What’s for supper? Vol. 114: Hello, chicken, my old friend

Sorry for the light posting this week! It’s just been crazy-go-nuts.
Thanks so much for the prayers for my father as he recovers from his triple bypass surgery on Monday. He has had some ups and downs, as you can imagine. He is recovering, but it is a tough road for sure, especially as they work on managing his pain without too many bad side effects.

At the end, I have a few things to say to Etsy merchants and other craftsmen, plus a hat recommendation, because it’s a food blog. I don’t know.

**

SATURDAY
Chicken blueberry salad

Blueberries were 99 cents a pint at Aldi, so I changed my menu on the fly. I roasted some chicken breasts and sliced them thin. We had mixed greens (no Romaine lettuce, just to be safe) with the chicken, plus minced red onions, toasted walnuts we never managed to bake with over Christmas, feta cheese, blueberries, and balsamic vinegar dressing.

So pretty and delicious.

***

SUNDAY
Chicken cutlets with basil

The Husband wanted to cook, so he made homemade marinara sauce and these magnificent chicken cutlets. Very labor intensive, but so worth it, especially when your husband is making it.

You pound the chicken, bread it (he used panko bread crumbs, which are so nicely fluffy), fry it, top it with a fresh basil leaf and a slice of provolone, and then ladle some hot marina sauce over it all so the cheese melts and tucks in the basil leaf like a sweet little sleeping child which you then devour.

 

Whenever he suggests making this dish, I think, “Oh, we should have some pasta. Just chicken and sauce isn’t enough.” I am always wrong. This meal is paradise in your mouth. Even the savages appreciate what a treat it is.

We also had a ridiculous chocolate trifle for dessert. I made enough for two nights, which was not truly a problem, as problems go.

I baked one box of triple chunk chocolate brownies, then broke it up into little pieces. I made four boxes of instant pudding, two chocolate and two mocha, and I grated one giant chocolate bar and six or seven Heath bars, and then whipped up some cream with sugar and a healthy amount of Kahlua. Then I just layered everything up in several layers in two glass bowls.

I only got lousy pictures, but this is truly a fail-proof dessert, and is going on the list of fancy-danciness. I don’t yet own a trifle bowl, but oh, I see more trifle in our future.

***

MONDAY
Hot dogs and chips

Monday we had my sister’s little kids over so she could drive up and be with my father during and after his surgery, so we kept dinner simple.

***

TUESDAY
Kids still here. Arms getting tired. Chicken nuggets and . . . something. Oh, frozen corn. It turns out I am old and frail, and yell a lot.

***

WEDNESDAY
Chicken quesadillas with cheddar and jalapenos.

Wednesday I drove up to see my father in the hospital, an Damien took a sick day to hold down the fort at home. When he makes quesadillas, he folds the tortilla in half on the pan, and then he turns the tip over again, to seal it like an envelope. Maybe I was feeling sentimental, but this seemed so tidy and brilliant and wonderful to me. No chicken escaped.

It was also on Wednesday that everyone noticed I had made a weekly menu that was just wall-to-wall chicken. This was unintentional. I guess we were simply having a wonderful Chickentime.

***

THURSDAY
One-pan chicken thighs with roast vegetables

Everyone loves this dish from Damn Delicious.

I used a large butternut squash, two pounds of Brussels sprouts, three pounds of red potatoes, a pound of baby carrots, and about 18 or 20 chicken thighs. It was way too much food, but I can’t help myself. I filled my two giant quarter sheet pans, which, by the way, continue to be my smartest purchase ever. No warping, and they are useful for so many things — containing the mess when rolling out cookie or pastry dough, for instance, or keeping beads or buttons from rolling away while the little guys play, or for preserving unfinished board games if you have to clear the table to eat. We also use them as serving trays to organize meals with lots of little bowls and saucers and bottles of things. Pans!

I am old and frail. I yell about pans.

I was able to prep all the vegetables in about 25 minutes in the morning, and then I finished it up pretty quick right before supper. It’s a lot of chopping, obviously, but then you just season everything, put it all in the pan together, and chunk it in the oven. It takes slightly longer than the recipe says. Here’s an old pic of pre-cooked veg, because I have lost track of the ones I took yesterday. Isn’t it pretty? You want color in January.

I cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scooped out the pulp, then put it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes to soften up a bit. Then I could peel it pretty easily with a sharp knife. I have lost my potato peeler, so I’ve been using a cheese plane, but I lost that, too. Somehow I can always put my hand on a knife, though, she said somewhat ominously.

Why is it “omInous” instead of “omEnous?” I protest.

