Sunday, November 6, 2011
This Space Unintentionally Left Blank
One of the things I find truly fascinating is that busy is relative. Right now, I am busy. So busy, that I have been neglecting both my blogs, totally phoning in the dinners (hello, frozen tortellini you tasty beast) and generally shirking anything I think I can, things like exercise and vacuuming. I feel this incredible sense of stress and busy because it is evaluation time in my work life, and because I have a massive work presentation tomorrow. But honestly, I'm not all that busy. Last year, I worked 3 tutoring jobs, ran an after school club and pretty much got home 2-3 hours later than I do now. Two years ago I had physical therapy for an hour and a half to two hours 3 night a week and would still make the dinner. Clearly I am not so busy as all that. Clearly I am not so busy as many of you, who are reading this. But it is really amazing how many of us have this base level of functioning that we can sustain, and then if something else is added, that's when you feel busy. It's completely relative. And I want to be clear that it is entirely my own fault that my brain is leaking out my ears and I am unable to compose a coherent post let alone come up with an interesting title.
Okay then. About that dinner. Bone in skin on chicken breasts, with a spicy crisp coating. All you need to do is "massage the bird" (thank you Julia) and stick it in the oven. It's soothing comfort food, just what you'd want someone to make for you if you were stressed and didn't have the same illicit relationship with frozen pasta or tater tots that I do.
inspired by a recipe from Cook's Illustrated book about Chicken
2 bone in skin on chicken breasts
2 T butter, softened
1 T dijon mustard
1 T white or red wine vinegar
1 t hot sauce (more if you like spice!)
1/4 t cayenne pepper (again, more if you like spice)
1/3 C bread crumbs
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 425. Prepare a cooking sheet with a rack over it, I've used flat racks and roasting racks, it doesn't really matter, so long as there's a way for the heat to circulate around the bird and the breading won't get mushy. Soften the butter and mash in a healthy pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Divide the butter equally between the breasts. Then lift the skin and rub the butter under the skin of each bird.
Mix the mustard, vinegar, hot sauce and cayenne in a small bowl. Massage the mixture over the breasts, front and back. Then coat each breast in bread crumbs.
Place on the rack and into the oven. Cook 40-45 minutes. You may want to start checking the temperature at about 30 minutes to see how it's going. You'll want 165 F for cooked poultry.