Valentine’s Day Chicken
Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?
For Valentine’s Day, my girlfriend of 2.5 years came up from her hometown of Burbank (Los Angeles). I love to cook, so when I heard this assignment was for a Valentine’s Day dinner, I nearly spontaneously combusted with delight. Not only would I cook delicious things, I would get to eat them! I only had a few hours before she arrived, so I went to the local co-op to pick the freshest ingredients. Our co-op is fantastic: the freshest ingredients, mostly reasonable prices, and plenty of hippies to cater to one’s every whim.
The recipe that I used was for a very simple herb chicken and blue cheese au gratin potatoes. I like it because it’s relatively good for you (anything that cooks in its own juices has to be a little bad), and it’s crazy easy to make. This is, apparently, a recipe from a cookbook where each of the top 50 chefs living today describes their perfect meal. It really couldn’t get any better.
The co-op was relatively well stocked, but they didn’t have any fresh chicken. They had some frozen chickens for roasting, but no dice; I decided this needed to be the freshest chicken I could possibly find. I asked around and the nearest place (apparently) was a farm 10 or 12 miles away. Since my road bike was out of commission, that was a no-go. Then I remembered Costco has an excellent selection of organic chicken. After a two- or three-mile bike ride, I had the chicken in a backpack and ready to go. Once home, it was a simple matter of removing the gooey bits, seasoning, and roasting for pure chicken delight.
My girlfriend loved it since women are genetically programmed to love a man who can cook well, and I ended up cooking the other chicken for my roommates. Since all the ingredients were fresh (literally one step removed from the farm), it tasted far more delicious than being lazy and going to the chain grocery store. I understand for many people it’s not laziness but cost. Yet I found everything I bought very reasonable for the tremendously fresh taste.
My girlfriend and I had previously agreed that a $75-a-plate Valentine’s Day dinner was shallow and unnecessary, so all of this was perfect.
Read Michael’s previous post, Shower Time at College.