Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What I Made for Dinner: April 17, 2009

Chicken breast fillets with mushrooms and goat cheese, crispy potatoes, steamed artichokes.

This is a Food Network recipe, and it's better than that network deserves to take credit for. I stopped watching Food Network a couple of years ago, after a Next Food Network Star program that just soured me on the whole thing.

The show was a Top Chef-esque competition between cooks, judged by network executives and a rotating cast of celebrity chefs. The winner would get a show on Food Network. Over the course of a few weeks, I got invested. Stupid, I realize. But nevertheless, I liked some of the contestants and wanted others to crash and burn.

So this one contestant, Amy Finley, was just awesome. She was this adorable woman in her mid-thirties with two little kids. She had left a promising career as a chef to take care of her kids. She seemed like a serious person but still nice. Maybe I identified a little too much? Maybe, but her food, above all the contestants', looked like stuff I would want to eat. It looked like she was going to win, but the producers booted her for some lame reason in favor of keeping a guy with a demographic they were looking for.

And then: Scandal! Right before the final cook-off, the guy confessed that he had faked his whole resume and lied about his background, including a false claim that he had seen combat in Iraq as a Marine. So they kicked him off and brought back Amy, who went on to win the whole thing. Of course by this time, I was in love with Amy. She's an underdog! She's scrappy!

But then, Food Network screwed over Amy Finley! Sure they gave her a show: at 7:30 a.m. on Sundays. It was actually pretty good, but they didn't promote it, and they never got behind her as a member of the network. Food Network, you suck!

But before all that bitterness, Amy Finley made this.

I tried it back then and oh my GOD was it good, but way too much work. So instead of trying to stuff chicken breasts, which is damn near impossible, I turned the stuffing into sauce by adding wine. And also instead of sauteeing the potatoes, I made them in the oven, which was much easier.

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