Cooking Together: Our Summer of Chicken and Rice Adventures

August 3, 2023

Cooking Together: Our Summer of Chicken and Rice Adventures


My son and I have been “ships that pass in the night” this summer. He’s known as the Musical Millennial here in the blog and is back in Texas between the first and second year of his 3-year doctoral studies in jazz studio arranging at the University of Miami. I had personal and professional travel plans for six of the ten weeks he’s been here, and he’s been back and forth between Houston and Austin for gigs, and hanging with friends here and there, and spending time with other close family members.

But as always, we make the most of our time together, and this summer, it’s a chicken and rice cooking adventure. Thomas has been watching Instagram videos from Cheffin with Zach, a digital creator who is on a quest for the world’s best chicken and rice dish, and it has inspired him to cook. I’m all over that, my friends! This foodie Mom is hoping he will turn into a foodie kid. There’s still time!

While we may only have spent a cumulative week together this summer, we will have our chicken and rice memories forever. We’ve made two so far using the recipes shared on the web site, and it has been really fun. The first time was in early June, right before I left on a 3-week trip. We made the Galinhada, a Brazilian version of chicken and rice.

Here we are in the kitchen.

This dish was really good! We had to make a few modifications to the recipe and do some deciphering (because it was a bit oblique in places), but we were happy with our finished product. “Let’s do this again, Mom!”

The next one we tried, weeks and weeks later, was the Jollof Rice with Crispy Chicken. It is a recipe from Nigeria, and Chef Zach says, “The rice is simmered in a tomato and pepper-based sauce–it’s fragrant, spicy, and bursting with flavor.” Yes!!!

We had a great time – again – but this time, didn’t get any pictures. We gave this dish three thumbs up (the Grill-Meister was with us) and would absolutely make the amazing rice again. The chicken was unremarkable, basically just fried almost naked, and Thomas nailed a best practice when he said he’d make this dish himself when he gets back to Miami, but just snag a rotisserie chicken to accompany the Jollof Rice. The rice was truly the star of the show.

The summer is coming to a close and we only have a little time together left, as Thomas landed here yesterday and heads back to Austin for more gigs on Saturday, but tomorrow (Friday), we’ll be cooking. What do you think it’s going to be?

You guessed it, another chicken and rice adventure from Cheffin with Zach, this time the Jerk Chicken from Jamaica.

I’m sure I’ll be telling you about how this turns out and hope I remember to get pictures!

But whether or not the adventure is captured in images, I know with absolute certainty that I will remember it forever.

Creating a meal together is a wonderful, collaborative and fulfilling experience that transcends the food and is woven into the fabric of relationship memories that are reconjured whenever we encounter the flavors, textures and aromas that were created, or simply unexpectedly, in recalling the person, the moment, or the way we felt.

© 2023, Glover Gardens

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