Thursday, October 7, 2021

Wrap it Up, I'll Take It

Parchment Paper Wrapped Chicken

Upon first glance, you might consider this a bland meal but if you haven't done it in awhile, it's definitely worth trying again. There is something sensual about preparing this stacked dinner all wrapped up like a present, how it bakes in it's own little package.  Tucking all these fresh elements in, rubbing the breast up with simple spices ensures a unique flavor.  And while it cooks, just knowing you have a gift to unwrap and another for the following day is a certain reward. 
While that oven is on, why not make a dinner or lunch for the next days as well.  Separate schedules means not eating together so that whole meal prep routine is definitely a new world necessity and one that I'm just learning to embrace.  I'd imagine many of us are living this way.  Even if it's just for one, dividing portions up into meals from a big, bountiful tray is smart and time-saving.   A full pan of roasted zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions or whatever you like, is great to have on hand to add to rice, noodles, quinoa or Polenta.

I drizzled Garlic Chili sauce over the parchment chicken and rice.  The package stays together, so you get complete bites.  This highlights each fresh vegetable but their flavors have bled onto each other and got all steamy and fragrant.  Herbs are especially helpful here.  After too much processed food, I'm trying to get my cholesterol down and this is a great way not to skimp on deliciousness.

Apparently there was a big fire on my corner that night.  A zillion fire fighters and trucks came out, stopped traffic and put up a ladder to the 3rd floor but in the end, it may have been a false alarm because we didn't see anyone come down.  The person on the floor below was probably losing his shit as I watched him darting to his window several times.  He either knew of the impending problem or was shocked to see it was right above him.  This makes you realize how vulnerable we all are stacked on top of each other, counting on our neighbors not to burn the place down.   I thought about how much this city relies on consistency and things flowing smoothly through all the chaos.  Even though it was only about 20 minutes, for the people on that city bus that got delayed, it probably felt like an eternity, trying to get home, to jobs.  I watched out my bedroom window as each car turned around and found alternate routes, food delivery bikes tried to scuttle through the cracks of the many trucks, onlookers stopped to snap pics and then move on and how this incident affected and disrupted many people's lives in that short time.  For that moment I was so grateful to be safe, far away, across the street with extra chicken waiting for me.

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