It’s pretty clear that chicken is one of Louisa’s favorite proteins, if not the only one left. She doesn’t like baby animal meat, therefore veal and lamb are off the menu. She doesn’t like pork, although I’m guessing that has something to do with the fact that I often cook pork with fennel which is on her list of dislikes. Which leads us to sausage, another protein that’s fallen by the wayside. Meatloaf, meh, you can keep it off her plate. Steak, yeah, that’s still okay, but not an everyday option, at least in my book. As the protein choices are becoming fewer, we’re left with the ubiquitous chicken. Boring, old chicken. Cluck, cluck, flabby pieces of white meat. It puts my appetite to sleep. But, once in a while I need to cook something that my daughter will eat. What to do?
While it doesn’t happen often lately, I was hit by the soft, gentle whisper of dinner inspiration when trying to plan a chicken dinner for this week. The little voice in my head said to take tacos, a family favorite, and mix them with another family favorite, hot wings. It was an easy enough experiment, and what did I have to lose? Face the criticism of another rejected meal? Hey, I’m a pro at that. And while there was little to lose, it required little time to put together this dinner. Heh, heh. I’m starting out as a winner. Winner, winner chicken dinner. Where does that expression come from, anyway? One of the more common explanations goes back to the 1970s and some kind of Las Vegas casino promo. I think it has more to do with a home cook preparing a successful family meal.
If this recipe took more than 30 minutes to whip this up, I’d be surprised. First, I prepared this tried and true Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce. Next, I quickly sautéed a pound of thin chicken breasts, sprinkled with salt and pepper, in a tablespoon of olive oil. When the chicken was done, I sliced it into small pieces, put them in a bowl, and poured the sauce over. Finally, I prepared a platter of chopped iceberg lettuce, chopped cherry tomatoes, two chopped avocados and chopped blue cheese. This was buffalo chicken, after all. But there was also some shredded cheddar for the less inspired diners at my table who preferred a more traditional cheese on their tacos. This was all served with warm tortillas and sour cream.
I really wish those inspirational whispers would come along more often.