Craving Ellie in My Belly is a group that is cooking from and blogging about The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. Ellie's recipes are healthy and easy, and generally are winners at the dinner table. Last week, I got carried away with modifying the recipe, including leaving out the star ingredient. It worked out well, but I felt a little guilty.
Then, I was taken hostage by aliens.
They liked their chicken breasts thick and juicy. They liked doubling some things, but not others. They were saucy, garlic loving aliens. They said they wouldn't hurt me if I followed their orders. This is what they made me cook:
They told me to start by heating a pan and adding some olive oil, followed by chicken breasts. Then they had me turn the chicken, and cook it on the other side. One of them stuck a probe in and it registered 160 degrees. So far so good.
They gave me a plate for the chicken, then handed me a huge pile of roughly chopped garlic. It must have been 6 or 7 cloves of garlic. I sautéed the garlic, then added a mountain of spinach; it looked like two bags worth. One of them poured a little water in so the spinach would wilt a little faster. I had to put the wilted spinach on another plate.
Then they had me add about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to get the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. More water, and a whole can of diced tomatoes. I protested these recipe modifications, but they got very angry so I thought it was best to go along with what they wanted. They told me to reduce the tomato mixture until about half of the liquid evaporated.
Mysteriously, they opened the microwave and pulled out fully cooked cous cous! Before I knew it, they had plated the chicken and urged me to taste it.
Wow! Those aliens know their stuff! The reduced balsamic vinegar added a sweetness that counteracted the garlic. This was a great plate of chicken. I looked up to ask them a question, but they were gone. Maybe they were off to another kitchen, maybe even yours, to show off another easy, tasty weeknight dinner. If they come to your home, don't be afraid, they won't harm you.
But they also won't help with the dishes.