Boneless, skinless chicken breasts?

April 30, 2013

I’m not sure what you’re asking exactly, but in general, I disagree with boneless, skinless anything. If you cook meat, then you should cook pastured, organic meat with bones and fat. I think the minerals from the bones are important for balancing acidity and nutrition, and the fat helps protect the lining of your small intestine, and helps you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. But keep in mind these are mere opinions and I am not presenting them as fact..

However, every so often, boneless, skinless chicken breast is on sale, so I buy it and make something with it. In the past, my usual dish was chicken fingers, but now that I no longer eat grains and have adopted a paleo / specific carbohydrate diet, I needed a new way to make chicken fingers, but I was bored out of my mind with boneless, skinless chicken breast in general.

Enter Chicken Ennui.

I created this recipe out of sheer boredom (thus the name) and it’s easy and quick, and can probably be made with stuff you already have in your kitchen. As usual, I didn’t measure anything, so here are some pictures.

Preheat oven to 350 and put your baking pan in there to get hot. Gather dried herbs that go together, such as these:

Dried herbs and peppercorns

Rosemary, basil, fennel seed, thyme and black peppercorn.

Other herbs that would work well with all or some of these are: oregano, sage, parsley, and corriander. You can use any kind of peppercorn, but you can’t skip it. Add some salt, and grind all of these in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to a fairly fine powder. Don’t use pre-ground pepper, because it’s gross. Always grind your peppercorn fresh. Trust me. I’d use about a tsp of each for each pound of chicken breasts, because I like a ton of herbs, and chicken breast needs flavor. Oh god, it’s just so dull.

Slice up chicken breasts so they’re evenly sized for even cooking. I usually make them between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Slather mayonnaise on every slice (you’ll only need about a tablespoon per pound), then press them into the herb/salt/pepper mixture.

Place the coated chicken strips on the hot baking pan (I used a slotted pan) and bake for about 10 -15 minutes.

Coated chicken strips ready for oven

I put the chicken strips on a pre-heated slotted roasting pan. You can bake them on any kind of baking pan. Pre-heating it will help them to not stick.

I like it to be a little browned, so I leave it in for a while.

Chicken Ennui is done!

See, I didn’t cut all of the chicken breast the same size. Uneven cooking! Learn from my mistakes, people!

I served my Chicken Ennui with spaghetti squash with a dollop of Artisana coconut butter, and arugula with Kerry Wood Lemon Tarragon dressing. If you’d like to see pretty much everything I eat, you can follow my meals on Tumblr.

Dinner

Dinner! Yum!

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Alert: Free show and book signing at Books of Wonder Tues 4/30/13 – 4 p.m.

April 28, 2013

Story Pirates at Books of Wonder 4_30_13

The Story Pirates will be at Books of Wonder this Tuesday to act out the story of Septimus Heap! My middle schooler LOVED this series and got me to read it, and I love it, too.  Do not miss this!  SUPPORT INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS!  

Free Theatre Storytime at Books of Wonder with Author Angie Sage and The Story Pirates!

Books of Wonder, the oldest and largest independent children’s bookstore in NYC, will hold a free theatre performance and book signing with author Angie Sage on Tuesday, April 30th beginning at 4 PM (18 West 18th Street, between 5th and 6th Aves in Manhattan).

Fyre, the seventh and final book in the Septimus Heap series, was published last week to enthusiastic fan reception. Often compared with Harry Potter and other works of fantasy for middle grade readers, the series follows the adventures of Septimus Heap, who as a seventh son of a seventh son has extraordinary magical powers. An original fantasy about lost and rediscovered identities, magyk and intrigue, and one family’s warmth and strength, the series has appeared on national bestseller lists and garnered worldwide acclaim; Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to make a movie of the first book.

To celebrate the book’s release, local literary-based acting troupe The Story Pirates (www.storypirates.org) will introduce new readers to the series by performing scenes from the first book, Magyk!

Also in attendance will be the series’ author, Angie Sage. Following the performance Ms. Sage will meet with fans and sign copies of all of her books.

The event will begin at 4PM and is open to the public.


Alert: Mattress Sale!

April 24, 2013

I apologize for the conceptual bankruptcy I am demonstrating this month by only posting alerts instead of the fascinating and incisively witty (humor me) blog posts to which you have been accustomed.  But Lifekind is having a 40% off sale on some of their mattresses, and as you can see, I absolutely love their stuff, and highly recommend their mattresses.  They are NOT CHEAP, but they are the REAL DEAL in organic mattresses.  No artificial flame retardant (which is carcinogenic, BTW) – they achieve compliance with flame retardant standards through natural materials like wool, cotton and natural latex.  Read up on this, and school yourself, fool.  Their customer service is incredible, their products are high quality, and they do the right thing for the environment.  And, I have never received anything from them (no discount, no perk, no anything) in return for reviewing them or saying anything about them.  I just love them.  I’ve been a customer for probably 10 years now and I cannot say enough good things.  If you are in the market for a mattress, now is the time.  Sale goes until Friday, 4/26/13.


Alert: NYC Shredfest 2013!

April 19, 2013

The 2013 NYC Shredfest is on Sunday, May 19 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  I dare anyone to try and find me a better NYC Department of Sanitation event!  People, don’t even try, because you can’t.  Already I am walking lighter, with a song in my heart, now that this year’s date, time and location are in my google calendar.  If you’re going paperless like I am (yes, it’s taking me longer than I thought!), Shredfest is a godsend!  So is fermented cod liver oil, but for different reasons.


Alert: gorgeous, organic turmeric at Integral Yoga right now!

