Monday, May 7, 2012

Accidentally Domesticated, or a Recipe for Strawberry Ginger Chicken

So I can't cook.  I've burned water.  My ramen always comes out looking less like Justin Timberlake's hair, mid- N'Sync, ane more like Anna Nicole Smith's towards the end there... (too soon?)

I digress.

I've been telling the boyfriend this secret, me not cooking, for months- a loud and clear disclaimer to warn him of impending foodborne pathogens. 

Unfortunately, everything I've made so far has turned out decent, by some fabulous fluke, so that I maybe actually started taking an interest in this cooking thing.  The people at Taco Bell started missing me, I am pretty sure.

So anyways, this fabulous luck with cooking for the boyfriend, coincided with my discovery of the best time-wasting site on the planet- Pinterest.

I found that there was a mess of stuff I wanted to try, and if I liked it, I could pin recipes to a board, with my modifications in the comments, so that I could repeat.  This seemed like a decent system, and a good excuse to feed my innernets addiction.  Wendy's called and begged me to return.

So, I was getting a repertoire, when today, I noticed that I had defrosted chicken, and had no recipe to use on it.  Being in a rank mood, I threw the chicken in a bowl to figure out some sort of marinade, and re-opened the last glass of chardonnay in a bottle that had been sitting in my fridge, so I could drink and cook, like it was the fifties or some such thing.

Alas, the wine had moved into vinegar territory, so I tossed it into the bowl with the unsuspecting chicken.  Figuring that wine is beigey-yellow, and ginger is beigey-yellow, and I had to use some more of that fresh ginger before it went bad, and remembering that the boyfriend goes kind of nuts for ginger, I grated a whole mess of it on top of the chicken. 

And then I saw them.  The motherflippin' strawberries. 

So, the boyfriend and I live mostly alone.  A small tornado in the shape of a twelve year old boy descends on the weekends.  We don't hold dinner parties.  And yet, for some reason, the boyfriend bought a container of strawberries the size of a Prius.  Of course, at Costco.  Besides endlessly snacking, I thought about this amazing blackberry barbecue chicken sandwich I have for lunch sometimes. If blackberries go well with chicken, why not strawberries?  So I grated the strawberries (is that even a thing?  Do people grate strawberries??) into the chicken next. 

I figured I might need some real ingredients after this, so I added enough soy sauce to make the dish look legit, and some oregano, chili pepper, black pepper and a whole mess of garlic powder, in case it turned out bad, I could blame the garlic.  I let that sit for about two hours, while the boyfriend whipped up some completely nomming yellow potatoes and broccoli (because unlike me, he CAN cook.) and thought about whether or not to open more wine....

Eventually, the timing was right to put the chicken in, so I turned the broiler onto high, and put the two breasts on a drip pan, dusted a fine layer of parmesan cheese (because everything is better with cheese) over the top of the chicken and put them into the oven. After they started to brown, I flipped them, sprinkled parmesan on the bottom, surfed the innernets (did I mention I'm an addict?), and then after I cut into the biggest one (maybe 20 minutes?) and saw that it was cooked all the way through, I yanked those bad boys out.

And then I went to post my revisions to the recipe on pinterest.... and realized I had nothing to pin, because I made the whole thing up.  So here I am, munching on strawberries and posting this so I can pin it.

The End?  Or maybe I should post this in recipe format?

Strawberry Ginger Chicken

2 chicken breasts- defrosted
1 glass worth of old chardonnay, prolly a Central Valley wine
Grated ginger, grate until you don't feel like grating any more (maybe half a cup?)
Grated strawberries (again, is this a thing?), four or five really big ones, not the green parts.
Soy sauce- a few good shakes (perhaps a cup? 3/4 cup- definitely enough so the chicken is still visible, but like, doing a breast stroke in it...)

A whole mess of:
Black pepper
Garlic powder (or salt? crap- one second....nope, definitely powder)
Ground chili powder
Enough parmesan cheese to sprinkle over both sides.

To Do:

1. Combine everything but the parmesan in a big pink bowl. Mix well and let sit for about two hours.
2. Set Broiler to High, place chicken breasts on broiler pan, and dust with parmesan cheese.
3. Cook for about 20 minutes, or when the middles don't scream "SALMONELLA!" at you.  About halfway through, flip and dust the reverse side with parmesan cheese.
4. Do something with the leftover chicken sludge.  I guess some people might use this to baste, but is this not introducing raw chicken to cooked chicken? That seems wrong somehow, so I dumped it.
5. Con your significant other into making a side dish by being cute and appealing to his very expansive generous nature.

This served me and the boyfriend, with leftovers, because I wasn't very hungry.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome. :D You know, back in the day I was a total non-cook. I thought I was the world's biggest failure at it. But something funny happened. I turned 40, moved to Paris, and started to do stuff just like this, and something *happened*. It was kind of magical, just like this story! I became a cook. I still look for shortcuts, and a cool (and reasonably-priced) sushi place opened up a couple streets away so I still eat fast-ish food, but these days, I make just about everything by myself. It's a good thing, too, as I very much needed those skills once my food weirdness started up.

    I won't be cooking this one. Along with everything else I gave up, I am now meat-free (almost. I still eat eggs, occasional fish or shrimp, and there was this one time I could not pass up foie gras). And not imbibing the vino so much anymore. I do strawberries, though! I'll think of you the next time I eat one. :)

    BRAVO on your cooking adventures! I am way impressed and proud of you!