more interactive. They change (with the reviewers' comments) and the cookbook ones just sit there. Love those big shiny color pictures, though.
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Nancy and Ruth

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Madison, Wisconsin, USA
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About Me
We (Ruth and Nancy) have been fast friends and DIY-project buddies for years before joining AllRecipes as staff members. Now we work together and still do projects together, like this blog.
My favorite things to cook
Soups, breads, main dishes. We like trying to make at home in our own kitchens something that we really enjoyed when we were out, like bagels, or cheese, or chocolates.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Midwestern and Cheap.
My cooking triumphs
Not exactly cooking, but the time we drove to Eastern Washington and brought back a trunkload of grapes on this theory: people have made wine for centuries--how can it be hard?--and then we actually ended up making decent red wine (Ruth actually read up on it, and Nancy just went to the local beer and wine making supply store every couple of weeks and asked Bob "what do I do next?". We forgot in the end to compare them side-by-side, but they were both pretty good.
My cooking tragedies
Ruth: Let's see how the Four Things and a Chicken recipe I'm making today turns out, before we jump to any hasty judgments.
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