CHICKEN PARMESAN or PARMESAN CHICKEN?
Today is Thursday, really, it is! The days and weeks are just flying by. Time flies when you're having fun...or not! Every other Thursday, I participate in a group called BAREFOOT BLOGGERS. It's in honor of Ina Garten known worldwide for her marvelous and creative books in the Barefoot Contessa line. Ina IS the Barefoot Contessa!
Once upon a time, when I lived in a 2000 square foot house, I had shelves and shelves of cookbooks. The Barefoot Contessa books were part of my collection then. I had to give away or sell most of my cookbooks off because they wouldn't fit in the boat! That was a very sad time...selling off all my kids...I mean cookbooks. So when this group started, I thought "WOW! I missed Ina's cookbooks. Now that's something I could get into!" Don't get me wrong, I love baking with Tuesdays With Dorie, but we can only eat so much dessert! And we bake once a week which is a lot! John takes the rest of it to work or he hawks it up and down the dock to unsuspecting boaters. They don't mind though. They love the goodies. But, it does seem like kind of a waste to go through all that work and the expense (Dorie loves butter) just to give it all away. You know what I mean?
FOOD vs DESSERT
So far, the recipes chosen for Barefoot Bloggers have all been "FOOD" as opposed to "DESSERT". Not that dessert isn't food, but food isn't always dessert. I figured we need to eat lunch and dinner anyway, and I really NEEDED to join yet another group because as you all know, I'm sitting around all day doing absolutely nothing enjoying the good life on a yacht! (Yeah, right!)
Ina's recipe this week is PARMESAN CHICKEN not neccesarily Chicken Parmesan! Speaking of which, because of copyright laws, I won't post her recipe here. BUT, she has graciously left it for us on The Food Network site to use! AND, the recipe is printer-friendly, so you can have it forever and always amen! Soooo, It was an easy recipe if you don't mind slicing through chicken and pounding it with a mallet to make it paper thin - scallopini style. Some people have an aversion to handling raw chicken. I don't. I've pounded my share of 20 pound lots of chicken at a time, for years on end, so this was nothing new to me. PLUS, I have a new boat now with tons of counter space. So having an assembly line of pans and then the frying pan on the stove was a breeze compared to doing it on poor little NIRVANA. One thing I normally do i to brine my chicken first in a solution of salt, sugar and water, but this recipe didn't call for it. The chicken was tender, but I think I'll go with my own technique of brining the next time.
Ina's recipe calls for breaded and fried chicken topped with salad greens and a Lemon Vinaigrette. I know! Sounds odd doesn't it? Did to me too. John was gonna come home and say "Where's the pasta and spaghetti sauce?" He such a guy! So, I prepared it Ina's way. I had the salad greens ready, the chicken was done and when I went to make the lemon vinaigrette, I found that the lemon I forgot to refrigerate had gone fuzzy! Dang! Now what am I gonna do? I did what any good little food blogger would do...I improvised! I set up my plates just like it said, took pictures for my blog, then went down in the galley and hunted around real quick for spaghetti sauce and pasta!
When John came home, he knew we were having something tasty for supper. He can always smell it down the dock! Funny how he can't smell things I ask him about, like, "Smell this, does this smell bad to you?" Nope! Then he asks, "Is this another meal where we have to take pictures first and then eat it cold?" I said, "Yeah, but it's already cold!" After I was done with the improvisations, we got to sit down to a HOT meal of CHICKEN PARMESAN, and boy was it tasty!
I got the boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.99 pound, for a total of $3.74. There were three breast halves and when I sliced them horizontally though the center, and pounded the heck out of them, I ended up with six huge pieces of very thin and tender chicken fillets! The breading, flour, two eggs, etc, was negligable. I figured the entire meal cost me $7.00 with the spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese and pasta. It would have easily served 6 people. We have leftovers for tonight's supper! Not bad, huh?
Go to Ina Garten's recipe on The Food Network and make it for supper sometime this week. You won't be sorry!