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(Edited on 7 November 2012.  Revisions italicized).

I enjoy cooking for many reasons.  One of them is that at times, it’s almost a form of escape, and it helps keep me relaxed and balanced.  During those times,  I am focused completely on preparing the meal, and when it’s done and the meal  has been enjoyed, I feel refreshed, almost energized.

This was tonight’s dinner, and what a delicious, hearty and healthy meal it was! So easy to make too, thanks to that dutch oven which I’m appreciating more and more.  We had this Chicken Casserole with quinoa, which I discovered today that I really enjoy.  No wonder it seemed to be everywhere in the US – quinoa, that is.

Anyway, to make this, first chop up whatever sweet vegetables you like (the juicier the vegetables the better) into bite sizes.  (I used 2 potatoes, 2 carrots, 2 onions, 3 stalks celery and even threw in 2 apples.  I will try it with corn kernel next time).  Then cut up a whole chicken into 6 parts, pat dry with paper towel and rub with 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar.

Now put some olive oil into a casserole over a stove and saute a garlic (separated into segments with last layer of skin on) and the onions, then the chicken, until chicken is browned.  Remove chicken from casserole.

Chuck all other vegetables into the casserole, toss in some chopped Italian parsley or thyme (or both) and allow to stand on low heat on stovetop for a couple of minutes.  Some moisture from the vegetables should have collected at the bottom of the casserole.  Then arrange chicken back on top, skin side up. Cover casserole and put in preheated oven at 160C 150C for 2.5 hours (during which time you can do a whole host of other things!) What is produced is juicy, tender, flavourful chicken, and its drippings and the moisture from the veggies make a wonderful broth even though no water was added at all.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over and serve.

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