Ah, chicken. My main source of protein, followed shortly by Greek yogurt. In the past, what have I done with chicken? Well, I’ve cut it into chunks and stir fried it. Or breaded it and fried it. Tonight though, I went from grad student to grad student with big dreams for a Monday night. I had bought some frozen chicken breasts a while ago, had a single Granny Smith Apple (my favorite kind of apple), and some Brie cheese that was about to get tossed when I said to myself “Damn it, Melissa, you’ll make a real meal!”
AND I DID.
I also made sweet potatoes, which were super simple and amazing (though I got that recipe from Rachel Ray… The chicken is 1/2 Melissa and 1/2 outside collaborators…)
Speaking of my collaborators tonight: You know you are one, mom; I called at least 5 times to ask if I was doing X right, but I have to give a shout out to my second mom, Mama Rossi, who I hope reads this so she knows I didn’t blow up the kitchen! I called Mrs. Rossi for other reasons and then as we were chatting, I told her about my half-baked plan (badum ch! cooking joke) for tonight’s dinner, and she set me straight with some crucial steps: put an onion and some white wine in the bottom of the pan, cover with a foil tent for the first 25-ish minutes, add some more wine in the last five minutes of cooking… So Mama Rossi, it all worked!
Part 1: The Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut up one sweet potato into bit sized chunks
- Melt 1 tsp coconut oil into a skillet.
- Toss in the sweet potatoes and a pinch of salt
- Transfer to a baking pan
- Let cook for ~40 minutes — ProTip: Actually try to coordinate your timing and estimate how long it takes to prep chicken so that you don’t have to put your sweet potatoes back in the oven because you got the timing all wrong…
Part 2: The Stuffing
- Chop up 1 clove of garlic and 1/8 of an onion (thin thin slices!!)
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in pan and toss the garlic and onion cook while you…
- Cut up the Granny Smith apple. I found out that we have an apple core-er (do they have an actual name?) which saved me a ton of time! After you core, slice thinly and coarsely
- Add apples and like, 1/8 cup of chopped walnuts to the pan
- Let everything cook for ~5-10 minutes
- Set aside!
Part 3: The Poultry
- Begin by cutting the chicken breast almost all the way in half – ALMOST. Leave a little connected so you can fold over.
- Put stuffing onto one side of chicken half.
- Put brie cheese on top of stuffing and fold over the chicken!
- Prep the glass pan: Place the rest of the onion sliced into the bottom of the pan. Pour some water and white wine in the bottom. I didn’t really measure here, so whatever feels good to you, but not too much.
- Place chicken in pan! Rub with a little olive oil then top with herbs of your choice (my favorites are rosemary, sage, and thyme for chicken!)
- Secure sides of chicken with toothpicks.
- Cover chicken with a foil ten (thanks Mama Rossi!) and cook at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then take foil tent off and cook for another twenty minutes.
- Take out of the oven and enjoy the smell of victory and deliciousness!
Part 4: Get real fancy with some sauce!
- When there’s like 10 minutes left, take the pan out and carefully drain almost all the juice from the bottom into a little saucepan.
- Add wine to both your saucepan and to the chicken. Throw the chicken back in the oven.
- Add a tiny pad of butter and reduce, reduce, reduce!
Sham-WOW was this delicious. Mom, I won’t lie, I was so super impressed with myself. Because these kinds of things always seem like they’re gonna be a huge hassle and really tricky and then I managed to make it happen!
A lot of people don’t like Mondays, and at least 60% of the time I’m one of them. But this Monday, I handed in Cosmology in the A.M., got a good grade back on my Nuclear midterm, sat outside for an hour and a half talking with one of my favorite upper classmen, and then made this! Stat Mech is the only big thing due this week, and that’s not till Thursday, so today was my Melissa day!
Plus, I have the second breast to eat tomorrow for dinner (which is good, cause I’ll hopefully be too busy working to get extravagant…) .
Though I won’t lie, this was a perfect dinner for two… I’m gonna have to find someone to cook for! 😉
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