Thursday, October 22, 2009

Accidently Atkins(ish)

Made dinner for 1 tonight, as Darling Husband was to get back late and I wasn't up to waiting until midnight to eat.

(Actually, I also made him dinner and made a separate dinner for tomorrow to be just warmed up, but just go with it.)

I decided to let convenience play a role and bought pre-marinated chicken breasts from Wegman's. They claimed to be brown sugar barbecue flavored, but certainly not with barbecue sauce. While I wouldn't have recognized it as such, it did taste very good. I seared it in a pan with a little olive oil over fairly low heat, allowing it to cook and do its thing without rushing it.

This is a new technique for me. Anyone who has gotten food poisoning can understand being a bit gunshy about chicken, and I'm no exception. My mother tends to cook chicken twice just to be sure she's really killing everything. Unfortunately, this can lead to dry, stringy chicken sometimes. And, really, that's not much more fun to eat than the poisoned kind.

This chicken, however, cooked slowly and gently, developed a nicely brown crust but retained all of its moisture. It was phenomenally lean, as well, which was fantastic. I'm a bit fanatical about chicken fat and gristle and I didn't have to reject one mouth full of this.

As an accompaniment, I cut up a Florida avocado. These are the larger, bright green avocados. Most people are familiar with the Haas (which are actually patented and, therefore, grown by grafts to prevent genetic mutation/alteration), but the Florida has a fresher, less intense taste. I would even say there's a watery component, but in a good way. It is less creamy but has a "green" or grassy taste, in a way. I like them. Wouldn't make a good guacamole, as it doesn't have the richness or mouthfeel, but is great sliced.

It also holds up better to bruising. Mine flew across my SUV as I narrowly avoided an accident with a semi truck, hitting my dash and windshield at 40 mph. I thought it would be all bruised to hell and unusable, but remarkably the slightly soft spot didn't turn the whole thing to unusable mush. Not bad!

Avocados, for anyone who is interested, never ripen on the tree. They only mature, but must be picked to ripen. Thus growers can literally store the fruit on the tree for about 7 months. What this does for the tree in a biological/botanical/evolutionary sense, I don't know. It does make it darned convenient, though. Oh, and also? "Avocado" is a European bastardization of the Aztec word for the same fruit. The Spanish thought it sounded much like their word for "lawyer," but the Aztecs word meant "testicle."


  1. Some things you just can't get out of your head. I will probably never be able to look at an avocado again without thinking of the Aztec meaning.

  2. I am trying once again to leave a note on your blog. This is not going to be insightful, just learning again. Did not know quite the difference between Haas and Florida avocados. Thanks for the lesson on this.