I haven’t been cooking much this weekend. Mostly because there were Groupons to use up and also because I’ve spent far too much time playing with and staring at my dog to do anything else.
He looks like this:
I was thinking about the things I’ve learned through trial and error in the kitchen yesterday. I think a lot about how women don’t cook like the did just a couple of decades ago, and how that’s changed and changing still. Mostly I think about all my friends in various stages of life who constantly lament to me that they don’t know how to cook. It makes me sad. Everyone knows how to cook, some people have just had more practice.
Preparing food is innate, I think. Like supporting a baby’s head when you hold it and yelling loudly when someone’s about to get hit by a train. Sometimes I want nothing more than to teach other people how to just be in the kitchen, and be confident while doing it. I know that’s a tall order. As southern as I am, I didn’t learn to cook from a seasoned grandmother. I watched endless hours of Food Network throughout college and before I knew it I was experimenting with recipes and cooking for other people. I’ve got some ideas about how to inspire the non-cooks in my own little bubble, but they’re not fully formed yet. We’ll see what comes of it.
Anyway, you should be marinating your chicken in Italian dressing; That’s where I was going with that. It’s not so much a cooking “trick” as it is a “chemical reaction” but nonetheless you won’t believe the difference it will make in a regular old chicken breast.
I buy the cheapest, most boring bottle of Italian I can find (nothing fancy like Balsamic Vinaigrette or Sweet Onion Italian) and squirt some on the chicken a couple of hours before I cook it, or even the morning of. I usually wipe the excess off with a paper towel before I do whatever I’m doing with it. The meat won’t taste like Italian dressing, it’ll just be juicier and richer than you remember.
I’m going to go smile at the dog some more but I’ll be back tomorrow with recipes. I forgot I made carrot cake cupcakes that were absurdly delicious, mostly because there were a dozen and now there are none.