*Guest post by chicago foodie girl contributor, Diana
No really, it does. I'll get to that in a minute.
I love to cook, I really do, but time is not always on my side these days. I have a job that eats up A LOT of my time, but I'm one of those weirdos that loves their job, so I don't mind...well, most of the time. My day often does not end at 5pm, and I'm okay with that, but my crazy work habits on top of other things (boyfriend, family, friends, gym, etc) often have me avoiding the kitchen and reaching for easy stuff or even take out, which is okay, but come on. I like to cook, and should I know better.
I recently moved out on my own after living in my parents two flat for 37 years (I'll help you with the math - I'm 41. At age 18 I began sharing the upstairs apartment with my sister.) and thought, "Wow! I'm going to cook EVERY DAY!" Yeah, not so much. Coming home at 7 or 8pm takes the mojo out of wanting to cook anything in general, plus I live alone, so cooking for one can be difficult. One reason is that I'm hispanic, and I was raised by a lovely little Puerto Rican woman who believed that if you didn't cook for an army, it wasn't dinner, so you can kind of guess what happens when I am inspired to cook.
But she taught me how to appreciate leftovers, even showing me how to get creative with them! Although three days of turkey tacos leaves me hoping she buys a smaller thanksgiving turkey next year. Ha ha!
Before I go on, I have to admit that for being a carnivore, I hate handling raw meat, which sometimes contributes to my cooking reluctance. I don't like to touch or cut into it if I don't have to. If I can get it right into the pan, score! And if the skin is gone, even better!! I don't know what my problem is, because if you cook it up and serve it to me, and I'll eat it. With pleasure. Just don't make me handle it when it's in a raw state. Especially chicken.
Weird, I know, especially coming from a person who as a child already knew how to cut up a raw chicken ("Diana, cut the bones at the joint!") into eight pieces, cook it into a jerky state (hey, I was learning) and then watch with gleaming pride as my family choked it down, asking "can someone refill the water glasses?" Oops!
Fast forward to today. I was at the store the other day, and there was a special on Purdue's Perfect Portions chicken, buy one get one free! What's cool about this product is that is individually portioned AND marinated! I bought the garlic and white wine flavor, and my freebie was the jerk seasoning flavor.
So I think Mr. Purdue knew of my love of chicken but my all of a sudden squeamishness, and therefore created the Perfect Portions line (ok, maybe not, but thank you thank you thank you!!). The bag contains five pieces, already marinated. They're easy to open, and you pop 'em right into the pan. Easy peasy. And I don't get grossed out in the process.
I KNOW. I KNOW! WTF is wrong with me???
Last night, I decided to try the garlic and wine flavor, so I invited Tom over for dinner and made a fabulous spread that included the PP chicken, saffron rice (that totally lacked flavor although I cooked it in chicken stock - but we sassed it up with some truffle salt and a tiny drizzle of fruity olive oil and it was a lot better), green beans that you cook right in the bag in the microwave (Tom added a little salt and butter at the end) and a salad that I quickly threw together that consisted of arugula, baby romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, chopped walnuts and cranberries (I'm all about cranberries in my salad these days). I put the entire spread together and had dinner on the table in 35 minutes. Woot!
Everything was healthy (for the most part) and delicious! We even had enough leftovers to pack lunches for Tom and myself, which I just enjoyed as I typed up this post. I loved the fact that the chicken had just the right amount of marinade and came out tasting just right. I didn't have to add any seasoning or feel like it may have been over seasoned. Score!!
I definitely plan on buying more of the PP line. I can still cook chicken and not freak out in the process.
Please, humor me. :)
My mother's ears are probably ringing right now for not buying the whole chicken ("Diana, it's cheaper!"), cutting it up (eeek!), removing the skin (double eeek!), making my own marinade and cooking it.
Sorry Mom! :)