Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For the Man Who Dreams of a World With No Pans

When I met my husband, he was a single man living in a nice house with a dachsund, a kittycat and a pathetic excuse for an equipped kitchen. Oh, he had a beautiful stove. It had a normal oven, and then, a second one built in up top. Dishwasher, the biggest refrigerator on the market, lots of cupboards, gorgeous kitchen. In the cupboards resided 20 coffee mugs, sets of dishes and flatware from Bradlees (the northeastern equivalent of Target, now defunct). He also had one broiler pan, one skillet, one slotted spoon and one spatula. When I asked how anyone could possibly function in such a Spartan kitchen, his response was, "Pans are stupid. Mankind has been to the moon. Why can't we have high quality, fully functional, disposable pans that don't have to be scrubbed? Pans are stupid."

Last weekend, I happened upon this idea for chicken without a pan. My dearly beloved was ecstatic (despite the fact that he doesn't scrub the pans), and he even said that this had an interesting flavor.


4 pieces of foil, approx. 12"x18"
4 servings of chicken, boneless, sliced into 1/2"x3" chunks
about 1/2 lb. carrots, sliced lengthwise
2 ribs celery, split up the middle and cut in quarters lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dillweed
1/2 cup leeks, sliced fairly thin
1 lemon, sliced thin
1/2 cup mushrooms, optional

Mix the olive oil and spices together with the leeks and lemon in a large bowl. Stir in the chicken.
Grease or spray the non-shiny side of each piece of foil. Arrange the carrots, then the celery, then the chicken pieces. Spoon the spice/lemon/leek mixture over each. Top with mushrooms if desired. Fold the foil over the chicken, cuffing the fold twice, then fold the ends twice, tightly. Bake in the oven at 500 degrees for 15 to 16 minutes, or cook on a grill for the same time. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 3 t
o 5 minutes. Serve with white rice. Note that I marked each of the packets with an initial for whose it was; obviously, we girls ate less than my husband, and I don't eat mushrooms (fungus? Me? no). This was nice because each packet could be individualized (and my youngest was enamored of having his own "personal" food); however, I still had to wash the foil before discarding it. Yes, I wash all of my trash. I don't want my can to stink, or attract insects or rodents, or vermin. So, I'll probably stick with those stupid pots that you have to wash, because mankind hasn't found a way to make good quality disposable pots. And, no, I don't even own a barbecue. I can't abide the thought of eating food that's been outside where there are insects, and I hate black lines on my food. Yes, even my kids think I'm nuts.

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