Ingredients With No Recipe Means Finding Your Way, Both In Life And On The Grill
Finding your way is surely an appropriate term to use these days. I’ve heard many folks say they’re taking this current social situation day by day, and truthfully, that’s the only way to do it, isn’t it?
“Ingredients with no recipe” could really be a metaphor for life right now. We’ve been thrown into unique situations like characters in a video game, left to our own devices on how to navigate a new way of living. After the initial feelings clear, whether it’s sadness, anger, loneliness, determination, or a combination, it’s time to reassess. We each have a certain amount and type of “life ingredients” at our disposal, but there’s no simple recipe to guide you in making things better, not immediately anyway. So we get by with what we have and what we know, creating our own recipes, both for our food and for our basic daily routines.
Well, you know what? Not only is that good enough, but it can also be better because our decisions are being custom made to fit our needs. It’s like a fresh start with a new beginning, totally created by you – for you.
This grill session is a product of this “ingredients without a recipe” philosophy, featuring ingredients gathered from purging our fridge of items that would be useful as a stuffing for chicken breasts. That means that my ingredients are likely different than yours, but that’s ok because we’ll both end up with a meal built to our needs while reducing waste.
The chicken breasts were on the counter, begging for some added flavor before hitting the hickory smoke spirals of the trusty Weber. Current conditions dismissed any idea of a last-minute grocery run for specific condiments or ingredients. Perusing the shelves, cubbies, and drawers of the fridge for ingredients without a recipe, I landed a quarter of red onion, a bowl of have-to-be-used mushroom stems, the balance of a bag of sketchy spinach and some matching feta, and some roasted garlic that has been in oil for more days than I can remember. I also found some mixed olives, a few wrinkled cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. All these ingredients were finely chopped to become my misfit concoction that served double duty in flavoring my chicken while keeping it tender and juicy on the grill.
Once thoroughly mixed, a pocket is cut in the thickest part of the chicken breasts, or pork chops, or whatever you have available, including those big honkin’ quarter pound hot dogs. Go ahead, stuff ’em. They are laid on a hot grill, indirect side with the thicker part of the chicken breast angled toward the coals in the hopes that the breast will all get cooked evenly.
I let them sit with the lid closed, not about to open it for at least 20 minutes, and only then for a quick flip. Once they register about 160° I pulled them off, letting them rest and reach the magic 165° mark.
Now you know, whenever you grill something that’s stuffed, there’s always that anticipation of slicing through and getting a look at the finished product. Will it look good? Will it taste good? Is it going to be even throughout the meat so you get stuffing in every bite? And on and on…
The answer is yes. Because it’s your creation, made from ingredients you obviously already like since you have them on hand. It may just mean a new way of combining some old favorites, both in your food prep and in your more socially distanced, but hopefully less hectic daily life.