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We had a quiet night at home last night, because I didn't want to deal with the snow and the cold. So I made mustard chicken with a potato chip crust, mashed potatoes, and zucchini with garlic, and it all came out very well. We had a nice bottle of champagne for toasting, and we watched Across the Universe, which was great.

I've been reading reviews of the movie, and it seems like everyone either loved it or hated it. The reviewers who hated it all seemed to dislike the new arrangements of the songs. I thought that most of the new arrangements were excellent and gave the songs new meanings, that the principal actors were also very good singers, and that the action around the songs was mostly perfect. My favorite was probably "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" recast as a song of unfulfilled yearning, second to "I've Just Seen a Face", which went with joyous dancing in a bowling alley.

My accomplishment for today: potato latkes. Which are delicious, but every time I have to use my food processor to grate things, I think about buying a new food processor. My twenty-year-old Sunbeam model still works perfectly well, but the feed tube is a very narrow oval shape that nothing will fit into without major trimming.

Date: 2009-01-01 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
mustard chicken with a potato chip crust.

Sounds fabulous. Recipe?

Date: 2009-01-01 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sure. This is from the February, 1998 issue of Fine Cooking.

Garlic Chicken with a Potato Chip-Basil Crust
by Elizabeth Terry

For the marinade and chicken:
6 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne
3 Tbs. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each)

For the coating:
One 6-oz. bag potato chips, crushed
1 cup well-crushed cracker pieces (about 10 crackers)
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. melted butter

how to make

For the marinade: In a nonreactive bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, mustard, and basil. Rinse the chicken breasts, pat them dry, and add them to the marinade; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.

For the coating: In a large, shallow dish, mix the chips, crackers, basil, and pepper. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumb mixture and toss until well combined.

To coat and cook the chicken: Heat the oven to 450°F and butter a baking sheet or rack. Take a breast from the marinade with one hand--this is now your "wet" hand. Don't wipe off the marinade. Lay the chicken on the crumbs. Scoop and pat the crumbs over the breast using your other hand (your "dry" hand), patting until both sides are thoroughly coated. Put the breast on a buttered baking sheet or rack and repeat with the remaining breasts. Roast the chicken until it's crisp, browned, and cooked through, 25 to 30 min. Check after 15 min. If the chicken is getting too brown, reduce the heat to 400° and add 5 min. to the total cooking time.

Notes: Substituting oil for butter is fine. I use a food processor to crush the potato chips and crackers, and I used stoneground wheat crackers. The chicken took about twice as long to bake as they suggested--possibly because my oven isn't quite as hot as it should be, and possibly because it only has a lower element.

Date: 2009-01-01 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I liked Across the Universe, but I preferred the Bob Dylanesque I'm Not There. I'm looking forward to Julie Taymor's next flick The Tempest, which stars Helen Mirren as Prospera!!

Date: 2009-01-01 11:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooh, I'll have to look for I'm Not There. I noticed The Tempest in IMDB, but I hadn't realized that Helen Mirren will be in it--that sounds fabulous!

Date: 2009-01-02 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm Not There has the amazing performance by Cate Blanchett as one of the pseudo-Bob Dylanesque characters. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for it last year.

Taymor's The Tempest has a terrific cast, including the very underrated David Straihairn, with Alan Cumming, Chris Cooper and Alfred Molina. I think I'm going to have to go to see it as soon as it comes to Pittsburgh.

Date: 2009-01-02 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" bit was my favorite. :)


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