Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being a Parent Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry.

3june2011As a parent, I’ve taken on the role of the person who thinks that basic human rules don’t apply.

Meaning, I am that person who will leave an item from my shopping cart in a random place on a shelf once I’ve decided that I don’t actually want to buy it.

I am that person who says, “If you don’t stop whining right now, we are going to leave this store,” very loudly and does not care if anyone hears me breaking my promise.

I am that person that sits in my car, taking a break, when you’re waiting for my spot in the parking lot.

I am that person that believes that the rest of the world should stop what they are doing and not make one teensy eensy peep within a 30 yard radius because the BABY IS SLEEPING and if you wake him up I WILL HURT YOU.

Polite society is out the window because there is no hope of regaining any status. Anything that causes me more trouble than I already have, juggling two kids, is now not my problem. Instead, it’s yours. There’s something that happens when you’re required to wake up at 3:30 am on a Monday and be a parent for the next 17 hours. You just don’t give a squat what other people think.

So there are some benefits of being a parent.

Unfortunately, in my case, parenting has had a down side. Well, let’s say it has multiple sides, around the sides, and then maybe some in the middle and in the back too.

Thus, I am on a diet.

For the last week I have been hating hunger, not just because being hungry sucks, but because whatever I have to fill that hunger seems gross. If I look at one more egg or red bell pepper I will completely puke. Not cooking and eating my favorite things makes me angry and bitter and if you utter one helpful word like “Good job! You’ll live through it!” or “You don’t even need to go on a diet!” I will probably lash out at you no matter what angle you take. Just warning you, Love.

For Father’s Day we cheated. Ok, so it turned into the weekend. On Saturday night we went to Stage in Honolulu and had the dessert sampler plate (divine), along with another chocolate dessert (too stuffed to enjoy it except for the caramelized banana balls and caramel popcorn ice cream!!!, but we did take it home). Their pastry chef is some kind of wizard.

Sunday I made some Macadamia Nut Chicken, from Sam Choy. This is my favorite way to eat chicken, period. It was the first recipe I really pulled off successfully as a college student, and I clipped it out of a Hawaiian Airlines inflight magazine. I couldn’t believe what voodoo magic cooking was. This is how I interpreted it:

1. Follow the directions.

2. Food turns out delicious.

3. Everyone thinks you are a genius.

When I went to Sam Choy’s restaurant a few years ago, I ordered the Mac Nut Chicken, just to see, probably out of some vain belief that I had done better.

(I did.)

It’s probable that the restaurant had Sam Choy’s original recipe, but then took some liberties (aka “shortcuts”) and the Mac Nut Chicken has never been the same.

But here it is, for you, in all its glory. Please try it, for me.

And remember how good it is with rice. Sob, sob. (Ok, so I had 3 tacos today, plus I’m cheating on Saturday for Amaya’s birthday. As you can see, I’m very committed.)

IMG_5765_edited-1Macadamia Nut Chicken with Tropical Marmalade

Print this!

(adapted slightly from Sam Choy’s Recipe)

serves 4-6

The chicken stays very moist, which is a must with chicken breast. I changed some of the measurements with ingredients because I found more success this way. I’ve added my own notes in the directions as well.

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (I use a microplane grater)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • vegetable oil (enough to fill a heavy skillet 1/4” deep)
1. Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, ginger, and olive oil in a bowl. Put the chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken, seal, trying to remove all the air from the bag. Chill 1-3 hours, turning occasionally.

2. Combine the macadamia nuts and panko in a shallow dish, I recommend a cake pan. I upped the ration of panko to mac nuts because the mac nuts don’t hold as well to the chicken as the panko and you’ll have all the crust falling off when you fry. Place flour in a separate shallow dish; place eggs in another shallow dish and beat lightly with a fork. 2mac nut chicken

3. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat dry on paper towels to aid the crust to stick to the chicken. Slice the chicken in half crosswise into 8 pieces as chicken breasts can be quite thick and hard to fry properly (no need to do this if you’re using chicken tenders). 7mac nut chickenDredge chicken in flour, tapping it lightly to remove the excess flour. Dip in eggs, shaking off excess. Dredge in crumb mixture. Scoop the crumb mixture to top the chicken and try to cover the entire thing. No need to press the crumbs onto the chicken—whatever sticks is just right. I also recommend keeping a dry hand and a wet hand, otherwise you’ll have half of the crust on your hands after a few dips.10mac nut chicken11mac nut chicken12mac nut chicken

