>Look at my cute instruction sheets.. See the fabulous Chef Potter cartoon that my lovely friend Laura drew? So talented!! (And Potter is the most faithful and patient sous chef I have ever worked with.)
It is due date week for my beautiful friend, so I decided to make something special for Bean’s Daddy-to-be in case he needed meals to take to the hospital. Being a good Mid-western boy, he LOVES Skyline chili. I know that there are a million knock-off recipes, and I also know that most agree none of them really hit the nail on the head.
However, I figured that even if it wasn’t exactly like his beloved Skyline, it would still be a yummy treat. I used this recipe, and followed the suggestion NOT to brown the meat made by someone who made the recipe before. (From what I have read, browning the beef is a total deal-breaker in terms of flavor and texture for this dish!) I was pleasantly surprised at how it came out.. granted, I feel like the cinnamon was too strong, but from what I understand it is the cinnamon and chocolate that separate the flavor of Skyline from other Cincinnati Chili’s.. I made a half recipe, and separated it into 3 single-serve containers, each with some cooked spaghetti in the bottom, and then bagged up some shredded cheddar and diced onions for him to sprinkle on top. (and I saved a bit for me, which I had on a baked potato last night since The Hub had to fly off to Dallas for a quick trip due to his NEW JOB- amen! The potato with the chili, cheese, and onions was delish!)
For their heat-or-freeze selection, I made my take on Chicken Provencal. Most recipes have a tomato product base, and The Hub isn’t a huge tomato fan, so I tend to skip it. I wanted to make something that had tons of veggies already in it, so Mom-to-be didn’t have to mess with adding a salad or anything to up the nutrition factor.
I sauteed three chicken breasts cut in half to get a nice color on all of them and seal in the juices, then I pulled them out of the pan and deglazed with some chicken broth, and added a teaspoon of Herbs de Provence to the pan. I thickened with a bit of trusty cornstarch slurry, and then added the chicken back to poach a bit in the gravy. When the chicken was almost done, I poured the chicken and gravy into a square casserole container filled with broccoli florets, carrot pieces, fresh green beans, celery, and fresh peas. I made a container of garlic/herb mashed potatoes, and the heating instructions are to cover with foil and heat at 325 for 30-40 minutes or until things are hot and the veggies are as tender as she likes.. that way the chicken will be done but still tender and juicy, and then she can pile some potatoes on a plate, and nestle the chicken and veggie mix and gravy down into the potatoes..
For their sweet treat I made some baking mix apple cinnamon muffins (I should have taken a picture to show you why Keri does NOT bake.. sad) and grabbed a pint of vanilla ice cream for them to serve over the warm muffins.