Stuffed Chicken Breast, Green Beans with Pepitas

A certain someone has recently suggested that I might want to actually describe how I cook these dishes (the nerve!), and maybe even post recipes.  This presents a number of issues, not the least of which is the general rule that I don’t use recipes.

I don’t use recipes.

It’s sort of my thing.

Wow that came out really douchey (which it is).

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It’s not at all to say that I’m a genius cook who can come up with anything on the spot; on the contrary, in my mind I have a very limited repertoire and often make bad – if not inedible – dishes.  And not using a recipe isn’t for lack of confidence in other cooks, it’s more so the issue of experimentation.  Meaning, I cook for lots of reasons, but above all it’s the experimental quality of home cookery that draws me back time and again.

Moving on…tonight’s two dishes came from Epicurious.com, my go-to source.  I skimmed the recipes a few hours ago, made a shopping list, and then put it together in the kitchen from memory.  Certainly, this strategy doesn’t work with baking, and sure enough I’m not a great baker.   But I find it’s a proven strategy for meats; once you learn how to site the correct temperature, you can fiddle with the herbs and vegetables surrounding it.  “Site the correct temperature?”  Wow, that doesn’t make any sense, does it?  I’ll try to explain my method in more detail in later posts, and it’s perhaps a subject for a separate day anyway.

In any case, despite my heavy investment in commercial-grade Calphalonpans, I’ve actually never shoved one in the oven.  This feature, being an unusual and major selling point for a nonstick pan, would surely have come up before – but no.  I decided to get over my fear that something dire would happen.  Perhaps the Teflon would sublimate into mustard gas.  Perhaps my face would melt off.  Who knows?  As long as you don’t go over the rated maximum temperature (in the case of Calphalon Contemporary, I think it’s 450 or maybe 500), there’s no problem, basically.  Of course, I’ve yet to clean this particular pan, but I’ll leave that up to the cats.

P.S. Pepitas (aka, pumpkin seeds) are SUPER RIDIC high in fat, yet they are commonly referred to as a healthy food.  This is perhaps for their high iron, protein, polyunsaturated fat, and blah blah other stuff content (which can be lessened when cooked).  Maybe someone could explain this to us.  I feel tricked.

P.P.S. It don’t hurt to have a sharp knife, despite the omnipresent threat of cutting your finger off when cleaning it, when stuffing a chicken breast.  Surprisingly, you don’t really need to worry about “sealing” the chicken flesh with toothpicks or something because it’s 1) already pretty sticky and 2) has a substantial enough mass.  Forgot to mention that.

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