What intimidates you? This is something that intimidates me.
Meet The Intimidator. This is Carowinds’s newest ride. It opened just last year and people… it was aptly named. I am not scared of roller coasters. I’ll do them all over and over. But even though I rode this ride last year… it’s still completely… well… intimidating. Yesterday we had our weekly Carowinds trip to meet some friends and their kids, and I decided it was time to get back on this ride.
They say this is the tallest, longest, fastest roller coaster in the southeast, and I believe it. This is the only roller coaster that truly makes my heart race. As we were climbing the first big hill, there was a guy behind me who was giggling at the fact that I was holding on for dear life.
“Hey, look over there,” he said, and pointed off to our left, where you could clearly see the skyline of uptown Charlotte.
“Are you crazy?!!?” I asked. “I can’t look out there!”
He laughed. “I work at the front gate,” he said. “And every day when I get off work, I have to ride this ride. It’s the best.”
And then we took the plunge. And there were about thirty seconds of sheer terror, exhilaration, and screams.
As we rounded the corner at the end, he said, “Never gets old.”
I think he’s probably right.
Here’s a video if you want to get a feel for The Intimidator.
This video is good… but it really doesn’t do it justice.
So, what intimidates you?
Something that has always intimidated me is meat with bones in it. I don’t know why… but it always has. I only ever bought chicken when it was boneless and skinless. I wasn’t really sure what to do with non-boneless chicken.
Last year, I saw this episode of “Ten Dollar Dinners” with Melissa d’Arabian on The Food Network. She was making using split chicken breasts and showed how easy they were to prepare. So I tried it, and just like that… I mastered bone-in chicken. Here’s what I do.
If you have never bought split chicken breasts, you’re in for a great surprise. They’re sooooo inexpensive! I have noticed that a pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts can cost $8.00 to even $10.00 for a package of 3. Well, if you buy split chicken breasts, you get more meat for your money… and the pack of 3 that I bought this week cost me $3.00. Now, that’s a bargain.
Select a skillet that is oven-safe. You can start your chicken on the stove and then finish it up in the oven. I use a Cuisinart Stainless-Steel Skillet. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
First, season both sides of the chicken. I use salt and pepper always. Then feel free to add other seasoning mixes. Coat the skillet with a light mist of cooking spray and then heat until hot on the stove. When the pan is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the skin is golden and crispy. Then, flip the chicken over and cook the other side for another 5-7 minutes.
Place the lid on the skillet and pop it into the oven. Allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. (And a secret… because you seared the meat… you’re probably not going to overcook it. Taking that step at the beginning locks in the juices and the flavor!)
When the chicken is cooked, allow it to cool. And then you can remove the bones and slice it up. The bones will just slide right out, leaving you with lots of meat, and each breast will have enough meat to serve at least 2 people. So for $3.00… you get enough meat for 6 people!
I served ours with a little creamy broccoli-pasta side dish.
Chicken sizzling in the skillet… pre-oven
Dinner is served.
Don’t be intimidated by bone-in chicken. Or roller coasters.
So… what intimidates you? Tell me about it.