I’m pouting right now. I mean, I am really pouting.
I had a pretty rough day. When I stepped into the kitchen to start cooking dinner, I took a deep breath and thought: You’re going to cook an awesome meal, and it’s going to make you forget about all of the stupid parts of today. But no, dinner tonight simply became another stupid part of today.
Since potatoes haven’t really been my forté lately, I wanted to make another attempt. Because, you know, I’m not smart enough to throw in the towel yet. I read a Cooking Light recipe for potatoes that are cubed, then boiled, and then sauteed. Their photo of the end result was of a pile of crisp, polished cubes of potato. Cube, boil, and saute? Pssshh, I can do that! I brought the potatoes to a boil and simmered them, and then I got to work on the chicken.
Though I’ve used my fair share of bread crumbs, I have never cooked with panko. I finally purchased a big bag of it in bulk at the grocery store. Tonight, I mixed it with a “Southwoods” seasoning consisting of cracked pepper, salt, garlic, and dried flakes of a few different peppers. Then I dipped some raw chicken tenders into a beaten egg and coated them with the seasoned panko. It was much cleaner than using regular breadcrumbs. See how nice they looked?
While the chicken tenders baked, I drained the potatoes. The recipe had suggested 20 minutes, with a note that you didn’t want to over boil the potatoes, and I drained mine after about 17 minutes. When I tossed them into a pan with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, I damn near cried when they crumbled at the softest touch of the spoon. I knew then that we’d be having nearly mashed potatoes with dinner. On the bright side, I did (for once) make sure to add enough salt.
I also used up some leftover lettuce for a salad. I shredded a carrot for the first time. It took about a year and I don’t think I did it “correctly,” but I got the job done.
So, after I checked on the chicken tenders a couple of times, they looked done and I took the temperature of each one, which exceeded 180 degrees. I cut into a couple and they were nice and white. The normal drill for chicken. Yes, there is a point to this blabber.
First, here’s a picture of my dinner plate:
And a close-up of my unintended mostly-mashed potatoes:
And finally, the chicken tenders I was certain would be prize-worthy:
The potatoes, though not what I’d wanted, were decent. But the chicken tenders.
Arrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhh, the chicken tenders.
Something wasn’t right with them. Though they weren’t the least bit pink, and though they’d measured at 180+ degrees, their texture was still that of raw chicken. Their taste was that of raw chicken. They were raw chicken tenders disguised as thoroughly-cooked chicken tenders. I wasn’t sure what to do. They were so cooked in appearance that I felt cooking them longer would simply burn the outsides (which had already turned a nice crispy brown). But the bottom line is, neither my fiance nor I trusted them. Neither one of us ate them. As I write this, I am waiting for the vomiting to begin because I’d eaten a few bites as I tried to determine what was wrong with the chicken tenders.
Long story short: I made a reasonably good lettuce-and-carrot salad tonight.