He picked me up at Port Authority and went with me all the way to Brooklyn, my new home. I had moved just one month ago, in January, but was getting back from a quick trip home to visit or maybe do some dance thing. Moving to NY was a big shift from small town Maine and I was thrilled to have him there, even if it was only for a few weeks. I clung to his company during this transition to new life. My new, urban, what-am-I-going-to-do, life.
Once in Brooklyn I did the usual: popped off the train, asked what he might like for dinner and went shopping for supplies. I don't remember him having had any preference of what we should eat, so needless to say, Almond Chicken was my decision. It also happened to be the one 'new' recipe I was kind of good at. I ripped it out of my Martha Stewart magazine to bring with me before the move. Being just out of college, any type of cooking was pretty darn impressive and my mind was set to knock his socks off- either with the outfit I put on after my shower or me cooking in it, whichever affected him first. Typically he could barely contain himself, jumping the gun before any key could unlock a door, but not this time. I guess that should have been a warning.
Quietly he sat while dinner was prepared, enjoyed and cleaned up after. Thankfully, before I started throwing myself at him, he launched into his speech, the speech he had obviously been trying to not get to all evening. Yeah, he dumped me. I'll spare you the details but let me stress- if you're going to break up with a girl, please be kind and do it before you spoil one of her favorite recipes!
Tonight, many years later, I gave it another shot and found it's still a great recipe. A favorite, even. Am I healed? Well, writing this story might prove something, but I'll leave it to the reader to decide.
from Martha Stewart Living magazine with my words in parenthesis
1/4 cup bread crumbs (mixed with coarse salt and pepper if you want)
2 lg eggs
2 tsps water (I forgot this oops)
2 boneless,skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
2 tbls unsalted butter
2 tbls canola oil (definitely use canola... I tried olive oil and it burned too quickly!)
(If your frying pan is not fit for the oven... like if it has a plastic handle or something, make up a baking pan with a bit of oil an butter in it also. You can transfer the chicken to it in order to bake in the oven. This is what I do and will always do. That is, until someone awesome chooses the new pots and pans for me off my future wedding registry...)
Preheat oven to 400. Place breadcrumb mixture in a bowl (plate.) (Place almonds on another plate.) Crack eggs into a bowl (big enough for the chickens!!) and beat lightly. Dip chicken first in egg, scraping off any extra with your hands (duh) then dip in bread crumbs. Dip chicken again in egg and then coat with almonds.
Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until nicely browned, about three minutes, and turn over. Cook one minute more then transfer to oven. bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10 more minutes. (I usually go a bit longer than that.)
Tonight I completed my meal with mashed potatoes, orange cranberry sauce and a watercress, bacon & blue cheese salad. Yum.