Ah, I found a picture! Here’s the cooked dish:

So nice. I’m having leftover veg for lunch right now.

***

FRIDAY
Fish tacos

Frozen fish sticks on tortillas with shredded cabbage, sliced avocado, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, and lime. Good schtuff. Here’s a picture from a previous meal:

Oh, I’m trying out a new affiliate program called Skimlinks. It’s sort of an umbrella affiliate system that works with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of merchants. So the links above, to the pans, the cheese planer, and the trifle bowl are affiliate links which can earn me a small profit. So click away, me hearties! (As far as I can tell, Skimlinks just requires bloggers to follow FTC regulations about disclosing relationships with merchants, so fingers crossed I’m not violating anyone’s arcane TOS this time!)

I’ve also become an Etsy affiliate, and will be doing a monthly Etsy artisan feature. In the meantime, may I point you toward an awesome shop called Hats By Charlotte? We ordered this hand-knit Samus hat for our oldest for Christmas, and it’s awesome.

It’s soft, comfortable, and well-made, and Charlotte was a pleasure to communicate with. We ordered late and the hat came sooner than we could reasonably expect. Highly recommended! Lots of neat, geeky patterns.

ONE MORE THING. I’ll be doing a handmade Valentine’s Day feature here in a few weeks. If you have romantic or relationship-related gifts to sell, especially unusual or hard-to-find items, please drop me a line at simchafisher[at]gmail[dot]com with “Handmade Valentine Feature” in the subject heading, with links and photos of one or two items with a short description. Deadline is January 26. Thank you!
(Open to all, not just Catholics. Not all submissions will be featured. No essential oils, please. They give me a headache even just online.)

 

6 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 114: Hello, chicken, my old friend”

  1. Ooh, I really have been thinking about your giant sheet pans and thinking this is the year I might splurge but now the link doesn’t work? Could you let me know how to find them or if the link issue is just me? Sorry to be a pain. I made ratatouille earlier this week and had some significant sheet pan issues!

      1. Thanks! I tried the link in safari and chrome and it just says server not found which could be an Apple issue or maybe my WiFi but I appreciate you sharing as I was able to find them. I had splurged a few years ago on an Oxo baking sheet and frankly I’m just not that impressed as it’s hard to clean and I love the idea of being able to fit more in the oven this way!!

  2. I want to see if you can meld the handmade Valentines with an Ash Wednesday theme. I could then forgive you using boxed brownies. Shudder. You are better than that! (The first thing my 10yo son learned to make was brownies from scratch.)

  3. I don’t know why this week felt so weird, maybe because it was the first week back at school BUT we had horrible weather on Monday so all the schools were cancelled and I benevolently let my homeschooled kids have the day off as well…only to find out our local school district wouldn’t have had school that day ANYWAY.

    Monday: I have no memory of Monday. No, I honestly don’t and I deleted my typed menu in Word so I can’t even go back to that. *sob*

    Tuesday: My husband came home and regarded me kindly after the first day back at school and asked if I would like to go to the gym for a run tonight? And he would make the kids dinner. I threw the ingredients for scrambled egg burritos (bacon on the side) at him, pointed out the canned fruit cocktail, and ran for the hills. I got a great run in, tried to treat myself to a decaf latte on the way home, only to be thwarted by a snitty barista who said their decaf espresso wasn’t working. But I came home to a fine plate of bacon and a hamburger, which made everything better.

    Wednesday: Burgers, hot dogs, chips and fruit. Fresh pineapple, specifically, which has been on sale and I’ve been craving.

    Thursday: Pasta with meat sauce; usually I make pasta night a vegetarian night but the fancy organic beef was on sale so I went wild. Very much appreciated by 5/6ths of the family; the youngest at first was distraught because I didn’t make rotini pasta and “this pasta is too DANGLY.” He eventually calmed down and ate it.

    Tonight: Fried rice in the crockpot, baked salmon filets and fish sticks for the Philistines who do not like baked salmon.

    We’re going to be snowed in this weekend, so instead of pizza on Saturday we’re having a frozen lasagna, I think, and Sunday is Sloppy Joes.

  4. Thanks for the chicken thigh recipe. Passed it along to my Mom, who loves one pan dishes. I am also thinking that this might be good for the guys who come to our parish homeless shelter. If you cook, you have to make a protein, a vegetable and a starch. Making this for 25 people and transporting it without a car (NYC) is a challenge. One dish seems like a good idea.

    Tacos–I like Trader Joes’ cilantro dressing as a stand in for real cilantro. It adds moisture and a cilantro kick without being left with a lot of extra cilantro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *