What I made here was a nonchopping meal. No knife, no cutting board. The “Molasses Baked Chicken,” from Allrecipes.com, allowed me to massage my chicken pieces (I used four leg/thigh combos) with spices, then pour over the molasses/vinegar/mustard sauce as they baked. Again, I used an organic, unsulphured, blackstrap molasses. I “greased” my baking dish with organic all-vegetable shortening. This very easy recipe produced enjoyable, moist meat.

I also made the “Crispy Oven-Fried Okra,” from the May 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times. I was attracted to the notion of a crunchy exterior, without the deep-fat guilt. This recipe also needed no chopping, but there was a bit more “work” involved. The dipping/coating process ended up being a frustrating task, because the recipe’s ratios were inaccurate. Two cups of cornmeal was too much. One teaspoon of salt was not enough (the final okra tasted bland). One egg was not enough (I added a second egg). Thirty-five minutes was too short to cook (I roasted for 45 minutes). I used my adored smoked paprika, but was still disappointed with the bland flavor. This crunchy okra could only be rescued by an exciting dip to accompany it. If you try this recipe, tell me what you do to it to add pizzazz.

PRICES
Chicken Legs/Thighs (3 lbs.) = $6.55
Fresh Okra (1 lb.) = $1.85

RECIPES: what a joy to create a chicken dish without a knife; roasted okra needs a kick
PREP TIMES: chicken can be eaten within an hour; okra coating takes time, so you may need more than an hour
TASTES: moist, sweet, tangy chicken is always pleasing; dip your crunchy okra in a crazy sauce and then you’ll get it right

I’m ready to cook some fish, again. Next time, I will make “Grilled Halibut with Cilantro Garlic Butter” and “Two-Bean and Mango Salad,” both from Allrecipes.com. See this meal when you come back to my site on Wednesday, December 2.