Day 35: Standby for dinner

February 4, 2007


Sautéed Sweet Chicken Breasts with a Spicy Fresh Tomato Chutney and White Rice was a good, if basic, dinner, to which we really should have added some greens. The chutney was tangy and rich, tasting as if it had cooked for far longer than 10-15 minutes. It would be good to have extra chutney for serving with meals or as a salsa or dip. (Incidentally, one of our cats is called Chutney, so this paragraph has a slightly macabre quality. Although also somewhat appropriate as we occasionally ask the “If you had to eat one of the cats, which one would you choose and how would you prepare it?” question. Which is not as tasteless as it sounds; it’s just that all cats have a different muscle-to-fat-to-hair ratio, and therefore some would be better pan-fried and some should be slow-cooked. Anyway I digress, and for anyone that’s disgusted, that is just a game, for fun, not for real. We’d much rather eat dog. Joking. Cats would obviously be the first choice.)

Anyway, the rice was rice and the chicken was not as interesting as the recipe title suggests. It was marinated (for at least 30 seconds) in olive oil, spring onions, parsley, salt, pepper and honey. Unfortunately when the chicken was fried, pretty much all the preparation was lost in the heat of the pan, and in the black mess that was left behind. The honey was unfortunately rendered undetectable, and so the chicken breasts were Sautéed but not Sweet. The recipe was easy to follow but generated a bit much washing up for the resulting meal. Also being extremely tired (excuses, excuses) meant that lots of things almost went horribly wrong such as burning all the rice to the pan, burning the chicken to the pan etc. That may have contributed to the fact that this meal felt like a lot of work, when in reality it should have been pretty straightforward.

Overall, the chutney was a winner, and the rest was fine; a bit of a standby meal. This meal was a supreme example of a time when we should have added to the recipe. A bed of spinach or some herbs and peas in the rice would have added a little extra element that would make this meal feel more balanced. We are attempting to follow the recipes as accurately as we can, and we only really add to the meals if the recipe calls for it, for example when instructed to serve with green salad. As the book touts each recipe as a complete meal, we are relying on Rachael Ray to provide a nutritious balance for us. Tomorrow we are making BLT Pasta Bake: Bacon, Leeks and Tomatoes. Not only does it contain at least two vegetables, I’m hoping that it is all cooked in one pan. I’ve given up reading the recipes in advance, other than for making a shopping list. That way, every day is a surprise.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mindy April 7, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I suggest you try cutting the chicken into bite size pieces prior to cooking. This gives it a chance to take in more of the flavor. Also, you should have served the chicken and tomato chutney over the rice, not beside it. This meal is a great leftover meal also. Just mix everything together and take for a lunch or serve for left over night. I have introduced this meal to many people and all have loved it. I am sorry you had such a hard time with thing burning, maybe you should turn the heat down, I have never burnt this dish.

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