Gary is the indisputable, undefeated head chef in our home, for three reasons: (1) I hate to cook; (2) he is a better cook than me…hey, I am secure enough to admit that; and (3) nobody in the house, including the cats, likes anything that I cook besides me anyway.
This past weekend, though, I had an overwhelming craving for a Mediterranean style chicken recipe from one of my dusty, rarely-touched cookbooks. I made the aforementioned recipe for Gary once. ONCE. When I presented his plate to him, he reeled back like I had just served him steaming radioactive waste, groping wildly for a life-saving gas mask, and his eyes widened and his jaw tightened as he drew in his breath for a gut-wrenching, horrified shriek…maybe I exaggerate a little bit, but honestly, not much.
Needless to say, Gary has never asked me to make that particular dish again. Ever again.
Despite its apparent hideous and repellent qualities, I still have a lingering fondness for that chicken. If you have never tried it, allow me to impart some culinary wisdom: it is even better as leftovers, because the Italian spices in the stewed tomatoes have time to sink into the chicken and really flavor it. Now, to some people, like Gary, it is a ghastly and retch-inducing flavor, but some of us rather like it.
I cracked out some chicken and fired up the stove, and soon I had chicken covered in tomatoes simmering in the pan. Gary bravely peered into the pan, since apparently god only knows what will peek back at you when I am in charge of the stove. He instantly made a face like someone farted, recoiled, appeared to be on the verge of dry heaving, and choked out, “It looks like someone threw up in there.”
I rolled my eyes and continued on with my expert cooking skills, i.e., making sure the entire stove did not erupt in flames and the local fire department did not become impromptu dinner guests.
Wolverine wandered into the kitchen, steadied himself after nearly collapsing in shock at the sight of me cooking, then glanced into the frying pan to see what I was making. Right on cue, like he and his father were a tag-team comedy routine, he commented, “Did someone take a crap in there?”
Har-har. My cooking skills and choice of food are not appreciated in our home, likely because the results did not closely enough resemble chicken nuggets or french fries. But if you are the adventurous type, here is a gift from my kitchen to yours: the Mediterranean Skillet Chicken recipe. (I skip the black olives though. Don’t they look like little black roaches sprinkled on your food? Just saying.)