Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chicken DeMarco

 Is it time for stories? I think it's time for stories..... ok here we go...

Once upon a long long time ago, I met two of my favorite people on the planet, Nancy and Roe. I was just the young guy who liked to dance, and they were the weekend party girls. However the first conversation started, we hit it off immediately and became fast friends.
  Roe and I have always been fabulous dance partners, right from the beginning. We were even dubbed "Fred & Ginger" after one fateful New Year's Eve jitterbug that got the entire crowd going. I think the song was one of those "hooked on classics" medleys.  Remember them? Anyway, to this day, Roe and I still call each other Fred & Ginger. I love that.
 Nancy and I always refer to each other as husband and wife. That's because a guy was bothering her one night, kept hitting on her and wouldn't leave her alone. So, in an effort to get rid of him, she told him that I was her husband. He left shortly after that. We HOWLED laughing about that, especially since I was just a boy of 18 and well, lets just say it was clear which team I was playing for. We still laugh about it. Too funny.
As is often then case with friends, we sort of fell out of touch with each other. I guess we were just busy carving out our own paths in life. Phone numbers were lost or became obsolete and before we knew it, years had passed. Of course I thought of them ALL the time, though. I'd think of Roe every single time I'd hear "Hurt So Good" on the radio (or anything by Mellencamp, for that matter). Nancy and I have a lot of specific memories in common too. Well, she is my wife, after all....Anything by Jennifer Holliday, Boy George, (always reminds me of a costume party they had years ago)...oh, and speaking of costume parties...there was the story of how she dressed up as Diana Ross..... always cracks me up!
  Anyway... I'm thrilled to say that we recently reconnected. Thank you Facebook! It was wonderful to get together with them, to meet their beautiful families and laugh all night. We had a lovely dinner at Nancy's gorgeous home. Roe brought some appies, Nancy made a fabulous dinner, and I brought cupcakes for dessert. It was one of those nights that was just fabulous! All we did was laugh and reminisce. It was like we didn't even miss a beat, picking up right where we left off. We clearly need to do that again!! Soon!
  This was the dish that Nancy made. She took an existing recipe, added her own twist and this was the result. Delicious!! I'm so glad she shared it with me and is allowing me to pass it along to all of you! It's as simple as it is elegant.
 So, the next time you decide to cook dinner for friends you haven't seen in 13 years, consider making this! Then you can put on some Diana Ross, grab your dance partner, and have a blast! Many thanx to my lovely gorgeous and talented wife, and also to Ginger Rogers, the best dance partner ever.

1 lb boneless chicken. cut into strips
butter or margarine
garlic powder
salt and pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1 bag baby spinach
2 sliced long hot green peppers
1 jar roasted red peppers (cut into strips)
grated cheese
1 lb penne pasta (or other favorite cut pasta)

In a large skillet, saute chicken with butter or margarine and sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper. When chicken is cooked through, remove from skillet to plate.

Use the same skillet and add olive oil, garlic, sliced long hots, mushrooms, and roasted peppers. Add spinach and saute until it cooks down. Add chicken back into the skillet (along with any juices) just to warm together.

Boil penne pasta according to package directions.
Add all the above with pasta to a large serving bowl and add grated cheese (as much as you like). You can add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Joey's tips:
In any kind of dish where the chicken is cut up and then sauteed, I like to dredge it in flour before sauteing. It adds a little bit of texture to the dish, helps the chicken to brown nicely, and thickens your sauce. It's very simple to add your seasonings right to the flour before you dredge the chicken. Easy!
If you'd like to add a little heat to the dish, simply add some crushed red pepper flakes as you toss everything together. 
Oh, and since I love to add extra cheese, I think it's a great idea to bring a block of cheese to the table and a microplane, and let your guests grate it for themselves.

No comments: