Let’s play a game, shall we? You’re trying to cook a decent meal but you’re running out of time, have weird ingredients and there is chaos all around you. Where are you?
a) the Food Network Star Kitchen
b) prepping a meal during a PCS
c) an average week night dinner
Okay, maybe you have only experienced “b” and “c,” but I can assure you that “a” isn’t that different.
I am Amy Pottinger, and I am a two-time Food Network Star finalist and Comeback Kitchen winner. But my day-to-day life looks a whole lot like an over-extended military spouse who is a mom, a shuttle service, a house cleaner, a live-in chef, a personal companion, conqueror of laundry (just kidding, laundry wins), a secretary, fixer of ouchies, business owner and general ruler of chaos. At any given time I am being pulled in 15 different directions and feel like my life is never put together. Despite my polished exterior, my clean house, and my standard issue two kids and two dogs; life gets the better of me sometimes.
One place that I do find sanctuary however, is in the kitchen. I love to cook. Hey, maybe I should go on tv with my kitchen skills? Oh wait, I did. Everyone always wants to know what it is like. Is the time real? Is it stressful? Is it scripted? I can assure you that the time is very real and that it is wildly stressful. No, it isn’t scripted, but let’s just say that lots of footage can give editing some wiggle room (Wink. Wink).
All in all, competing on the Food Network really does have many overlapping similarities to military life. First, it can’t exactly be explained to someone that hasn’t lived it. I don’t know how many times I have tried to explain to friends and family that we just don’t know when or where we are moving to. Also, sometimes you just have to work with what you get.
On Food Network Star, it was all the wacky challenges and ingredients. With military life, sometimes an assignment changes, a TDY or deployment pops up unexpectedly or lord knows what else comes into play. And you just have to put on your big girl/boy pants and get it done. Make some darn lemonade out of those lemons. But instead of a lemonade recipe for you, I have a wildly delicious, very simple and budget-friendly week night meal. I’ve even served it to Bobby and Giada.
Now you, too, can cook a Food Network Star meal to your loved ones.
8 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup stone ground or smooth Dijon mustard
2 tbsp chicken stock
5-6 garlic cloves
3 sprigs rosemary, bruised
1 tbsp olive oil (for cooking)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the excess skin off of the chicken. You want to leave a layer on top; it has great flavor and texture. But any extra dangly bits probably aren’t necessary. Salt and pepper to taste (both sides) and set aside.
2. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the honey, the mustard and chicken stock until smooth and set aside.
3. In a large pan or skillet, put a tbsp of olive oil and allow it to heat up. Add your winced garlic. Place the chicken, skin side down into the cast iron skillet and sere until it begins to brown. (Roughly 4 min) Flip and repeat the process.
4. Turn the chicken thighs so that they are skin side up again.
5. With a flat knife, bruise your rosemary (in video) and add it to the pan.
6. Pour the honey mustard sauce over the chicken and the rosemary.
7. Put your chicken into the oven for roughly 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the internal temperature reaches 165.
8. Remove the chicken and spoon in some of the sauce as well.
To keep up with Amy’s recipes and exciting daily adventures, visit her website at Caviar and Crayons.Read comments