Here it is, my end of year admission of truth: I don't cook. Ever. Every photo of food you've seen on this blog is food made by Oliver. Some of you already know this. Others have been told but don't seem to fully believe it.
I've mentioned in past blog posts that until I met Oliver I was surviving on frozen Lean Cuisines and Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. (Fortunately every boyfriend I've had as an adult has liked to cook so thanks to them there were plenty of real food meals sprinkled in throughout my 20s.) As a kid my family sat down to enjoy dinner together five nights a week but somehow the cooking bug just never bit me. I don't even like to bake. I share this information to emphasize what a big a deal my new year's resolution is (to me). So here it goes: In 2012 I will learn to cook! I will no longer fear the kitchen, it's fire or it's knives!
Tonight Oliver tricked me into starting my resolution two nights early. While at YDFM today we picked up four large, bone in, chicken breasts to use in a chicken mole. Once home he left to help a friend with some home improvement work. On his way out I was handed handwritten instruction sheet of how to cook the chicken. YIKES! I was truly truly nervous. What if I ruined our new stainless steel pans? What if the chicken was undercooked or overcooked and rubbery? What if I caught a dish towel on fire? Thankfully, Oliver made his instructions super easy (bordering on idiot proof) and I succeeded in cooking dinner for myself! Hello dawn of a new era. What follows is a transcription of his chicken scratch recipe:
1. Heat saucier over med/high heat for 5 minutes - until drops of water from your hand roll and bead on the pan.
2. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
3. Add 2 chicken breasts and leave untouched until browned and released from he pan. Then flip, repeat and remove to plate. Do the same for the next 2 breasts.
4. In the pan, with the remaining brown bits, add a small amount of chicken broth. Scrape with wooden spoon.
5. Add mole sauce from jar and a bit more broth.
6. Whisk until mostly combined.
7. Add more broth and whisk.
8. Add back chicken, cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
9. Remove chicken and shred with fork.
10. If shredded meat is pink then add back to saucier and cook a little longer (mine was).
I wrapped my chicken mole in a flour tortilla and drizzled it with a small amount of sour cream. If Oliver was here we'd have a side dish or green or bean or something. But that felt too ambitious for my first meal. Perhaps tomorrow I'll make a cabbage and jalapeno slaw...
Oliver, Topher and myself hope you will continue to check in with us as we bring our heart healthy lifestyle into the new year. We have big plans for 2012 and we look forward to sharing them all with you. I'm curious, what heart healthy plans do you guys have for the new year?
CHEERS! And happy new year too! - Cullen