When life hands ya lemons…make lemon chicken…

You’ve had that week, too…You know the one…The week where things are not just not going your way, they are barreling up to you  at 100 miles per hour, coming to a screeching halt and then just kinda going “Poof!”

I’ve just come off of that week and let me tell ya, it can kiss my little Italian ass.

So on the  heels of this lovely week, I decide to do what I love to do. Cook. Yep, some girls eat chocolate ( a great idea if I’d of had any in close proximity). Some girls shop (way too broke for that option).

Me, I cook.

A lot.

So I decide to make one of my Grandma Jean’s specialties-her famous, delicious, fall off the bone-make you cry-it’s so damn good Lemon Chicken and Garlic Parsely potatoes. Not only do you get to bask in the glory of the oohs and ahhs that your guests will shower on you ( and you will be showered-bring an umbrella) you can secretly have a little smug smile of satisfaction on your face because this is a really easy recipe. Seriously, even if you are a total non-badass in the kitchen, you can make this dish and it will be wonderful.

So anyway, I do all the prep, and at 6pm the chicken and potatoes are in the oven, getting all warm and happy, settling down for the 1 hour party in the oven, making the house smell delicious and making my husband’s stomach growl.  I do not exaggerate when I say that he loves this dish. Lives for it may be a more accurate statement…

So while he’s chilling with the dogs in the living room, dreaming of the feast to come, I start cleaning up the kitchen and setting the table. Life is good.

For about 10 minutes.

Then it hits.

The weirdest “blackout” I’ve ever experienced.

The lights don’t “pop” out, they just kinda mosey on out…(well, we are in the South I guess)

Gary and I look at each other and are speechless. My silver lining is that we have a gas oven, so the chicken and potatoes are ok-they’ll continue to cook.

For 50 minutes.

On 400 degrees.

Did I mention that it’s about 95 degrees outside?

Yeah, you see where this is going..

As we start making small talk, being overly optimistic about how quickly Duke Power will have the lights back, the temperature is quickly rising in the house. Opening the windows is not an option because, well, they are all painted shut. Hell, even if they were able to be opened, we’d be fighting back the hoards of spiders that have made the bushes outside said windows their home (that’s another story…)

In about 45 seconds we are all starting to get uncomfortable.  In two minutes, we are all starting to sweat, even the dogs. In fact the only one who doesn’t seem to mind the increasing heat is Coco, the wonder chihuahua that we recently adopted.  She was running around like a lunatic as if to say “Ariba!! Ariba!! I feel like I’m back in the old country!!!”  The greyhounds are sacked out on the couches, watching her frenzy and giving her the “What the hell, dude?” look.

Gary and I decide to bide the time by doing a little computer video gaming, and since his laptop battery is about to kick it, we jump on mine. Incidentally, Big Fish Games has a cool little hidden object game called “Serpent of Isis”, which is what we played while we sweated in the living room-you can do like we did and download the free 1 hour trial. Well after an hour, the trial was up and so was my laptop battery.

And darkness fell upon the land….

By now, the greyhounds are asleep, Coco has actually run out of steam and the temperature is climbing away. And the light is gone.

On the upside, the chicken is done, so with Gary holding a flashlight, I set my sights on removing the chicken and potatoes from the oven. Gary, being the romantic fellow he is, decides that candles would not only solve the problem of eating in the dark (well that could have been fun…) they’d also add a touch of romantic ambiance to the meal, so he proceeds to light 3 very large pillar candles and place them in the center of the table.  God love him, the thought that the flames would add to the existing heat problem didn’t cross his mind….He’s so cute.

So we finally settle down to dinner and yes, blackout and all, it still was amazing. So for all of you “I can’t cook” types, I challenge you to try this recipe out. It is seriously a recipe you can cook with your eyes closed…or at least all of the lights off…

I’ll post a picture the next time I make it…candle light, though flattering for us Domestic Badasses, is not the best way to photograph food…No matter. Picture of not, this is a dish you have to try…

1 whole fryer chicken, cut up

Ok, if cutting a whole chicken up seems a little daunting, fear not!  There are lots of great resources online to help you out…In fact, here’s a good one that’s a how-to video..


If you’re still not feelin’ badass enough to try it (at least for now…) you can purchase a whole cut up fryer for a little bit more. But you really need to try cutting a whole chicken up at least once…it’s very empowering.

OK, so you’ve got your cut up chicken…

Place the pieces in a glass roasting pan (one of those 9X13-ish sized pans works nicely) on top of the chicken add:

1/3 cup chopped, fresh parsely

2-3 tbs minced garlic (yes, you can use the pre-minced stuff in the jar-I do it all the time)

1 tsp each of sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Next add:

cup of lemon juice and about 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil (drizzle the oil over the chicken)

Roast, (covered with foil)   in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, uncover and baste every 5 minutes.
For the potatoes…

2 lbs of your fav potato variety

3-4 tbs extra  virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp of each works as a start)

2 tbs minced garlic

2 tbs minced fresh parsely

about 1/3 cup of water

Cut potatoes into small cubes-about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in size. Place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. Carefully pour water in bottom of pan, enough to coat pan, but not to the top of the edge. Cover with foil and roast with chicken for an hour on 400. When you uncover the chicken, uncover the potatoes and stir once.

Candlelight is optional…

Until next time, have fun and be fearless!



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