If I ever run into Old Man Winter I am gonna take a running start and kick him with all my might right in his frigid little snowballs. After yet another day of soul freezing cold I’ve reached my limit. But I refuse to just sit here, shivering, and take it. So as of March 17th in the Phatman’s house it’s now officially summer. Does anybody got a problem with that?
I am putting some damn shorts on, putting some beer on ice, and cranking up the Bob Marley to 11. If anyone you know hates Bob Marley cut them out of your life right now cause that person also hates love, dancing, joy and hugs. All that is bound to lift my spirits for sure but throwing together a summery meal is now my main focus. Well, almost. Gotta suck back a frosty beverage first. SHAZANGO! That helps a bit but a quick glance outside tells me this still looks a lot like winter.
I command my daughter to get me another cold one and CRAMO! I know it’s still winter but I care a little less. On a side note is there a prouder moment in a father’s life than when his kid is big enough to do the beer runs to the fridge for you? Now that’s living. This is a nice start to summer I must admit. Alright now what can I cook that’s gonna make me feel like I’m sitting out on my new, sexy deck enjoying dinner in the sun? I feel like I’m craving fruits and salad so bad so I decide to marinate some chicken in a little homemade teriyaki style concoction and I’ll serve that on a sweet salad with an Asian type dressing to balance everything out.
As I’m getting started on the marinade my youngest is upset that she didn’t get to bring me a beer. I love my kids and like to make sure I don’t damage their self esteem so I allow for her to bring me another one. FANDANGO! Now we’re getting a groove on! The snow outside is starting to look more and more like white sand. I get a vision of tossing Frosty the Snowman into my blender and making margaritas out of him so obviously I still have some anger. Ok back to the food. I mix about 1 cup of pineapple juice with 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a finely minced clove of garlic, half a finely diced red onion and a few chopped up scallions. I throw in 2 chicken breasts, cover it and toss it in the fridge. This should turn out sweet with some nice salty kick to it and carmelize nicely when it cooks thanks to the sugar.
I think this dish is gonna need a bit of a more ballsy take charge kind of dressing so it’s time bust out the big guns: sesame oil. Keep in mind when working with this stuff that it’s quite potent so make sure to only use a small amount. Here’s what I threw together: 3 tablespoons of peanut oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper and whisk with the type of boundless joy that only the start of summer can bring, ALWAYS counterclockwise!
After the chicken’s been in the fridge for an hour I take a peek in and flip my breasts. Ya that’s right. It’s a little trick I learned in college when I was exploring myself. I’m getting excited for this meal when suddenly I see my cat looking at me longingly. Then I realize he’s sad that I didn’t get him to bring me a beer. Ok little dude, you’re up. Beer time. SLAMBO! I am all up in summer’s business now baby! Alright now the chicken’s been soaking up flavor for about 2 hours it is ready for some cooking! I preheat my oven to 350 whilst heating a pan on medium heat with a few gloops of olive oil. I toss in the chicken and cook it for 3 minutes on each side. From there I pop it in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. After 12 minutes take a look at it to make sure it’s cooked through. No messing around when it comes to chicken.
Whilst that is finishing off in the oven I plate some mixed greens and throw in some clementine wedges to summerify this bad boy up. A quick poke and a prod of the chicken tells me we’re all set so I let it sit for 5 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. A sneak a little taste for quality assurance purposes and this is some good shit. Who doesn’t like pineapple with chicken anyway? Crazy people, that’s who. So let’s slice the chicken on a bias and get that on the salad. Top it all with some dressing and finish it with some crispy chow mein noodles and it’s time to stuff face. Gotta say I’m proud of myself on this one. There is a nice balance of texture with some salty and smoky tastes cutting through the sweet flavors. Very summer time plate that looks pretty and lifts my spirits a bit. The kids didn’t talk, didn’t argue and didn’t goof around. They just ate. That’s nice once in a while.
I’m sobering up now and I can see it is indeed still winter out there. Hold onto this while you can Old Man Winter. Soon you will die a slow melty death. I will dance on your watery grave. And know that as you dissolve into the lakes I will swim in you. Then I will pee. It is decided.