4. Heat 1/4” of vegetable oil a large skillet over medium heat until very hot. The shallow fry is better than just a small bit, because the crust will start flaking off and burning on the pan in a shallow fry. 9mac nut chickenAlso, this way, you don’t have to keep adding more oil to the pan. Cook 3 to 4 pieces at a time over medium heat. Don’t flip the chicken until one side is golden. Should take 3-4 minutes. Flip and repeat. Place the chicken, when done, on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Frying breaded chicken takes a few tries to get down—it’s hard to tell when the chicken is done. Cut open the first one and judge whether your oil is too hot (browning before the middle is done) or not hot enough (browned, but overcooked). 13mac nut chicken

Tropical Marmalade3mac nut chicken

  • 1 can pineapple or 1 1/2 Cups fresh pineapple, chopped finely
  • 1 mango or 1 papaya, diced
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar4mac nut chicken
  1. Combine the ingredients into a small, heavy bottomed saucepan with 2 Tbsp of water. Cook over medium low heat at a simmer for about 20 minutes, until the fruit has melded together and looks somewhat like a jam. Serve with the chicken.5mac nut chicken


Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} said...

Hunger does suck--eat when you are hungry!! Okay, you are probably not looking for dieting advice. Sorry. Oh wait, I'm a parent, so I'm not sorry. :-) Your dish looks fabulous and if you are going to cheat, the perfect way to do so!

Anonymous said...

The marmalade looks fantastic! Worth the cheat!

Masayuki said...

Good job! You'll live through it!

But seriously, looks good. Wish I could be there to help out some more. If I go blind from surgery on Thursday I'm coming to live with you. Then you'll have someone else to take care of. I could be your taste tester, because I'm sure my taste buds would make up for my lack of sight.

jalna said...

Of all the wonderful things I could say about this post, I choose to praise you for that raw chicken shot. It's brilliant! So did you place the knife just so, washed only one hand while leaving bits of chicken and marinade on your other hand that's holding the chicken, so that you could grab your camera and shoot with the clean hand? All this while two kids vie for your attention? You are amaaaaazing.

Mariko said...

Maryea: Good advice, Maryea. Parents always have the best advice. :)

Yummychunklet: It was. And the crispy crust.

Masayuki: I'm sure Mom would say not to say that. You're going to jinx yourself.

Jalna: HA! I considered taking a picture with a raw chicken hand. I washed my hands completely, and the knife was sitting on its own. But I've done worse. :)

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

Jaina said it all. I was thinking the same thing. You are amazing!

sophia said...

My parents' main concern is always whether we kids are eating well. Parents should take their own advice and eat well! As you are with this lovely chicken and marmalade. I love Sam Choy! I saw him on TV and thought he was such a jolly man. :-)

elle marie said...

This is amazing, nommers. Me too, I'm determined to wear my bikini with confidence this summer.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm seriously relating to this post. Ugh, I always feel so guilty about the empty threats of punishment in the grocery store. The recipe looks fantastic. I'm on a diet right now too, so it will have to wait till the next day off, but that probably won't be too long from now. Maybe I should just stock up on mac nuts so I'll be prepared...

justJENN said...

mmm...mac nut chicken.

Stephanie said...

Oh my gosh my mother in law has made this chicken and it is (sing this part in a high voice) AMAZING!!!!!! I love it! And I love the now and then quote for a title and all your parental allowances, which now make me feel completely unoriginal since I assumed I was the only entitled one since I assumed I had the craziest kids.... the crazier the kids=the more entitled you get to be right? Yes. HA!

Stephanie said...

PS- you guys wanna come chill at ala moana beach park tomorrow in the afternoon? I know. Your no sun rule BUT we do have pop-up tent shade so what now?! :)

Ellie said...

This really looks good!
I don't know if you like it but I heard konnyaku fills you up and is low in calories so it's a good diet food.

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