So I married a carnivore.
I didn’t realize until we got married just how much meat this man has to consume to not be hungry. My diet is pretty simple and relatively inexpensive, so buying meat is definitely a change to my wallet and fridge space. I figured there are others out there who want to cook meat but just don’t want to eat it. This post is for you. I also figured there are people out there who want a doable recipe for de-freakin-licious chicken. This post is also for you.
Alright, here’s the framework:
Protein: Chicken breasts
Salad: Bag of snap peas, bag of mixed greens
Curry: Two red bell peppers, two large carrots, handful of spinach, half a sweet onion
Starch: Mini potatoes
Grain: Brown rice
Extras: Tandoori spice, black pepper, salt, one lemon
Time: You can’t be rushed. It has to be an enjoyed process, or else the chicken will feel your stress and end up tasting like recycled paper + soybeans.
1. Cook the brown rice. I start with this just because it takes a while. Plus you know that if everything else you’re making fails, you can eat some rice. If you don’t know how to cook brown rice, you can check it out here. It’s a simple process. I use brown rice instead of white rice because the process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value. White rice basically has zero nutrients (eek). You can read more about that here. After this rice cooks, I sprinkle some black pepper and basil leaves on top for flava-flav.
2. Boil the mini potatoes on high heat for about ten minutes. Put a tiny bit of salt in the water. Test one potato to see if it is easy to cut through. If not, keep boiling. If it is, remove all the potatoes from the pot, place them on the cutting board, and cut them into thin slices.
3. Grill all the curry veggies. Grill them on medium heat for fifteen minutes while stirring occasionally.
4. Cut up the lemon into thin slices and leave to the side until step 11.
5. Get a pan hot with some oil, pepper, and salt. Once you feel like the pan is hot enough, throw the potato slices onto it. You’ll definitely hear that beautiful siZzZle. Let those cook for about five to eight minutes on high heat (open a window or get your vent going because pepper makes the room smoky fast) before you flip the slices around to cook on the other side. After both sides are pretty browned, lower it to low heat and just let it keep cooking.
6. Take the grilled veggies and throw them into the blender with a pinch of pepper/tandoori powder.
7. Soak the chicken in a bowl of room temperature water. This ensures the whole piece of chicken is the same temperature so that when you start baking/pan searing it, it cooks evenly. I do this for about twenty minutes if the chicken isn’t frozen. If the chicken is frozen, it’s a lot more complicated with health concerns/bacteria, so I don’t even go there.
8. Wash the mixed greens and cut the snap peas in the middle but on a diagonal. Throw the snap peas on a medium-heat pan for ten minutes and stir occasionally. This will get them crispy. You can go ahead and put the mixed greens in a bowl while the snap peas are cooking.
9. Put the room temperature chicken on your cutting board and start pounding it with a mallet to get it flat and even. Get a hot pan going on the stove with a few drops of oil in it.
10. Cover the chicken breasts in your spices of choice and then place them into the hot pan for a minute on each side so that the outsides are crispy and the juices stay inside.
11. Place the crisped, spiced chicken on the baking pan with the fresh lemon slices on top.
12. Bake the chicken for fifteen minutes at high heat. I baked at 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). I checked the chicken intermittently to make sure it wasn’t overcooking. You want the chicken to be white and not pink, my dear vegetarians, but it is so easy to dry the chicken out, so it doesn’t hurt to check a couple of times until it’s white through and through.
13. While the chicken is cooking, place the cooked snap peas on top of the mixed greens. Keep that pan hot because now you’ll put the curry from the blender into the pan for two minutes.
14. Take the chicken breasts out of the oven and cut them into halves diagonally. Move the curry into a dish so that it doesn’t overcook.
15. Put your crisped potatoes in a dish, and you should have your mixed green/snap pea salad in a bowl, your brown rice in a pot, your hot curry in a dish, and your chicken on a cutting board, all complete! You can either serve all of it on the table, or my favorite is to make plates in the kitchen and serve them to our guests at the table.
He gave it a 10/10 folks, so there is hope for us vegetarian meat cookers after all!!! This recipe gave us enough for dinner for two, plus lunch for him the next day, but everyone is different, so I’m not really into giving portion sizes. Let me know how it goes for you!