8/16/16

I was watching the short cooking clips on Facebook for a chicken recipe similar to the Firecracker Chicken. When they got to the flour step, they placed all the flour into a Ziploc bag and dumped all the chicken pieces and coated them using that. I feel so stupid having struggled with the tongs! I mean, I feel dumb, but at the same time, grateful that I found a solution because that’s what I’m here for: to learn. 

For today’s recipe, it doesn’t really require the bag, but it’s “Here’s dinner tonight… Stuffed Chicken Parmesan”. Okay, that’s not the official title, but that’s what it says on the BuzzFeed Tasty website. We can just call it “Stuffed Chicken Parmesan” for short though ;).

I went over the video several times and didn’t think about how to make that first step work. The people who own those hands on these videos make it look so easy, so I figured it would work out the way they did it. It wasn’t too horrific, but not too perfect either. It turns out you’re supposed to make the slit higher than you’d think. At least, I did. I think you’re supposed to make that slit visible from above, or else it’s weak. I didn’t get to do the Ziploc bag thing because these were whole pieces, so I got to get my hands dirty. 

I was going to use string cheese instead of mozzarella, but then I saw we still had, like, 1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese in the fridge, so I used an entire cup of that. We also have leftover Parmesan even though my mom told me to use the abundance of packets of Parmesan cheese we had from pizza deliveries, which had piled up over time. I spent about five to ten minutes separating these packets from the red pepper flakes packets. 

The pile isn’t too big, but that’s still a lot, since we just collected them all. I didn’t use any of them today though. Maybe next time though. 

Here it is pre-baking.

This is how the green beans turned out.

The chicken is all done.

The finished product.

I was worried about the chicken even though I left it in hot water for ample time, but you can’t often be too sure as you’re cooking it, if you’ve been cooking it long enough.

To be completely frank, it wasn’t too appetizing, but my parents thought it was good. Of course, being my parents, they either want to lie and say it’s good for my feelings, or lie and say it’s bad, yet still tell their friends and close relatives it’s delicious. That’s so confusing, right? Haha.

I think the taste has more to do with the sauce, not to toot my own horn. As you probably saw from the second photo, I bought the sauce, so maybe the issue was the brand? Just didn’t really click with me or my tastebuds. I’ll be sure to try out the brand next to Hunt’s. You hear that, future self? NOT Hunt’s tomato sauce next time, just to see where that goes. 

While shopping for the sauce and fresh herb today (just so you know that the sauce was fresh), they were out of basil, so Mom helped me make a decision about it. She suggested I go with my olfactory senses. She kept smelling all the herbs to see which would be best. I picked out a bouquet of herbs that looked the closest to basil, in my opinion, so I went with cilantro. That’s when Mom said that Dad hates cilantro. So I put it back, but then she changed her mind and told me to try it out anyway to see if he noticed. 

He did. In fact, the first thing he asked was why there was so much cilantro. Like, he specifically said cilantro. The issue wasn’t that I used it, but the amount on the chicken. There was a little gut feeling that told me it might’ve been too much as I was sprinkling it all over, but it looked fine, so I just went with it. 

As the chicken was baking, I’d just remembered I had to add a side, so I cooked some green beans. Didn’t use the recipe this time, but I just predicted the ingredients and then had my mom taste test it. She said it was salty, but advised me not to do anything else about it. I used oyster sauce (which is the star), a bit of warm water, and sugar. I think there’s more to it based on what I remember from the Rachael Ray recipe, but I didn’t want to rely on the recipe at all, hence the taste test. (Update: As I was hunting for the website so I could link it, I took a gander at the list of ingredients. As far as what goes in, I was pretty much dead on. It was just the amount that differed, mainly because I was guessing.)

Might have added too much garlic though. Because of the sauce, it was always clumped together at the center. I wanted to add the equivalent of two or three cloves and, as I’ve said before, I typically use a teaspoon as my go-to measuring device when I want to add garlic that has already been minced: one teaspoon per clove. I know that’s probably not accurate, but I just go with it. This math is definitely incorrect, but this time, to get two or three, I used a tablespoon. Again, probably not accurate, but I’ll find another solution next time, if I don’t have already minced garlic around. 

I realize that some people have a thing about their food touching other food, so I would probably use a plate with separators, in that case, but other than that, it’s pretty good. Again: there was something off about the sauce, in my opinion, which is why I would go with another brand next time. That was my personal experience, but I expected it to come from my parents’ lips too, but Mom said it was good. 

Before I officially sign off, I finally ate the ice cream from Coldstone tonight. I usually get strawberry with gummi bears–I have since I was a little kid. Okay, lying, since I was, like, 18. But look at the little baby bear I got! Isn’t it so cute? I thought it’d be half the entire bear, but no, it’s just a mini! Hello, deformed bear! Omnomnom!  

Break an egg!  (Although now that I’m using up eggs for almost every recipe, maybe I can just sign off with breaking however many eggs for that day. In that case, break SIX eggs! :P)

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