Sunday, October 10, 2010

5 Day Chicken and 20 Minute Beets

OK I have a bit of a foodie confession... I rarely plan a weeknight meal, usually I come home from work then run through the house like a madman on a episode of Chopped looking for my ingredients to make dinner.  This has a couple of disadvantages (1)  I can get into a cooking rut, how many ways can you grill chicken really? and (2) Mr. Man and Miss Lu don't always realize that they are hungry until they are starving... then the melt downs begin about the time that I start cooking.  I made an attempt to work on the planning this week so like a good little menu planner I got up at 3:15 on Monday morning and along with the other stuff that I do I pulled 2 pieces of chicken out of the freezer and put them in a buttermilk marinade to soak (a Martha Stewart recipe by the way).  I know better but I thought to myself, "The chicken will thaw by dinner time right?  I mean it is 15 hours away..."

Wrong! when I came home that night they seemed even more frozen, not only were the chicken breasts as hard as two chunks of wood, there was a layer of buttermilk frozen to them, OK so Monday night we ordered Pizza.  That was fine we could have the chicken on Tuesday the longer soak will help and since the chicken will actually thaw the flavors will work better.  Then on my way home from work on Tuesday I get the call... the school book fair is tonight, Miss Lu has a book that she needs and is panicking that someone will get it before her.

Her school (marketing geniuses that they are) lets each class tour the book fair during the day then sends them home to bring the parents back, only after threatening that if the book they want sells out the children may have to wait as long as 3-4 DAYS to order it in!  Obviously this works. I am instructed to leave the car running when I get home so we can make an immediate break for the school.  We race to the school and then spend about 45 minutes looking around.  Really, Kris and I are so happy that the kiddos like books we can't put a damper on that.  OK so Tuesday Night we picked up Steak and Shake.

Wednesday I promised to leave work on time so that I could pick up the kiddos from day care and take them to the park to play before we had Miss Lu's Parent Teacher Student conference.  I left work an hour later than planned so Kris rushed from work to day care to get them before the police arrive.  When I got home I slowed the car in front of our house so every one could jump in then we raced to the park by the school to play before the conference.  After we play in the park we meet Miss Lu's teacher then we go to the book fair again.  On Wednesday night we had leftover pizza from Monday.

It wasn't until I got off work (late again) on Friday that we had the dinner that I planned for Monday evening, actually the kiddos were already fed so it was just Kris and I.  Then, as if I haven't expressed my planning skills enough already I set my chicken on the counter and Kris asked what else we were having...   In 5 days I hadn't even considered a side dish at all.

"Jeez what do we have?"  I dig through the fridge and pull out the golden beets that I was going to pickle this weekend.  Completely embarrassed, I finish making dinner for Kris and I at about 9:30.  I am sure that you are asking how the first weeknight dinner that I have planned turned out in a word, "OK"

The chicken had soaked so long that it tasted more like buttermilk than any of the flavors that I added, it was as tender as can be and moist.  This one is worth trying again but I think just way to long in the marinade.  The beets, were wonderful, but I think that I have said before that anything cooked with heavy cream has got to be anyway here are the recipes:

The Chicken Marinade:
1 Cup of buttermilk
Juice from one Lemon
a couple of sprigs of Thyme
1 tsp of seasoning salt
a little sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper

Drop in the chicken breast and marinade, I am guessing for 1-2 days not 5.  Cook on the grill 4-5 minutes per side.

The beets
Cut 3-4 beets into bite bite sized pieces put in a small saucepan and cover with cool water add a couple of sticks of thyme, bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes pour off about half of the water then add half a TBS butter and heavy cream to cover.

Yes I am aware that it is a sin but I always have heavy cream in the house.

Cook for another 10 minutes and you are all ready.


  1. We have the same propaganda-like Book Fair at D.'s school. Shameless, they are.

    And what's with the chicken that won't thaw? Does it know my runaway chicken?

  2. TKW I think it may be your renegade chicken there was something about this chicken that I just couldn't trust.

  3. I love your do such a great job at depicting all of the joys and struggles of family life! I don't have children, but I still have a hard time cooking meals during the week. We end up eating a lot of leftover soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. This was such a fun way to end my evening. As always, I love visiting your site!