Proud, Thankful, and Happy

I find myself very engaged in these first few days of summer vacation.  Now, all of this was planned, but on my first official day off and only day off for several more days, I find myself wishing only to be on vacation.  I’m not ready to work again or work yet, I should say.  So, instead of writing of the work (of choice) to be done, I write of something that calms me no matter what the days bring.  Cooking.  Today, after several days away, where fast food was the first option and necessity, I cooked.  A meal at home for two.  We even got to enjoy our meal outside on our back deck where the sun shaded our table and the breeze blew calmly around us.

In my opinion, any home cook who has recently returned home has some culinary wishes, but many of these wishes are to get back to eating regular.  So, each home cook has some classic meals up his/her sleeve. I am the same way.  I have winter meals and summer meals for just these occasions.  They are the recipes that I grew up cooking with my mom and the recipes that don’t need any recipe card.  They are classics that taste good and always turn out great.  Today, is a recipe that I will share with you just in case you find yourself in just such a situation.

I had a bone-in chicken breast (good for 2 people, but this recipe can be doubled).  I first dried the chicken (dry chicken means brown chicken – thank you Anne Burrell).  Then I coated the chicken lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I put this chicken breast side down on a very hot grill.  Then I placed my cast-iron skilled on top of the chicken and then placed a tin-foiled brick on top of the cast-iron skillet to weigh down the chicken.  This allows more of the breast to touch the grill.  Then I closed the grill lid and let the chicken cook for 25 minutes.  Don’t peak!  It needs to get crispy.  After 25 minutes, with extremely sturdy hot mitts, remove the brick and cast-iron skillet from the chicken.  Flip the chicken over and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 155 degrees.  It is the prettiest chicken.  The breast will be golden-browned and crisp.  I was proud of the excellent grilling, thankful to my mom for showing me this trick, and happy to cooking and eating at home.


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