Inspiration from Resurrecting a Chicken Dish

Inspiration! I need a quest to raise my inspiration level. I think I have been hit by a vampire and suffered a level drain lately. I have been following Kitchen Incantations from others … TO THE LETTER, nonetheless. I have also been afflicted by a Curse of Habit by which I am repeating these routines. These incantations, now bordering on alchemic mumbles.

Variety is crucial, beyond essential, to the Kreative Kitchen Kleric. In following my recent vegan experiment, I learned the real meaning of “variety is the spice of life” as I failed to employ variety. As a result, I managed to make myself tired of things that I normally like.

But for some of this I have been following recipes that are supposed to be quick-and-easy — something that has become important to me as I balance evening meals with a commute home. (So, what’s my excuse on the weekends… another story, perhaps.) Last night I ended up at least putting some experience to use to correct something I could see was going to go horribly wrong. The idea was that a whole chicken gets cut up into “serving sizes” and then satueed. Once prepared (simply salted & a bit of pepper) and in the pans, I could tell the breasts were going to give me the usual trouble: bone-in-breast means raw meat on the bone. I have tried cooking these several ways with the same result. The only way I have found to cook bone-in-breast chicken is in the oven or on the grill with lower heat. My theory is that my stove-top area isn’t really a good place to get the heat to permeate the meat well enough to cook all the way through, even with a cover.

So what happened…

After cutting up the whole chicken, I salted and peppered it. I used two skillets (per the recipe so that none of the parts were touching) and cooked them on high heat, skin-side first, for a short bit to crisp them. I salted/peppered the up-side while the skin side was cooking. I then flipped them and crisped the other side. This is when I noticed the breast-meat swelling and, as is my experience, threatening not to cook. Therefore I summoned an Oven of 350F.

I added a little minced garlic and some paprika, covered the skillets with oven-proof covers*, and tossed them into the oven for 15 minutes. All came out well — juicy and tender. It wasn’t according to the recipe, but it worked. It works for steaks, and it works for chicken.

*This is quite simple in my case as I use cast-iron. One of the pans has a cover that goes with it, the other I know of a kettle cover I can use that is oven-proof.

2 thoughts on “Inspiration from Resurrecting a Chicken Dish

  1. One way I know I’m getting the fasts wrong is that during a long fasting season there’s always this flurry of fancy cooking going on in an effort to not get “bored” eating. DUH, not the point. What’s worse, in the wake of that flurry of creativity and “sacrifice” I come out the other end wanting Old Faithfuls that I have missed that are easy, no brainers. I always have a huge inspiration slump in the wake of a season of preparation.

    Add to that Liz’s pending trip for the whole Summer and my pending road trip and there has been this sense of “don’t fill the house with too much food” which is also killing our culinary creativity.

    And yes, you can only cook meat one of two ways. As hot as possible as fast as possible OR as cool as possible as slow as possible.

    With bone-in meat, only one of those is the real answer.

    • I think that’s exactly the state I’m in: enjoying the non-novel, rarely-imaginative, old favorites. And I’m certainly happy with my cooking, though feeling the (mental) effects of uninspired efforts.

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