My daughter, Alex, cooked this brown sugar and garlic based on a recipe from Damn Delicious which requires baking the chicken after browning it. Alex does not like using the oven and asked if she could do all parts of the cooking on the stovetop instead. I read the recipe through and told her, sure, you don’t need the oven to make the dish at all. I am reproducing Alex’s version of the dish but because she eyeballed the amount of seasonings and herbs instead of measuring, I cannot guess how much of this and that she used. The procedure, however, is pretty accurate.
I’m so glad that my daughters are not clueless around the kitchen. A friend has a theory that if a mom is a good cook, her children are likely to be uninterested in learning how to cook. By extension, “mom” can mean any adult living in the house who is primarily in charge of the daily cooking. “Mom” can be the dad, a grandparent or a live-in cook. The theory is based on dependency — if there’s someone who can do the cooking and do it well, why bother learning how to do it?
Among middle-class and upper-class Filipino families, the theory has been proven true a lot of times. Friends who moved to the United States soon after graduation found themselves at a loss in the kitchen. In fact, I have a friend who lost so much weight during her first year living away from home because, instead of discovering cooking, she opted to skip meals if it was impractical to go out or have food delivered.
The theory is, of course, not applicable in all cases. Despite growing up with me cooking for them, both my daughters can cook and bake. When they offer to cook, I accept with alacrity and applaud silently.
There is no need to add additional liquid to cook the chicken in. Chicken meat contains enough moisture to create steam to cook in. Just remember to keep the pan covered tightly and the heat at the lowest setting.
Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken
- Rub salt and pepper on the chicken thighs.
- Melt enough butter to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Cook the chicken, skin side down, until browned. Flip to brown the opposite side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add more butter to the pan. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Sprinkle in the brown sugar, honey, oregano, thyme and basil. Stir.
- Put the chicken back in the pan.
- Cover the pan tightly. Set the heat to the low. Cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Sprinkle the chicken with parsley before serving.