How do you know when it’s true love?
Is it when you can share each other’s toothbrush if one of you forgets it on a trip? Is it when you sacrifice the last bite of flourless chocolate torte? Is it being ok with watching House Hunters International instead of the NFL draft? Is it holding your wife’s hair back after she drank a pitcher of margarita in an hour?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The Booze Hound has done all of the above. And I might also add that he did a 4am Gatorade run after #4. And emptied the bucket. And cleaned the bathroom. That is true love.
But no act completely solidified my faith in our union until this week. I came home from work and the Booze Hound was in the kitchen. Cooking in the kitchen.
He announced that it was Chicken Cutlet Night, and I was invited.
For those of you who still have functioning gray matter and have avoided the entertainment black hole that is Jersey Shore, let me fill you in on the significance of Chicken Cutlet Night. If you invite a girl to Chicken Cutlet Night, you want to “wife her up.” It’s the last stage of commitment. You might as well start picking out a wedding dress. And if you are dis-invited from Chicken Cutlet Night, you’re out. For good. The Situation doesn’t mess around.
I’m not sure I know the significance of the actual chicken cutlets. I tend to think it’s all the Jersey Shore guys can make. Well, that and any alcoholic beverage involving Sobe Life Water, vodka, and/or protein powder. But they’re all Italian with Italian mothers who taught them how to cook Italian food, so I’m actually inclined to believe they do a bang-up job on chicken cutlets.
Bang-up job. Interesting choice of words to describe something about Jersey Shore, since they all seem every intent on banging something/someone every night.
I told you it was an entertainment black hole! I’m already infected, but run! Save yourselves!
But before you run, you need to have this recipe for chicken cutlets in case the right guy/girl ever comes along. I’m not sure if it’s what Pauly D uses, but it would make any Italian Stallion proud. Grilled chicken served over homemade sauce (or gravy, as they say in the Old Country), topped with 2 cheeses that melt and ooze everywhere after a stint in rehab, er, the broiler.
So I guess the Booze Hound wants to “wife me up.” Or rather, keep me “wifed up.” Rings and vow exchanges are no match for Chicken Cutlet Night! Booze Hound + Food Hound 4 Life!!
Grilled Chicken Cutlet Parmigiana
Adapted from Rachael Ray
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (my preference) or breasts, pounded thin
- Salt and pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 28-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 c (20 leaves) fresh basil, shredded
- ½ c grated parmesan
- ½ lb smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Heat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil to keep it from sticking to grill. Cook 3 minutes on each side and transfer to a foil-covered platter to hold. If you are using a grill pan, cook the chicken in 2 batches, if necessary. While chicken cooks, make sauce.
- Place a medium pot on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 T olive oil. Add garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and chopped onion. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Add tomatoes and heat through, 2 minutes. Wilt in the basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Layer the chicken with sauce in a casserole dish. Top the casserole with parmesan and mozzarella. Brown the casserole under the broiler 3 minutes, or until lightly brown and melty.