April 17, 2013

20130417-123650.jpg

I am blogging from IY right now. The turmeric is expensive, but this is the best looking turmeric I’ve ever seen, and it’s organic, people!

Holy crap! They even have organic papaya ( but not much!). If your papaya’s not organic, there’s a good probability it’s GM. Look it up… Papaya is one of the worst for GM.


Alert: Discount on Septimus Heap books in month of April! Support local business!

April 12, 2013

CORRECTION (4/15) – THE DISCOUNT CODE IS “OVERSTRAND” (which makes more sense), not “OVERSTREET” as I originally reported.  Sorry.  I got misinformation.  I’ll definitely be at Books of Wonder on 4/16 for my copy!  

New Yorkers: If your child is as excited as mine is about the new Septimus Heap book Fyre coming out this April 16, you might be interested in this discount at local, independent bookseller Books of Wonder on 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.  It’s good for the whole month of April and on all Septimus Heap books.  In store only…

The last volume of the Septimus Heap series is almost here – come to Books of Wonder and celebrate with us!

 Fyre, the seventh and final book in the series, will be released on April 16th. To celebrate, Books of Wonder is offering a special 10% discount on ALL Septimus Heap titles in the month of April! To claim the discount, simply mention the code word, “OVERSTREET, OVERSTRAND” to the cashier at checkout! It’s like Magyk! **Offer valid in-store only.**

Web: BooksofWonder.com
BOW Blog: BooksofWonder.com/Blog
Email: Store@Booksofwonder.com
Phone: (212)989-3270


How do you poach an egg?

April 8, 2013

Poached Egg

Poached Egg

I think my friend Kelly is making fun of how many eggs I eat, or how I’m fanatical about photographing everything I eat these days, because this is the second time she’s asked me how to make an egg dish.  But you know how I am… ask me a question and get a blog post.  I had taken a gazillion photographs of some poached eggs I made a few weeks ago, trying to capture the steam off them (which is why I used a dark bowl).  I’m not a good enough photographer (yet!) to get that. (UPDATE 4/18/13 – At the end of this post, I added more pictures to give you a play-by-play of this process.)

Here’s how I poach an egg.

  • Step 1: Gather a deep pot to boil water in.  I use a 2.5 L Visions glass sauce pot (that’s about 20 years old at this point).  It measures 4.25″ from the counter to the rim on the outside of the pot.  I wouldn’t use one shallower than that, you’ll be sorry.
  • Step 2: Fill pot 1/2 way up with water and start to boil.
  • Step 3: While water is heating up, crack your egg into a saucer (not a bowl, a saucer, you want it kind of flat to easily slide the egg from the saucer into the water later).  If you’re making more than one egg, use a separate saucer for each egg, or do them consecutively (I tend to poach my eggs one at a time, because I’m not good enough to do multiple eggs yet).
  • Get something to stir the water (like the handle of a wooden spoon, a chopstick, a long spoon, etc.)  Make sure it’s long enough to stir the water well without getting your hand too close to the soon-to-be-boiling water.
  • Get a tool to get the egg out later (long handled strainer, or this thing I have a picture of below).
I don't know the name of this.

This is one of the most useful kitchen tools I have. I have no idea what it’s called. I do know it’s 5″ across though. Go me!

  • Some people add a tsp full of white vinegar to the water because it helps “set the white.”  I don’t.
  • Some people add salt to the water.  I love salt, so I add salt to the water.
  • Just when the water is about to boil (not a full boil), turn the heat down to low.  Be very careful, but stir the water as fast as you can in a circle (without splashing it out of the pot or on yourself), so you get a little water tornado.  When you’ve got a good tornado going, slide the egg carefully from the saucer into the tornado as you stop stirring.
  • Let the egg go around and around.  It’s going to look gross and it’s going to look like egg white got all over the damn place in the water.  Don’t worry about it.
  • Let the egg cook for about 3 minutes (or so when you gently lift it up with The Tool That Cannot Be Named, the eggwhite is not clear).
  • Place it on a plate (not the plate from which you are going to eat it because it will be watery).  Dry it off or shake it in the Tool or whatever, and then plate it.
  • All that gross white stuff that didn’t coalesce into a gorgeous poached egg just stays on the water and all over the Tool.
  • If you don’t do dishes right away, leave the tool in the water, because when that gross eggwhite stuff dries on the tool, it’s hard to get off.
  • Sprinkle Maldon salt flakes over the egg for serving.  Maldon salt should be on all eggs.  Don’t argue with me on this.

UPDATE:

Set up your workspace

Make sure you’re ready. Poaching is quick and you need everything handy. Wooden spoon handle to stir water quickly, tool to pull out poached egg, plate with paper towel for draining egg post-poach, maldon salt (in an old honey jar – sorry!), each egg already cracked open on a plate. Don’t forget the salad, or whatever you want to put the egg on.   Poached eggs cool down fast.  You’ve got to be ready to chow when it’s done!

Stir fast!

If you stir slow around the edges and then move to the middle to stir quickly, you’re less likely to make a mess. Be careful! It’s boiling water. It hurts.

Gently slide eggs into center of vortex

Gently slide an egg from the plate into the center of the swirling water.

Egg poaching, cont'd.

It’s going to start to look like a mess. Don’t panic. And don’t let the water come to a hard boil (big bubbles). If it is, shut off the heat and move the pot to a cool burner.

Drain the egg.

Gently place the egg on the paper towel to drain.

Poached egg fail!

If you don’t cook the white enough, the yolk might just slip right out of it, like what happened to me in this epic fail.

 

Cropping!

In the event of a fail, make another egg and crop your photo!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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