Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Burning Down the House

The fact that The Husband and I were able to sit down and actually eat this dish is made of a miracle.

That’s because the Jersey Girl decided to cook rice without the water. Or, the rice. It’s safe to say that heating up an empty pot could in fact trigger smoke. Then a fire. For all you cooking newbies, may I advise you to NOT DO THIS.

The funny thing is as the smoke detector was blaring its piercing annoying sound (just after we got Baby Evan to doze off for a bit. Irony, yes.), the Jersey Girl stood before the offending empty burning saucepan saying aloud to The Husband, “I wonder why the alarm is going off?!?!”

Because you’re an idiot, Captain Obvious.

You know, I could see how a person who uses the kitchen as a shoe closet, or orders takeout seven days a week or is mentally unstable could make this party foul. But, peeps, as I tell Baby Evan every day – the kitchen is my office.

Fortunately, the evening had a they-all-lived-happily-ever-after ending. And, Team Jersey Girl was able to enjoy din din with a glass of wine and without the house going down in flames. Yay!

The reason for my absentminded/idiotness was that I was preparing this meal the day before going back to work after a two-month maternity leave. And well, I was wiggin’ on the inside. And the outside. I don’t know why. I blame hormones. Because it’s not like I have a job that invokes dread, hardship or horror on my part. Actually, all I feel is love for my occupation of piano teacher. Sure, I hear a lot of wrong notes, but my work is all about music and inspiration and passion. How can you loathe those things?

I suppose my fear of the First Day of Work was brought on by the realization that my days and nights would no longer be spent solely staring at my little boy and watching trash TV. But a little less Camille Grammer and Snookie is really a good thing. And I definitely was worrying if the Jersey Girl could truly do it all – take care of a baby, teach piano, clean the house, cook, blog, organize, eat, breathe, sleep, shower.

The first week was a success, and a bit of a whirlwind. It also has prompted a newfound appreciation for mommas who are single or have a real job or have a commute that is more than five steps down a hallway or don’t live near grandmas and aunts who want to spend every waking moment with a newborn bambino.

Anyhoo, my last day as a Stay-At-Home Baby Momma went out with a bang and a yum yum dish by Giada called Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce. Saffron is known as the spice that costs the most dollas dollas in the whole entire land. So, I could understand if you don’t want to make this. But, all the other ingredients are el cheapo, so I encourage you, dear readers, to go for the splurge. I bought my saffron at Sur la Table.

The dish is very subtle and smooth. I think it would be nice to serve to picky eater people because the flavor is not overpowering at all.

I served the chicken with some basmati rice (previously mentioned) and a fabu salad.

Done and done.

Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound chicken cutlets (scallopine)
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to serving plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Turn the heat to medium, add the shallot and the garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is almost evaporated.

Add the chicken broth and saffron threads, bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes. Add the cream, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 1 minute to blend the flavors. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

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