Vegetarians Are Silly: I <3 Proteins.

THANK GOODNESS> I feel like my food block has been lifted. When I got a stress fracture on my tibia almost a month and a half ago now, I figured so much spare time off my feet and out of the gym would have been optimal for me to put my cooking pants on ALL the time. Wrong. For some reason I’ve had a creativity and recipe block. Nothing seemed to truly excite me. After a nice long, cool, and no-plans weekend spent hanging out the couch with my kitties, somehow it must have loosened my kitchen-block. I spent hours…I mean, hours this morning sorting thru recipes, pictures, and salivating with jealously over what so many other bloggers and chefs have created. I feel my creative juices have been revived and the need to endlessly make everything I can think of has returned! Now…if only I had that new camera! -le sigh-

If you’re any kind of a foodie…check out this girl, she’s  freshman in college and has amazing skill. I wish I had even a fraction of her ability. http://17andbaking.com/ But… I love learning more as I go too, even if it’s from those younger than myself! 🙂 She makes me wish I would have started exploring food at a younger age. Oh well…better late than never right? This Friday was my first :real: trip back to the store in ages. I’ve been working on clearing out my cabinets of food that I’ve been hoarding, trying to get rid of some of the old stuff in the back of my pantry/s (ya I have two)….avoiding expensive store trips. I feel like I’m always trying to save money…and it never seems to work. I’ve been applying for new jobs for months and finally to my avail got an offer that I accepted this week. I start in 2 weeks, so one month from now I’ll have a legitimate real paycheck with an extra digit behind it! The thought of having all of my debt paid off by this time next year is absolutely exhilarating…so I rewarded myself with a full cart grocery shopping experience. New bags of flour, sugar, pasta, mushrooms, peppers, various proteins, cream, ect- oh my!

I usually go to SuperSaver for my meats, but HyVee has fantastic sales once in a while. They had several beautiful fresh chicken arrangements ready and waiting for me to cook with! The cheaper ones have all the fat and excess crap on them…but I always buy those ones because they’re normally half the price of the ones that are already trimmed. Once getting them home and trimmed up I like to sear them to lock in flavor and then add chicken stock and just simmer them for 2-3 hours. This just makes the meat absolutely tender and everything just falls off the bone.  I can’t remember where I read the tip from but it said to use small amount of oil AND butter, it makes for a really nice and even brown sear. So… that’s been my method of choice recently instead of using oil or butter.

I seasoned them simply with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and crushed red pepper. Just about a minute and half or so on each side till its crisp and brown. Then I made up some chicken broth and added about a cup…maybe cup and a half in along with about half cup of cooking Marsala, parsley, and ground mustard. Covered it up and let those juices just soak right in for about 2 hours until the meat is no longer pink. This time around I wanted to try something a little different so about 30 minutes away from being done (little pink left in the middle) I popped the chicken in the oven and let it finish off in there.

I threw in some farfalle along with about a half-cup of water into the stock/Marsala pan. It took about double the time to cook the pasta for whatever reason…but believe me…it was soooooo worth the wait. All those flavors soaked up in the pasta and really didn’t need any kind of sauce at all. Then I took some of those drippings now and added them to another pan with a smide of butter and some half/half, and a skosh of white wine. Let it warm up, reduce a bit, and then added a handful of Italian Blend cheese (my fav… definitely the best combo of cheese that melts amazingly in one bag!) I also added some flour to thicken it up as well. Finally all done, dinner is served!

This dish was super delicious. Great chicken, super pasta, and definitely one of the better sauces I’ve made in some time. The perfect bite was a little of the chicken, sauce, and pasta…and it was the perfect savory goodness on a fork. This one is definitely going down into the books as a ‘have to make again’.  Not only was this good, but it was fun to put together… a great dinner on the fly with just me and my kitchen gear.  I think the presentation of ‘farmhouse style’ (served on the bone…meat not trimmed off) reminds me of several Chef Ramsey’s shows like the “F Word” for instance. He visits many farm communities and it’s all about the food done right and a raw presentation. Food on the bone…soaked and cooked in great flavors adding extra umph to a dish. Yes, please.

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