Monday, January 21, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken

Recently I have been trying new foods.  I never really noticed it before but I always choose from foods my mother knew how to cook. I rarely try anything else. In an effort to change that I've been trying new things, today it's spaghetti squash.  Fern doesn't really like squash but I do and I'm hoping he was unhappy with past preparations and not so much the taste of squash.

I microwaved the squash for one minute on high before slicing open and removing the seeds.  An article online suggested this so I did it but all it did was make the squash a tiny bit warmer. I don't know if it was easier to clean. I scraped the seeds and membranes out with a spoon then I put the squash face down in a shallow pan of water and put it in the oven at 350º for about 30-45 minutes.

Mashed potatoes shouldn't need explanation.  But just for fun here goes:  Peel them, rinse them, cut them into less than one inch pieces, cover them with cold water in a pot with half a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil then turn down to gentle boil. When a fork pierces them easily, drain them, mash them, add a pad of butter and a little salt.  With a fork stir in an ounce of milk, add more if it's too dry.

Frozen peas:  Put in a glass microwave dish with a little water, not swimming. Microwave on high for 3 or 4 minutes and check for doneness.  Or in a pot bring water and peas to a boil, boil softly for 2 minutes then check for doneness.  Peas, and vegetables in general develop best color just as they are fully cooked.  They quickly lose that color as they overcook. With a little experience I've learned to tell when they are cooked just by color. Other wise use a fork.  Take vegetables off the heat before they are completely done because they continue to cook as they cool and will go mushy quickly.

That leaves just the chicken.  In a plastic bag I put:

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
a few dried sage leaves that didn't add any flavor.  Use more or none.
2 tsp flour

In another bag I flattened the chicken breasts to double in size then shook them in the seasoning bag.  Into a pan with plenty of oil on just over medium heat. If the pan isn't hot the seasoning will stick to the bottom and burn.  Fry till golden in color and the meat is firm, about 4 minutes per side. Raw meat will stay depressed if you poke it.  Cooked meat will bounce back. That is how to tell when the chicken is done. 

I scraped the cooked squash out of the rind and added butter, salt and pepper.  Fern didn't like it, he just doesn't like squash. Everything else was good, especially the chicken. I liked the squash but I could live without it too.

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