Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Salsa "Baked" Chicken and the Perils of Raw Kale

Why? Because people like to say, "Salsa."

GourMom is a salsa made from local, organic ingredients in Fairfield, Connecticut. It is labeled as a salas and simmer sauce. I would not have actually thought of using this as a simmer sauce had it not been written on the label

I quartered up a chicken and seared it, skin side down, with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then flipped it over, deglazed with white wine and topped it with jar of salsa and baked it in the oven.

As someone who has interviewed and hired hundreds of cooks and chefs over the years I have something against baked chicken. Firstly, I was taught in culinary school that chicken can only be roasted, not baked. Now I realize that this may just be semantics but this was beaten into me pretty hard. Secondly, it seems to be the surefire mark of someone who doesn't actually know or like cooking to say that their signature dish is baked chicken. I can't even tell you how many times I've asked a job candidate what their favorite dish is, or what would they make for the President if he came over, or what they like to cook the most is and they've responded with, "Baked chicken."

Not only does this exhibit no specificity but it's not even technically accurate. I try to not let this oddity cloud by judgment but if you are being interviewed by me and you mention "baked chicken" you had better have some great answers to the rest of the questions because you're already starting off at a disadvantage.

I accompanied the chicken with an avocado wedge, baked potato, sour cream, and steamed kale with lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I think I've figured out the real difficulty behind people eating truly healthy. According to most nutrient information the key to a healthy diet involves making about 40% of your diet be in the form of kale. The problem with that is that this small amount of kale I made for dinner took up about 25% of my fridge. That's just enough for a side dish in one meal. If I had to compliment this with all sorts of other greens, beans, and legumes, I may be forced to rent a second apartment for all of my other belongings and maintain this apartment strictly for kale storage.

Perhaps if you had the luxury of four acres of farmland in your backyard to grow (and more importantly to store) this kale you might be okay. Another option would be if you steam it as you acquire it you can dramatically reduce its volume.

Assuming you had a car with a very large trunk.

1 comment:

Lisa Marie said...

I have never encountered this storage problem with kale, and I eat an awful lot of it. To be fair, my car has a large trunk and half of my fridge is taken up by the three large vegetable crisper drawers.