CUISINE DE CHAOS - June 9, 2011

What really happens in the kitchen when there are kids around plus, a recipe!




While the raging spring winds make outdoor grilling difficult, we found a few spaces between the gales to light the fire again after a long cold winter! Here’s a simple, basically easy dinner.




1 boneless, skinless chicken breast per person (unless you have teenagers, then double this quantity per teen. Double as well if your 6 year-old is going through a growth spurt and is hungry all the time.)

2 lemons

Salt and Pepper

Balsamic vinegar

Vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes.

Rice (Cuisine de Chaos kitchen tip: forget to start the rice until the rest of the food is almost done. Doing so will increase the kitchen chaos level to about 11, the mention of which here will trigger memories of the movie Spinal Tap to keep you occupied as you rummage around for that bag of Basmati rice you know you have…somewhere in the dark reaches of the pantry. Hopefully. If not, there’s always salad. Maybe.)




1.      Pour tall glass of wine or splurge on a tasty mixed drink.

2.      Take beer to husband and ask him to light grill even though he’s building a chicken coop.

3.      Return to house and remove chicken breasts from fridge.

4.      Mediate argument between younger kids over computer use.

5.      Return to kitchen and remove chicken breasts from packaging.

6.      Flatten and separate double chicken breasts on cutting board as older daughter comes into kitchen with pet chicken.

7.      Remove extra fat from chicken breasts.

8.      Suggest to daughter that her chicken might be traumatized by watching cooking prep of chicken breasts. Notice that you are ignored by both daughter and chicken.

9.      Squeeze juice from one lemon and sprinkle salt and pepper liberally over chicken breasts.

10.  Slice second lemon and place slices on chicken breasts.

11.  Feel uncomfortable that pet chicken is watching your every move and wonder if anyone else knows how weird it feels to be preparing chicken breasts with a live chicken looking over your shoulder.

12.  Place chicken breasts on large plate to take to grill. Cover with tin foil for the time being.

13.  Chop, slice, and cube selected vegetables as appropriate.

14.  Place cut-up veggies on large piece of aluminum foil.

15.  Tell daughter it’s time to return pet chicken to brooder because there’s really no way it’s sanitary to have a live chicken in the kitchen.

16.  Pour second glass of wine.

17.  Liberally douse veggies with Balsamic vinegar.

18.  Mediate, for the second time, argument between younger kids. Warn them that the computer will be shut off if they can’t sort things out on their own.

19.  Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper, to taste.

20.  Trip over dog who knows she shouldn’t be in the kitchen.

21.  Remember that you need to start the rice.

22.  Wrap veggies up in an aluminum foil package and take chicken and veggies outside to husband who is monitoring grill.

23.  Start cleaning up while husband puts veggies and chicken on grill.

24.  Remember again that you need to start the rice.

25.  Spend 5 minutes looking for rice and another 5 minutes getting rice on the stovetop in the appropriate amount of water.

26.  Grill chicken until centers are white.

27.  Let veggies cook until al dente. Add butter.

28.  Sit down to eat and forget the rice until dinner is over.

29.  Have another glass of wine and try to remember if there’s anything for dessert. Suggest that the kids eat plain chocolate chips since somebody seems to have polished off all the ice cream.


Bon Appetit!