Dinner without a plan, day 2, meant digging through the refrigerator to see what could be tossed into a pan and roasted with the random chicken breasts I purchased on Monday. Initially I figured Grandma’s chicken recipe would be the plan of the day. But after further thought I realized, correctly, that Grandma’s chicken really requires chicken on the bone with skin. I forgot that I wasn’t happy with the look of the bony but skinless chicken at Trader Joe’s and had picked up the flabby boneless chicken pieces instead. The flavor that usually oozes out of the skin and bones would be missing and the chicken would be bland and rubbery. Completely unacceptable.
Luckily there were bits and pieces and leftovers hiding in the refrigerator. There were two half containers of olives from the salad bar and one half container of salad bar pickled mushrooms. If those didn’t all add some flavor to these chicken breasts, I don’t know what will. Well, actually I did know, and that was a half a head of garlic minced up and tossed in with lots of kosher salt. Since I also have a large bag of potatoes that I’ve been working through, and that are giving in to their secret impulse to grow eyes, I chopped up a bunch of them too. No sneaky, peeping potatoes in my pantry allowed.
I mixed all of those ingredients in a roasting pan, covered it with foil, and baked at 350 degrees for an hour. After removing the foil I put the pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes to brown the chicken a little, just for the sake of appearances. You know your mother would be proud of you if you worried about appearances.
While I was foraging, those summer squash rounds you see on the side of the plate were discovered at the bottom of the vegetable bin. And it was just in the nick of time because they were developing wrinkles, not a good sign. The potatoes must have been giving them advice that if I didn’t pay any attention to them after a few weeks, to go ahead and give in to their natural impulses. Instead, I saved them from completing the wrinkle process. They were sliced and sautéed stovetop in a frying pan with olive oil and butter. Because butter makes anything better, even wrinkly summer squash in November.