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July 1, 2012 – Chicken Snafu

You know when you watch those cooking shows, it always seems so dramatic when nothing seems to go right for a chef or cook in the kitchen. Not quite so in real life! And while I could probably stop, I’d feel much more comfortable doing that I home…it feels much more like you’re on a timer!

So the plan was to use the chicken breasts I got from Whole Foods on Friday (on sale, no less), and eat that with some pasta. Seemed simple enough.

Started off by putting the chicken on defrost in the microwave, then boiling water for the pasta and frozen peas. That went well.

Started off well with pasta and peas…

Then washed and seasoned the chicken – salt, pepper, garlic powder, some oregano and black pepper. Though they weren’t equal size – one was much larger than the other. I knew it would make a difference in cook time, but I just kept going.

Got some nice color on the chicken

Some oil in the pot, chicken in – got a nice brown crisp skin. And then problem one. Not cooking fast enough with the oil that was in there. The plan was to get it crisp, and then before it burned, I’d pour in the marinara sauce and let it simmer until it was done. I was a little worried that my sauce could have mold, since I’ve discovered that our mini-fridge is not the coldest. I looked in and gave it a sniff, and it seemed fine. I was about to pour it in when I looked at the bottom of the bottle top. Mold. Well…that put a kink in the plans. So the sauce went into the trash (playing it safe), and then I had to figure out what to do.

First thing was turning down the heat so the chicken wouldn’t burn. It took a while to cook – I ended up figuring to just let the smaller one cook, and I’d deal with the not fully cooked one for leftovers, and just microwave it to completion later.

So with the chicken finishing, I had to figure out a sauce. First thing that came to mind was a cheese sauce, and do a type of macaroni and cheese. I had the right type of macaroni too.  Not that I had the ingredients. For a cheese sauce, I knew I’d need some milk and a thickening agent, like flour. Neither of which I had. So I ended up using some butter, and melted some white cheese, provolone and mozzarella. And then used my butter cheese sauce and pour the pasta in to mix it in. Of course the cheese started to solidify in the bowl (but I suppose it was kind of like a pizza-pasta!). And the chicken that I thought was done was not quite there, and had to go in the microwave.

Impromptu white cheese “sauce” on the pasta.

The more fully cooked chicken breast (by the end, I was too tired to put a lot of effort into plating tonight)

But hey, I ate, I was full, and I was still alive! Which I suppose is all that counts at the basic level. The chicken was juicy and had good flavor, and macaroni, while not really a cheese sauce, the texture was interesting and not all that bad in the end.

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