This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #HomegateHacks #TeamMary #CollectiveBias
“Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.” !!!
Eyes wide, staring into a mirror, did you ever play that game as a kid? I did, but as a self-professed scaredy-cat (And somewhat embarrassingly so, a person who still sleeps with the blankets over their head from time to time in the name of “protection”…), I was so afraid of this Urban Legend becoming a reality that I often retreated – or in the very least frantically covered my eyes – before I could utter the third “Blood…y…!”.
The fact that Halloween is just around the proverbial corner indeed has me conjuring up certain fright-filled images from my childhood, but it also has me thinking of spirits of different kind. This season after all is just as much about ghosts and goblins as it is leaf-peeping, entertaining, and football tailgating. Or, in this case homegate-ing. And no pigskin party is complete without…(wait for the segue)…a Bloody Mary cocktail!
Today, instead of musing on how awesome this chicken is (It really is though!), I thought I would let you in on how this post came to be. I think that the “creative process” is different for everyone, and for me when it comes to this blog each post that I create is different too. I do have a calendar I follow – per se – but it’s mostly a loose scroll of ideas and dates that I attempt to adhere to, but on occasion life, etc. gets in the way, or certain concepts work out better than others. At times, I know exactly where I am going, and other times a series of small events/thoughts leads to one bigger, delicious thing – as was the case here.
Here we go!
I went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Cafe CaNole, for my local friends!) and ordered the “Chicken Under a Brick”. The dish came out as a pile of cheesy, creamy risotto topped with fresh peas, crispy prosciutto and a highly seasoned boneless chicken breast that still had both the “drumette” and skin attached. I later learn that this cut is called an “airline chicken breast”. The chicken is one of the most tender and juicy cuts of meat I’ve ever had, so I vow to ask my Dad about it. Having been in the restaurant business for 30+ years, and having spent a significant portion of that time placing orders to suppliers and learning about obscure products, I am sure that my father will know about airline chicken and where I can get some – as I am also sure that I have never seen it at a local store.
I go home and proceed to google “airline chicken breast” for the next two hours, looking at various cooking techniques and preparations, and where to order options (Instead of just asking my Dad, as promised to myself!). I do things like this all of the time and would be embarrassed if anyone were to ever look at my search history. It’s random and mostly food-related, for sure.
A couple of weeks later, I end up procuring a case of the airline chicken – with the help of my father, as expected – and test out a couple of seasoning options, but since nothing is really wowing me, I put the idea of using it on the back-burner for a bit.
I am not quite ready for it yet to be honest with you. I want to savor this in-between season a little bit more. I like waking up knowing that I can take my yoga mat outside and stretch out a few sun salutations while the morning air is still crisp, but that the day will inevitably heat up, and that I’ll fall asleep listening to the cicadas buzzing at night. It also makes me ridiculously happy to pull dinner directly from my garden; forever and ever experimenting with an endless supply of tomatoes and zucchini. I would like all of that in spades, please – and less of the rushing into pumpkin everything, with the holiday hype to follow. I love those things too – don’t get me wrong – just in due course, and when they feel right. I guess you could say that I am still in summer, “looking forward to fall” mode.
BUT, the reality is that baristas have been serving up Pumpkin Spice Lattes for over a week now, and with that I figured I may as well offer you this alternative in a “timely” fashion.
I was fresh out of college and working in magazine publishing the first time I ever heard anyone use the phrase “It’s the bee’s knees…”. In a sea of all things “fabulous” (Advertisements, clothing, people, you name it…It was all “fab”), and the usual corporate jargon, it was refreshing to hear an expression that I could only describe as quaint.
As odd as it may sound, if a phrase could feel like home – sweet, small-town-ish, evoking nature, and something that my Grandma might say – it felt like that to me. And I needed a dose of home here and there in the chaos that is New York City. Even now, very far removed from that way of life, I smile every time I hear those words tossed around together.
We’ve had an odd growing season here in the Northeast. Tomatoes taking far too long to turn from green to yellow to red, apples ripe for plucking from tree limbs much earlier than in years past, and seasonal specialties like garlic scapes – traditionally reserved for spring and early summer – thriving without flowering, into September. I am consistently surprised by what I can find – or can’t find, for that matter – at my local markets. Because I came home with a couple of furls of said scapes last week, I used them in this recipe. If you’re unable to locate them, however, regular garlic or even garlic chives work just as well (I listed the proportions for each below).