Friday, May 16, 2014

The Kitchen Waltz & Thai Chicken Skewers

I used to be one of those people who hated cooking in the kitchen with anybody else. I was that dreaded person who would lose her mind over improperly cut avocados, over-mixed pancake batter, over-cooked chicken, and others getting in my way or invading my space. This possessive kitchen behavior would turn what should have been a pleasant dining experience into the oh-so-sassy "I'm not even hungry anymore." I was a real hoot to cook with, can you tell? 

I remember seeing my parents cook wonderful and far too lavish meals together in the kitchen, gliding between each other, and sharing what little counter space they had with ease as though it was a dance. Had we had a surveillance camera in my kitchen (because everyone has one in their kitchen, right?) I have no doubt that their seamless kitchen waltz would have made quite the performance. A two-step over to the oven. The hustle to get to the sink. The foxtrot to the fridge. I always envied their kitchen dance, so sure that I would never get to tango in my kitchen with a lover, due to my controlling kitchen ways.

It was on a quiet, weeknight evening last winter that I finally got to partake in the kitchen boogie, jive, and jig. It was that night that I knew I had found my kitchen dancing partner in my boyfriend Chris, while undertaking the large job of preparing a slow-cooked, multi-step pulled pork with coleslaw and beans. We swayed, frolic'd, pranced, and twisted our way around Chris' little kitchen, as we carefully prepared what would turn out to be the best pulled pork I've ever had. We haven't stopped our kitchen waltz since! 

Now my concerns in the kitchen are no longer cooperating with others and finding my kitchen dancing buddy, but finding quick and simple meals that Chris and I can prepare together on a whim. We are always talking about interesting food experiences and tastes that we have had, yet when it comes to thinking up meal ideas in a hurry (and sometimes not even in a hurry) we always seem to draw a blank. Just last week we wandered around the grocery store together, wracking our hungry brains for an uncomplicated dinner idea that would utilize the chicken breasts that were on sale that evening. Our struggle to think of a meal idea based around something as simple as chicken made me realize that I need to start arming myself with a repertoire of easy, weeknight meals that require little shopping and can be prepared in a short period of time. Pinterest beware! 

Wanting to build my file of easy, weeknight chicken recipes this week, I came across Williams & Sonoma's recipe for Thai Chicken Satays, which required little preparation, zero grocery shopping (I already had the chicken breasts in the fridge), and took all of 6-8-min to cook! The marinade was a cinch to assemble, merely throwing some of my favourite ingredients (hello ginger, peanut butter, sesame oil, and cilantro!) into a bowl and whisking until combined. What I appreciated about this recipe was that although they suggested marinating the chicken in the fridge for two hours, which I often find unreasonable on a busy weeknight, they also gave the option of marinating outside of the fridge for as little as 10-minutes, perfect for my Tuesday night! I also liked that this recipe is meant to be prepared on the BBQ (oh how I wish I had a BBQ), but they also provided directions for cooking the chicken under the broiler. With my lack of grill, I had to turn to my trusty broiler to cook the chicken, being careful not to overcook. Although the chicken didn't have that wonderful browned appearance that I find so appealing from meats cooked on the grill, it had a big hit of flavour thanks to the marinade and reserved sauce for dipping. The Thai Chicken Skewers were a standout hit, and undoubtably made it into my weeknight meal idea file, as well as a text to Chris declaring "I have found our next delicious and easy chicken recipe!" So Chris, you ready to dance?

On My Mind:
Have you voted for my Butternut Squash Cannelloni recipe for the Great Cream Challenge yet?

Help save our bees and join the March Against Monsanto tomorrow!

Listening To:


Chris said...

Always ready to dance with you, darling :)

Metamorphocity said...

Such a sweet story about your folks in the kitchen! And that chicken sounds delicious. I'm so happy to have met you and by extension, your blog! I love that you've got a great mix of recipes tied in with personal stories.
Also, LOVE that you're worried about the bees too!