Savory Summer-lovin’ Supper

The main players all lined up...

The main players all lined up…

The dog days of summer are upon us. And I mean tongue lolling out, give-me-a-popsicle-before-I-die kind of heat. (On a side note, Mango Italian Ice is lifesavingly refreshing AND lower calorie than, say, butter crunch ice cream. Which is good, considering that I have a 4 month old and a few extra pounds…but I digress.)

By the time 5 o’clock rolls around at this joint, my grey matter is fried. If I don’t have a plan in place for dinner (read: written down and posted on the fridge), we just might resort to the good old standby of scrambled eggs and toast. Which is where easy and fool proof come into play. Let’s not forget kid-friendly and cost-sensitive. Ready to toss on your chef hat? Let’s get cooking!

Grab your favorite skillet or frying pan, and put it on your burner at medium. Then go to your fridge and grab the butter and some boneless, skinless chicken. While you’re at it, pull out your meat tenderizer and toss 2 tablespoons of butter into that pan.

Don't be shy about the butter...

Don’t be shy about the butter…

Toss the chicken pieces on a cutting board (one you use only for poultry is recommended), and season away. I like Montreal Steak Seasoning, or garlic salt, pepper, and paprika, but whatever floats your boat.

Spicy goodness!

Spicy goodness!

Now for the fun part. Grab your cooking mallet or one of these handy gadgets,

and take out any latent aggression…I won’t tell. (Cue pounding.)

Pound away, baby!

Pound away, baby!

Now add your chicken to the hot skillet with all that melty, wonderful butter.

You have some time. Slice some French bread, set out some watermelon, and drop some corn in a pot of hot water.

The corn is cooking...dinner will be delicious!

The corn is cooking…dinner will be delicious!

After you’ve done all that (or about 5 minutes has gone by), you can turn your oh-so-delicious chicken over to finish cooking.

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Set the table, wash the toddler’s grimy hands, and referee a squabble or two. Check the chicken with an instant read thermometer and make sure it’s 165° or above. To be safe, I usually go for 170°. Depending on your stove and the thickness of your chicken, you may need to put a lid on for a few minutes of cooking time to bring it to the proper temperature. After removing the chicken from the heat, it’s a good idea to let it “rest” for 5 minutes without poking or prodding. All this does is keep the meat nice and juicy. Besides, it takes that long to round up everyone to the dinner table anyway, right? Now give thanks and dig in!


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