Sunday, October 24, 2010

Working Backwards- Italian marinaded chicken

Since I didn't start this blog until two months into this cooking a new meal every night, I am going to share some of the meals I cooked up to this point.  Periodically I'll add from the past in order to share a few more recipes. So, here's a dinner from last week: 


       After a period of eating lots of pasta and asian dishes, I was ready for a yummy American home cooked comfort food.  The above meal was REALLY simple to make.  My husband is currently waiting for his training to start for his new job so I have put him to work at home while I'm gone for the day.  While I was at work I instructed him to defrost some chicken and peel and wash 4 potatoes.  When I got home from work I poured some Italian dressing over the chicken (I'm not much for measuring... I'm more of a taste test, shake-spices-until-it-looks-good, kind of girl). So anyway, I poured some dressing over it and left it to marinate for an hour while we left to star in a commercial a guy in our ward is shooting for work. 
       When we returned I just chopped up the potatoes, threw them in some boiling water, and let them cook until they were soft enough to mash.  While the potatoes were boiling, I pre-heated the oven and threw in some Pillsbury biscuits.  Once the potatoes were ready, I strained them (forgot to save some of the starchy water for gravy), and put the chicken on the stove to start frying.  I poured the italian dressing marinade over the chicken to keep the chicken moist and so the flavors would cook in.  I left the chicken to cook on medium heat while I took care of the potatoes.  I made simple home made gravy by melting some butter on the stove (again, no measuring), and then adding a couple tablespoons of flour and whisking it together until smooth balls or chunks were created.  Then I immediately added milk and whisked continuously until all of the balls were dissolved into the milk.  I then added salt and pepper to taste as well as chicken bouillon to taste.  I stirred frequently in between mashing the potatoes.  For the potatoes I added milk and butter until I got the consistency and taste that I wanted and added salt and pepper to taste as well.  Somewhere in all of this I also poured some frozen green beans into a pot with a bit of water to cook.  
       In the end, everything got done at the same time and didn't take long at all! The chicken was DELICIOUS, even though it was a simple marinade.  My husband gobbled it all up and I as usual loved the mashed potatoes and gravy. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chinese Chicken Salad

     This evening's meal began with a trip to the grocery store right after work.  With this whole cooking a new dish every night, I am buying ingredients that I've never bought before.  Tonight turned into a wild goose chase for scallops, sesame seeds, and wonton wrappers.   These were the three items that I found last and that almost brought me to tears as I paced up and down the aisles of Wal-Mart time and time and time again, searching for a worker that might be able to help.  Eventually, after almost an hour and a half of pleasant shopping, followed by frustration and almost tears (I just wanted to get home to my sick husband and cook dinner after a long day at work!), I accomplished my mission and had successfully purchased the ingredients for the next week's meals.  I learned 3 things today:
       1) Sesame seeds do not come in small plastic bags like sunflower seeds, but are found in a normal                
           spice bottle in the spice section.
       2) Scallops are sea food and are not to be confused with shallots.  I searched every label in the
           produce section searching for scallops when I was actually thinking of shallots.
       3) Wonton wrappers are not found in the freezer section, but are refrigerated and are found smack in
            the middle of the produce, between the lettuce and cabbage.

       Tonight I fixed a much anticipated Chinese Chicken Salad.  My roommate in college first introduced me to this bowl of deliciousness 5 years ago.  It made a lasting impression and I requested the recipe from her a few days ago. When all was said and done it was worth the grocery shopping fiasco, and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed dinner! As a disclaimer before I start posting recipes, most will not be my own.  I'm simply posting the recipes I use to share with the reader the the tastiness that I find along the way!

Chinese Chicken Salad

3 Tbs toasted sesame seeds (just heat them in a pan until they brown)
1/2 C toasted sliced almonds (same as above)
1/2 head cabbage
4 green onions, diced
1 pkg ramen noodles, broken into pieces
*optional* 2 C cooked chicken

1 pkg ramen spices
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp pepper
1/2 C oil
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar

Combine salad.  Mix dressing and shake well.  Pour dressing on salad. Eat.