Friday, April 16, 2010

Feature Presentation - Mamma's last minute meal

If last night in Una Mamma's house was a movie, the opening credits would read something like this -
"Starring Una Mamma Italiana and four screaming, hungry children."

Then the scene would open to a kitchen (dreary and dirty, to say the least) with a sink full of unwashed dishes, and muddy footprints across the floor. And to make matters worse, all this would be going on well after dinner hour. The kids had been playing outside all afternoon and thus the mamma (gratefully accepting ANY chance at some free time) became seriously distracted with the great, grand google.

But back to the feature film - Dinner was approaching fast, and Una Mamma Italiana found herself unprepared yet again. She raided the freezer earlier that afternoon hoping to defrost something worth eating. But to keep things interesting (darn those screenplay writers), the star character (yours truly) would attempt to begin dinner only to realize the chicken breasts she was thawing........ did not actually thaw at all!

So here's the basic trailer:

"Distracted wife/mother freaks out as she faces dinner hour completely unprepared. In effort to save her loved ones' stomachs from the evil enemy (hunger), she puts on her Superwoman cape (or apron, whatever) and fixes the usual:) "

Thanks to my unlucky circumstance of frozen chicken, you benefit via a very lucky recipe experiment that was actually quite good, if I do say so myself.

Allow me to elaborate:
Knowing full well that half defrosted chicken does not cook up to be tasty in the least, I had to be creative with my cooking method. I didn't want to dry out the chicken, and I had LIMITED ingredients on hand.

(This is, of course, why I simply did not opt to create a different meal upon discovering the half-thawed chicken - I had NOTHING else in the freezer!)

Anyway, after searching the fridge I emerged with some grated cheese and heavy whipping cream. "Where is she going with this?" you might on, ye of little faith...

I took out my Nonna's glass casserole dish and seasoned up the (half frozen) chicken. I covered it with the heavy whipping cream until it was completely immersed. I figured this would keep the heat in and cook the chicken kind of like a slow cooker would, but without the chewy, boiled chicken effect.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, this all came out of my very own head. No, I am not a professional chef with an intricate (and unnecessary) knowledge of the science of cooking like SOME PEOPLE (Ahem.....Food Network's Alton Brown) So do not think I know even one ounce of what I'm talking about when I say this stuff.

I topped the cream covered chicken with more seasoning (dried basil, sea salt, cracked pepper, and tons of grated cheese) and put it in the oven. The chicken cooked at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes and it was surprisingly tender. The creamy sauce had thickened a bit because of the cheese, and it was a very tasty dip for our side of pasta all'olio! The brown bubbly cheese on top was my favorite.

And so, in the end, Una Mamma Italiana was able to rescue the stomachs of her four little bambini from dire hunger after all. She saved the day yet again.

The End.

.....Still wondering why I'm not getting paid to be Supermom.....


Dominic Condo said...

Hysterical! Dish looks great too! But will there be a sequel?!?!

una mamma italiana said...

Let's hope not...I can't stand thsoe nights where i have to throw something together - could you please work on some REALLY quick recipes for me, Dom? Ones that don't require me going ot the store for special ingredients, please!!! I'm dying here.....

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