Today I decided to combine two of my favorite things, fresh chicken and cheese (this should explain quite clearly why I was never able to make it as a vegetarian). Chris does most of our grocery shopping these days, and has discovered that the butcher at our local Harris Teeter is better than buying pre-packaged anywhere else barring a good sale.
Thus I have started cooking with chicken that comes wrapped in paper. Is there anything more decadent?
I made a hybrid version of Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Mac and Cheese, which uses the quinoa instead of noodles. But we only had about half a cup, which is less than what is called for in the recipe, so I decided to improvise. I cooked up about the same amount of penne noodles, yielding enough to fill my grandmother's casserole dish. But the fun did not stop there.
Let me pause here a moment and explain something. My husband is a really good cook. He and his mother cook together all the time and have the whole kitchen thing down to a really unfair science. I, having only recently discovered a love for baking, am quite understandably intimidated. I have only cooked for his parents one time and that was in my crockpot. Now it seems that I am incapable of baking when Chris is home without having some disaster or another -- using the wrong skillet or forgetting ingredients -- and inevitably setting off the smoke alarm.
This is what happens when you take a recipe at its word when it says "small sauce pan". Clearly my idea of small and the actual definition of small are not the same.
But in the end I managed to make a really delicious meal. I used the broiler for the first time and am quite proud of the way my frankensteining of the recipe worked out. The quinoa combined with the pasta yeilds a really interesting texture that goes a long way to distract you from how spicy the dish actually is.
Now if you'll excuse me, I still have a veggie pizza and apple scones to put in the oven (that is if I'm allowed near it again today).