Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hump-Day Quickie: The Patina of Starvation

Ever gone into the kitchen to realize you have nothing left? After making the massive mental effort to get through the grocery store while starving without making any impulse purchases, you'll be too tired to actually put any effort into your cooking. At the same time, you're still starving, which leads to...

...just dumping everything in a pan and hoping for the best.

Chicken Patina
3 eggs
salt, pepper, thyme (be generous with each)
2 chicken breasts*
1 package frozen cauliflower
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
1 handful shredded Parmesan

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a skillet.
Cut up chicken. Beat eggs and seasonings. Mix in the chicken and vegetables.
Put into the pan,  sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake until the chicken is done (about 45 minutes).

*We got the kind that are pre-seasoned and therefore have marinated a couple days. You might want to soak yours in something to tenderize them.
You'll probably want to grease and flour it because eggs stick to everything.

Did you notice in the directions how we didn't even wait for the cauliflower to thaw out? Had the spinach not been a solid brick we'd have chucked it in frozen too.
I know I said I resisted all impulse buys, but I must confess that the chicken was not on my list.

Incidentally, you may be wondering how we managed to run out of provender in the Book of Cookrye Pantrye. The answer: a group project kept taking up all our time. On the bright side, since we got assigned the website design, we then got to go up in front of an entire class of engineering students with this on the projector screen behind us.
This is my coding face.

If you haven't gotten to use PowerPoint day to present a classroom of engineering students with their first drag queen, I am very sorry for you. (Incidentally, due to English being a second language for a lot of people in the group we are working with, she has now been rechristened The Dragon Queen.)

But getting back to today's culinary perpetration, this is loosely based on the patinas we read about in various ancient Roman cookbooks. A patina (which has nothing to do with the finish on antiques) is more or less a casserole floating in eggs to bind the whole thing together. Or, as I said to the people who came by asking what I was making, "I'm really hungry so I just threw it all in a pan and hopefully it comes out all right."

To my own semi-surprise, this actually worked. As in, I'd do it again. I knew it'd be delicious that night because I would have voluntarily eaten mechanically separated squirrel. But the leftovers were still really good and didn't have any starvation to make them taste better.
I feel so much better.

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