Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are You Intimidated?

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.

1 comment:

  1. That's funny that you discussed roller coasters and chicken as things that intimidate you, but after watching the video of "The Intimidator" and seeing the chicken in the package, I might agree with both! I love roller coasters...always have, but that video had about nine (yes, 9) times that scared me or that I know would scare me due to the parts when it goes back over a hill then curves back down almost a little too much. I have always disliked this one feeling (that you sometimes get on roller coasters, especially the free-fall roller coaster that goes straight down) and sometimes you might feel on a plane...that feeling where you drop down in altitude quickly and your stomach feels like it might jump up to your not like that feeling and had a dream where I was on a plane once when it did that...scared me tons!

    The other thing that intimidated me once with regard to chicken was buying and preparing a whole spring chicken. Yep...I don't normally do a lot of "touchy feely" with raw me the creeps a little bit, but I was trying to prepare dinner for friends that had just had a baby and so I wanted to go a little "above and beyond". I almost screamed when I saw things inside the chicken and had to get David to help me as I needed him to dig inside and get the "inners" out and then I decided to wash it all out with water. I think it was my first time handling something like this and it just was a bit of me stepping over a threshold I wasn't familiar with. Hopefully next time I won't be so scared, but I might agree with both of your intimidation factors and say "Ditto"!


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