SO…I’m thinking I should have named this blog “How I Bribe My Kids To Get Them To Eat Well”…catchy, isn’t it? Before I get to the recipe, let me just start by saying we were mighty impressed by the deal that was brokered between the Youngest and the Oldest tonight at dinner, with the end result of dessert earned by all.
But, let me back up. You see, today was a busy day. It started with BACON. Yes, crispy bacon frying up in the pan. This morning. I know what you’re thinking: wait…it’s not even the weekend? Who has time to make bacon on a WEDNESDAY… on a workday??? Well, that, my friends, would be this crazy food blogger…yours truly…who got up an extra 15 minutes early to make some bacon for the Oldest as a special treat. Bacon is by far the Oldest’s favorite breakfast food. Not that he’d only eat it at breakfast. He would eat it noon or night, in the dark and in the light, with a fox, in a box…you get the point. And, it’s the only meat he will happily eat.
On the other hand, the Youngest hates bacon. Knowing this, I made something else that…I assumed…both would happily devour. Parfaits. Yogurt, Cheerios, and sliced berries. The Oldest chowed down his breakfast in less than 60 seconds. No lie. The Youngest gave me a look of disgust, announced that he no longer liked parfaits, gave his parfait to his brother (which the Oldest happily gobbled down, too) and proceeded to grab a cereal bar from the cupboard. Well, one out of two isn’t bad, right? Oh yeah, and the Youngest was also upset because bacon usually means pancakes (well, sure, on the weekend it does) and pancakes are the Youngest’s favorite breakfast food. This is when I threw up my hands and admitted defeat…at least for the morning.
Which brings me back to dinner. Fast forward through a hectic work day, topped off by an even more hectic rush to make it to swimming lessons, followed by a mad dash to get something on the table thereafter.
So, I made this:
Mozzarella Smothered Chicken with Mushroom Gravy
4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package mushrooms, sliced
8 thin slices mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Salt and pepper, to taste
Slice chicken breasts in half width-wise to make 8 thin breasts. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown over medium-high heat. Once breasts are cooked through and browned, transfer to baking dish. Top breasts with sliced mozzarella. Turn on oven to broil setting. Then, prepare gravy by melting butter over medium heat in same pan that chicken was cooked in. Use a fork to scrape the brown bits from the pan to incorporate with the butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Mix the milk with the cornstarch and add to pan. Mix and cook for another few minutes until sauce thickens and bubbles. Pour sauce over the top of the mozzarella covered chicken and broil for just a few minutes until cheese and sauce begin to bubble. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.
Ok, so now that you’ve got the recipe, back to the deal that was brokered over dinner. The boys plates consisted of a few bites of chicken, a mashed potato volcano, a handful of sugar snap peas, and a mountain of sliced strawberries. The strawberries were the first victims to leave the scene. Next went the potatoes. Then, the two voracious eaters just stopped and stared. The Oldest loves veggies but DETESTS chicken. The Youngest likes chicken but is not a huge fan of peas. Before either of us parents knew it, the Youngest…bless his clever little heart…had negotiated a peas for chicken swap. In a blur of motion, food was shared, and two plates were empty. Amen.
I guess I should mention that the chicken was delicious. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare it, smoothered in the creamy moz and gravy mix. Comfort food to the max. We paired it with a delicious 2002 Beaujolais. Just another ordinary day in our extraordinary life.