Night Life: Salsa "Baked" Chicken and the Perils of Raw Kale - Night Life

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Salsa "Baked" Chicken and the Perils of Raw Kale

#1 User is offline   Jen & Nate Icon

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:59 PM

Why? Because people like to say, "Salsa."

GourMom is a salsa made from local, organic ingredients in Fairfield, Connecticut. It is labeled as a salas and simmer sauce. I would not have actually thought of using this as a simmer sauce had it not been written on the label

I quartered up a chicken and seared it, skin side down, with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then flipped it over, deglazed with white wine and topped it with jar of salsa and baked it in the oven.

As someone who has interviewed and hired hundreds of cooks and chefs over the years I have something against baked chicken. Firstly, I was taught in culinary school that chicken can only be roasted, not baked. Now I realize that this may just be semantics but this was beaten into me pretty hard. Secondly, it seems to be the surefire mark of someone who doesn't actually know or like cooking to say that their signature dish is baked chicken. I can't even tell you how many times I've asked a job candidate what their favorite dish is, or what would they make for the President if he came over, or what they like to cook the most is and they've responded with, "Baked chicken."

Not only does this exhibit no specificity but it's not even technically accurate. I try to not let this oddity cloud by judgment but if you are being interviewed by me and you mention "baked chicken" you had better have some great answers to the rest of the questions because you're already starting off at a disadvantage.

I accompanied the chicken with an avocado wedge, baked potato, sour cream, and steamed kale with lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I think I've figured out the real difficulty behind people eating truly healthy. According to most nutrient information the key to a healthy diet involves making about 40% of your diet be in the form of kale. The problem with that is that this small amount of kale I made for dinner took up about 25% of my fridge. That's just enough for a side dish in one meal. If I had to compliment this with all sorts of other greens, beans, and legumes, I may be forced to rent a second apartment for all of my other belongings and maintain this apartment strictly for kale storage.

Perhaps if you had the luxury of four acres of farmland in your backyard to grow (and more importantly to store) this kale you might be okay. Another option would be if you steam it as you acquire it you can dramatically reduce its volume.

Assuming you had a car with a very large trunk.

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#2 User is offline   David-kyo Icon

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:24 AM

That chicken looks really tasty, I think I'll try making something like this myself. The way I usually prepare chicken though is that I fry the meat in the pan (well, wok) with some onions for a little bit while I boil potatoes and vegetables and when it's done, I peel and cut up the taters, fling the whole ensemble into a, uhhh... baking pan is what it might be called in English? Apply seasoning, put a layer of sour cream on top and proceed to bake the stuff. I wonder if this might work with some salsa sauce instead of sour cream, never tried using it and I'm not sure if the result would be satisfactory (especially with potatoes involved, and as you said, one would not think of using it as simmer sauce).

Dunno about the kale though, I never seemed to have this problem, mainly because I don't really feel the need to stock up a truckload of the things. Perhaps an alternative might be using Chinese cabbage, have you ever tried that? Takes up less space, it's tasty and doesn't even have to be cooked (shrinked and devitaminized), instead it can be used raw as garnish or you can make a tasty salad out of it with yogurt, lemon juice and a bit of salt & pepper. Not sure how accessible it is in your area, in Hungary it's pretty cheap and easy to come by.

Damn, this topic's making me hungry now.

This post has been edited by David-kyo: 26 February 2010 - 07:27 AM


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