You CAN Teach An Old Handyman New Tricks

My husband is learning to cook. He watches the Food Network and the Take Home Chef and once a week designates a family night and he cooks something special. Last week he made “Elegant Chicken”. It was something he made up and it really was delicious. I was not home while he worked on his creation but he told me all about the process that evening. He wanted to flatten chicken breasts and cover them with cream cheese and chives and roll them up. The first step was to flatten the chicken breasts. Now, he has always been a “tool guy” and the garage and shop are still his domain and since he couldn’t find the meat tenderizing hammer, he improvised. You guessed it – he went to the garage and got a rubber mallet. He did have the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and he swears he washed the hammer.

The next step called for the actual flattening and his first swing was a little more powerful than he needed. He said the chicken just sort of went splat and he realized immediately that he would have to be a little more gentle. He finished flattening the chicken and was ready for the next step.

When he was shopping for the ingredients he found the little containers of softened cream and chives and he thought they looked a little TOO small so he bought two thinking about half a container per chicken breast. He opened the container and scooped about half onto the chicken breast and spread it out. He knew immediately that three quarters of an inch of cream cheese was too much for one quarter inch thick chicken so he revised his recipe and used much less. he then proceeded to roll up the chicken.

He also bought prosciutto to wrap around it and found that thinly sliced prosciutto does not peel apart easily. It stuck together and tore into shreds so in the end he said he just kind of crammed it around the chicken. When I got home he already had it on the broiler pan all wrapped in foil and ready to bake. We had to bake it for over an hour because the pieces ended up very large but it turned out great.

If I had done this it would have been an inedible pile of something you couldn’t get the dog to eat but he pulled it off. We may need to think about writing a cookbook. I would never have even attempted something so labor-intensive. It just goes to show you – if someone thinks they can do something, they probably can – given the right tools.

This post will probably be blocked by many due to the some of the chicken terminology, but I found out today that I’m blocked in china anyway.