Have you ever had a dish that just makes you smile? This dish does that for me. Gran Fran made this for me and Joe a few weeks back and it reminded me of weeknight meals from my childhood.
My parents were (and still are ) the King and Queen of the multi-task. Both Gran Fran and Joe worked at the same office. They took shifts getting the younger kids (mostly me) to school. Gran Fran would head into the City early (around 7am, I think) and Joe would go in after he dropped me at school (around 8:30am). The afternoon shift would mostly fall to my older brother and sisters, and we did live in a town where we could just go out and play, ride bikes or walk down to the store without too much trouble.
Gran Fran would arrive home around 5pm, in time to get dinner on the table. She did, however, instruct us post-school over the phone on how to prep the dinner and get anything in the oven that we could handle before she got there. This was before cell phones and e-mail, so Gran Fran called us at about 3:30 to get us started.
The only issue was that she was convinced everyone around her could hear everything she said. She spoke at barely above a whisper, which sometimes led us to some odd conclusions on ingredient measurements and cooking temperatures. The best part about her behavior was that for a good number of years, she was in an office with her door closed whilst having these illicit conversations with her children.
Gran Fran and Joe managed to raise another generation of multi-tasking adults in my brother, myself and my sisters. It is both a blessing and a curse. A Claro can get done in half a day what it takes a normal person a full day and half to do. I often get comments when I arrive at work (around 8am) after I've recounted the amount I've accomplished between the hours of 5:45 and 8am. It seems normal to me to finish two loads of laundry, put away the dishes, make breakfast and lunch for myself and my daughter, get the dinner ingredients organized, shower and get out the door. I guess it's a bit much.
The chicken picatta featured above makes for a nice easy weeknight meal. Not much fuss, lots of flavor and not too many dishes after cooking. It's the perfect end to an otherwise crazy day.
- 1 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced chicken breast
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I use Rice Flour)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper tp taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic quartered
- 1 1/2 cups marsala
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
1. Salt and pepper chicken cutlets; dredge in flour.
2. Pour oil intoheated skillet 3. Saute cutlets on both sides until golden and just about cooked through.
4. Remove cutlets from pan; add mushrooms and saute until golden.
5. Add garlic and marsala; reduce slightly over high heat.
6. Return chicken to pan,stir; cover simmer until the marsala forms a nice gravy.
7. Serve sprinkled with parsley